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Background summaries: Afghanistan, Nepal, Haiti, Rwanda, Ethiopia

Haiti's National Education Background

General Background: It is difficult to find a complete account of how Haiti's national education system is organized and functions. Primary education is compulsory, but families must pay school fees. <ref> Compassion International, Haiti Facts; </ref> In 1997, the government passed a 10-year universal access education plan. The government set out to increase the national education budget and start a nation-wide literacy campaign run by 30,000 literacy monitors. School attendance rose from 20% in 1994 to 64% in 2000.<ref>Library of Congress Federal Research Division's Country Profile on Haiti (May 2006); </ref> Despite these successes, there remains significant exclusion and structural deficiencies in Haiti's education system. High school costs (parents must pay school fees to enroll children in public schools), limited access (especially in rural areas), and a lack of classroom space, teaching materials, basic functions are all problems that Haiti faces. <ref> Education report from the UN Special Envoy for Haiti Website; </ref>. Some studies have shown that international private schools (run by Canada, France, or the United States) and church-run schools educate 90 percent of students.<ref>Library of Congress Federal Research Division's Country Profile on Haiti (May 2006); </ref> However, other reports state that public schools cover 20% of educational demand. <ref>Plan Cadre des Nations Unies pour l’Aide au Développement, UNDAF 2009-2011, 2008. p.10;</ref>. While exact numbers vary, it's clear that private schools make up a much larger part of Haiti's education system than public schools.

National Strategy Education for All (SNA-EPT): In 2007, the Haitian Ministry of Education in cooperation with international and national partners developed a National Strategy Education for All (SNA-EPT) (read an English summary on the UN Special Envoy to Haiti's website). The plan's main priorities include:

  • Improve equity in the development and protection of early childhood
  • Improve equity in the access to formal and non formal education
  • Improve the internal efficiency of basic and post-basic education
  • Improve the external efficiency of basic and post-basic education
  • Improve the overall management and governance of the system.

In addition, the Government of Haiti has identified the following top three challenges in the area of education:

  • Increasing enrollment of primary school children (more than 500,000 children are not in school);
  • Improving the quality of education (only 20% of primary school teachers are trained);
  • Reducing the number of over-aged students in classes (each year, more than 9% of children are not promoted to the next grade).

In response to the SNA-EPT, the UN Special Envoy to Haiti is working with the Government of Haiti to identify 3-5 strategic interventions that will address the challenges above. These include teacher salary support, teacher training, tuition vouchers, school feeding, and supporting "safe" school reconstruction and rehabilitation.

National Curriculum

Physical copies of the first and second year curriculum are rare but digital copies (in French) for first and second years are available here:

Education Statistics

UNICEF's State of the World's Children Report 2009 Statistics
Categories Numbers
Total adult literacy rate (%), 2000-2007 62
Primary school net enrollment/ attendance (%), 2000-2007 50
Youth literacy, 2000–2007 (M / F)<ref> Youth literacy rate – Number of literate persons aged 15–24, expressed as a percentage of the total population in that age group.</ref> 76 / 87
Percentage of phone/internet users 2006 14 / 8
Primary school gross enrollment (%) 2000-2007 (M / F)<ref> Primary school gross enrollment ratio – Number of children enrolled in primary school, regardless of age,expressed as a percentage of the total number of children of official primary school age. </ref> N/A
Primary school net enrollment (%) 2000-2007 (M / F)<ref> Primary school net enrollment ratio – Number of children enrolled in primary school who are of official primary school age, expressed as a percentage of the total number of children of official primary school age. </ref> N/A
Primary school net attendance (%) 2000-2007 (M / F) <ref> Primary school net attendance ratio – Number of children attending primary or secondary school who are of official primary school age, expressed as a percentage of the total number of children of official primary school age. </ref> 48 / 52
Survival rate to last primary grade (%) 2000–2007 (administrative / survey data) <ref> Survival rate to the last grade of primary school – Percentage of children entering the first grade of primary school who eventually reach the last grade of primary school. </ref> X / 85
Secondary school gross enrollment (%) 2000-2007 (M/F)<ref> Secondary school gross enrollment ratio – Number of children enrolled in secondary school, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the total number of children of official secondary school age. </ref> N/A
Secondary school net enrollment (%) 2000-2007 (M/F)<ref> Secondary school net enrollment ratio – Number of children enrolled in secondary school who are of official secondary school age, expressed as a percentage of the total number of children of official secondary school age.</ref> N/A
Secondary school net attendance (%) 2000-2007 (M/F)<ref> Secondary school net attendance ratio – Number of children attending secondary or tertiary school who are of official secondary school age, expressed as a percentage of the total number of children of official secondary school age. </ref> 18/21

UNESCO Education Statistics from 2008 Regional Averages: At this point, Haiti's "UIS Statistics in Brief" is nearly empty.

