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Education Challenges in Haiti

May 21, 2012

Read “A New Story of Hope for Nana” to learn how Haiti Foundation of Hope is making a difference in educating young people in Terre Blanche.

Haiti’s education system is ranked third from the bottom of the worst in the world, according to a 2010 Global Education Report. The two countries below Haiti were Eritrea and Somalia (bottom). One of the summary declarations of the report was that “education is development. It creates choices and opportunities for people, reduces the twin burdens of poverty and diseases…”

The parents of children in Haiti recognize this fact without being told by a report, and will sacrifice all to get even one of their children into school. Even with that motivation, there are not enough schools, especially in the countryside. And they are very limited in how many grades are offered. Most high schools are in the cities, requiring the child to live away from parents and adding extra expense.

Both private and public schools require fees – often the public schools are the most competitive and costly. Lack of supplies, inconsistent quality of education, undependable teachers, frequently interrupted school schedule due to events like political unrest or natural disaster … these are only a few of the overwhelming difficulties facing a student attempting to get an education in Haiti.

There are many reasons behind this desperate situation but despite the odds parents continue to sacrifice because they have hope in the possibilities that education brings. Schooling is a sacrifice parents are willing to make.

Terre Blanche is an exception to this abysmal reality of Haitian education. Parents are able to send their children to school beginning in pre-school. When the students are ready for high school they may stay in their community and enjoy the support and love of their family. Although many families in Terre Blanche are unable to pay the school fees, provision has been made to help them. This community has been uniquely blessed.

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