Other Education Statistics (Prior to 2010 Earthquake)
Categories Numbers
Percent of population under the age of 18 <ref>UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti;</ref> 50%
Schooling expense per family <ref>La Stratégie Nationale d’Action pour l’Education pour Tous (SNA EPT), 2007. p. 20;,%20Janvier%2007.pdf</ref> 109 USD per year
Schooling expense as a percentage of income for a low-income family <ref> Plan Cadre des Nations Unies pour l’Aide au Développement, UNDAF 2009-2011, 2008. p.10;</ref> 40%
Education share of the budget <ref>UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti;</ref> 9%
Gross enrollment ratio in basic and post-basic education <ref>Plan Cadres Des Nations Unies pour l'Aide au Développement, UNDAF 2009-2011, 2008. p.11;</ref> 124% (due to many over-aged students )
Percentage of over-age children attending school <ref>UNICEF Humanitarian Action Report 2008;</ref> 50%
Percentage of children enrolled in primary school that will make it to sixth grade <ref>UNICEF Humanitarian Action Report 2008;</ref> 40%
Number of children ages 6-11 that are out of the educational system <ref>La Stratégie Nationale d’Action pour l’Education pour Tous (SNA EPT), 2007. p. 18;,%20Janvier%2007.pdf</ref> 400,000 (or 22% of total)
Percentage of educational demand that public schools cover <ref>Plan Cadre des Nations Unies pour l’Aide au Développement, UNDAF 2009-2011, 2008. p.10; </ref> 20%
Number of schools affected by the January 2010 earthquake <ref>UN Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti;</ref> 4,992 (23% of all schools)

Social Sector Losses from January 2010 Earthquake (Since August 5, 2010):
PDNA Sector/PDNA SubSector Cost of Private Damages (USD) Cost of Public Damages (USD) Cost of Private Economic Losses (USD) Cost of Public Economic Losses
Culture (3.23%) 4,350,000 21,402,000 15,500,000 8,150,000
Education (40.96%) 437,771,309 41,150,419 140,056,013 8,005,975
Food Security and Nutrition (21.56%) 292,500,000 2,500,000 35,000,000
Health (30.72%) 101,875,000 94,604,600 86,172,381 187,627,388
Sports and Leisure (.76%) 3,500,000 7,750,000 400,000
Water and Sanitation (2.77%) 14,080,000 19,104,632 418,752 8,838,505
TOTAL LOSS IN SOCIAL SECTOR 854,076,309 186,511,651 277,147,146 213,021,868

OLPC's work in Haiti

Deployments: In a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, 13,700 XOs have been purchased for students and teachers in 60 Haitian schools. This number includes 10,000 laptops from the Give One Get One program. Hundreds more have been deployed in smaller pilots by independent NGOs. Following the earthquake in January 2010, almost 3,000 used XOs have been donated by individuals around the world through the OLPC for Haiti project.

Waveplace: Waveplace is a non-profit organization that raises money to purchase XOs for Caribbean children, creates training materials that teach digital media skills, and inspires teachers to use computers in new ways. From February to September of 2008, Waveplace donated 23 XOs to students from the Mercy & Sharing John Branchizio School in Port au Prince, Haiti. Waveplace also provides XO and Etoys training. Following the January 2010 earthquake, Waveplace returned to Haiti in March to organize a two week workshop at Matènwa Community Learning Center for 20 trainee mentors and 26 children. The workshop aimed to train mentors who can each train an additional twenty mentors to lead eight Waveplace pilot projects using XO laptops and Squeak Etoys. OLPC also re-donated 200 laptops being used by 40 mentors and 160 children in Haiti. Check out the Waveplace Haiti blog entries and their OLPC wiki page

Other Education Development Initiatives

Summary of Educational Development Initiatives
Name of Organization Investment in Country People/Major Projects
UNICEF UNICEF provided 80,000 with a free education and provided learning materials to 185,616 school-aged children + 45,520 pre-preschoolers In 2010, UNICEF is working to provide access to free education for approximately 80,000 children, including 40,000 affected by potential emergencies. UNICEF is also working to improve the educational system through rehabilitation of infrastructure, institutional capacity building and improvement to the education policy framework. In a mid-term review from July 2010, UNICEF (along with the MOE and cluster partners) is continuing to promote the gradual enrollment of all children and adolescents in Haiti. UNICEF has donated 1,297 school tents in 225 locations. The organization is working with the MOE to create a condensed second semester curriculum, and has trained 2,300 teachers and 3,000 educational personnel in the new curriculum. Finally, 185,616 school-aged children have been provided with basic educational materials, and 45,520 pre-preschoolers have received learning and educational materials.
WFP WFP Haiti’s main focus lies in interventions involves establishing stockpiles of emergency food and water purification chemicals to aid Haitians should during hurricaine seasons. Their current two-year Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation involves both relief and recovery from the setbacks of 2008. Through this program, WFP supplies a nutritious daily lunch to more than 400,000 pupils in 850 primary schools.
WHO The WHO's first priority in Haiti has been responding to Haitian's healthcare needs in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake. This includes delivering drinking water and monitoring disease outbreaks. According to WHO, at least 90% of Haitians have nearby access to healthcare six months after the earthquake.
UNESCO UNESCO Haiti focus lies in education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. Haiti is one of the first-round countries in the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE). The 2007 launch of LIFE in Haiti began a national Three-year Literacy Campaign supported by a brigade of 22 Cuban advisers to reach 3 million illiterate in three years. UNESCO has also worked with the Ministry of Education on disease prevention guides.
UNDP UNDP's most recent efforts in Haiti are focused on emergency response to the January 2010 earthquake. The agency has created a cash-for-work programme that employs approximately 116,000 workers — more than 40 percent of them women.
IFRC Since January 2010, the Red Cross's efforts in Haiti have been mostly devoted to responding to the earthquake. While most of these efforts are focused on emergency response, the Red Cross has worked on some education initiatives following the earthquake.
World Vision World Vision has several programmatic focuses, including educational initiatives. The three core strategies of World Vision's education sector are to:
  • 1. Increase children's access to equitable and quality early childhood education and primary education, with special attention to girls.
  • 2. Strengthen community involvement in education.
  • 3. Foster an enabling environment through partnerships and advocacy with communities, governments, universities, donors, and non-governmental organizations.

In addition to sponsoring 51,383 children in Haiti, World Vision has provided 3,000 children with a quality primary education through their Reinforcement of Quality Education Project. They have also improved the learning environments of 5,000 children in 25 northwest Haiti schools through the Improved Primary Education Project. (Recommended by Haiti Partner's John Engle. Also one of six NGOs in the "Haiti Fit for Children" discussion sponsored by UNICEF; see below.)

Save the Children Save the Children runs a rural education program in community, government, and mission schools, reaching thousands of students in Haiti's Central Plateau, Southeast, and Artribonite regions. The organization has been able to additionally extend its educational reach through innovating radio learning programs. (One of six NGOs in the "Haiti Fit for Children" discussion sponsored by UNICEF; see below.)
USAID USAID's school cluster program delivers a package of support services to over 400 primary schools designed to achieve higher access and promotion rates. Support includes interactive radio instruction, strengthened Parent Teachers’ Associations, accelerated academic programs structured for out-of-school youth, and school-based teacher and principal training. USAID also has a scholarship program for children at risk of dropping out of school or who have already dropped out. USAID also assists the MOE to strengthen its capacity to effectively license and regulate the large number of private schools in Haiti and has a school feeding program that distributes hot meals to students across the country.
SOS Haiti or SOS International SOS Children's Villages support at least 1,300 children (not including Herman Gmeiner Schools or SOS Girl's House Port-au-Prince)through their many projects. SOS Children's Villages is a non-profit organization whose activities focus on children without parental care and children of families in difficult circumstances. SOS Children's Villages places central value on education and works to provide educational assistance to children growing up in children's villages, those participating in any form of family strengthening programme, and all vulnerable children and young people in the communities they work in. The organization has 8 projects in Haiti that educates children from the program and children from the local community. (One of six NGOs in the "Haiti Fit for Children" discussion sponsored by UNICEF; see below.)
World Bank The World Bank has subsidized nearly 100,000 children in 1,000 schools The World Bank's Education for All initiative aims to increase access to primary education, enhance the quality of education, institutionally strengthen the Ministry of Education and M&E activities. More specifically, from 2007 to 2010, the EFA program subsidized nearly 100,000 children in 1,000 schools, provided daily meals to 45,000 children, enroll 30,000 new first graders each year, and increase teacher training. The World Bank requested additional financing for the project in May 2010.

Other Educational Development Initiatives
Name of Organization Investment in Country People/Major Projects
Compassion International Compassion Haiti is reaching more than 62,900 children in their 225 child development centers. Compassion Haiti is a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. They currently work with over 1 million children in 26 countries. Compassion's work in Haiti began in 1968. Currently, more than 62,900 children participate in more than 225 child development centers. Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Haitian children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances. (Recommended by Haiti Partner's John Engle)
Haiti Partners Haiti Partners works with 1,400 students in 7 schools Haiti Partners is a non-profit organization working to help Haitians change Haiti through education for students, teachers, leaders, and disciples. Haiti Partners partnered with Wave Place in the post earthquake Haiti pilots involving 200 laptops. 50 of these laptops are with students and mentors involved with 4 of their partner schools. Through the organization's Students Program, Haiti Partners is working to educate 1,400 students in seven partner schools with a set of goals. The organization is working to improve facilities, provide educational materials, train teachers in participatory education methods, and provide training and seed capital for school staff and the local community to create social enterprises. Haiti Partners does not provides 100% of the funding for its schools, but identifies and supports education groups with teacher and leadership training, materials, construction dn repair work, and social enterprise training and financial support. By partnering with successful education initiatives, Haitian Partners aims to create a sustainable and replicable model to ensure that in all Haitian children have access to quality education. In addition to the Students Program, the organization also has a Teacher's Program to train 300 teachers. The program supports individual teacher trainers through the six month "Circle of Change" training program, pays for books and videos, and provides seminars and workshops for trainers and participants.
Partners in Health Partners in Health serves a catchment area of 1.2 million people in Haiti. PIH is a Boston-based NGO dedicated to providing a "preferential option for the poor." Located in Cange, Haiti, Zanmi Lasante is PIH’s oldest and largest project that has grown into a socialmedical complex. PIH now has an additional eight sites throughout Haiti. Through its community-based model, the organization hires local people as community health workers to monitor the needs of the community and to deliver health care to people with chronic diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS. Today, ZL ranks as one of the largest nongovernmental health care providers in Haiti – serving a catchment area of 1.2 million across the Central Plateau and the Lower Artibonite. ZL employs over 4,000 people, almost all of them Haitians, including doctors, nurses and community health workers. PIH created a "Stand By Haiti Campaign" to raise funds and recruit medical personnel following the January 12th, 2010 earthquake.
'A Haiti Fit for Children' In March of 2010, six international aid organizations] met at UNICEF's headquarters to discuss ways to make children the focus of rebuilding Haiti in the aftermath of the 12 January earthquake. The six agencies included Save the Children, SOS Children's Villages International, Plan International, World Vision International, Oxfam and UNICEF. The United Nations has asked for $1.4 billion to repair the damage in Haiti. Since March 2010, it has received $718 million from international donors, and another $36 million has been pledged.
  • UNICEF and Save the Children have also created a One Response Education Cluster to ensure a timely, coherent and effective education response by mobilizing stakeholders to respond in a strategic manner to a humanitarian crisis.
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia The Diocese is working with over 60 schools in Haiti. Since the mid 1980s the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia] has embarked on a global solidarity partnership with Haiti through its twinning ministry. The Diocese has created a Haiti Twinning Fund between parishes and groups in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond (DOR) that are twinned with parishes or groups in Haiti. Through the Twinning Program, the Diocese is supporting a network of several Haitian schools.
  • Their website also makes reference to the Haitian Education Fund which supports 12,040 children and young adults in its 34 elementary schools, 7 high schools, and vocational schools scattered among the mountains of Haiti's peninsula. (Recommended by Haiti Partner's John Engle).

Other Resources

Haiti Education Resources

OLPC in Haiti

Education Initiatives Resources


  • Office of the Special Envoy map of Haiti


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