Education in Haiti
We are currently raising 33 beautiful and amazing Haitian children. We thought it would be helpful to give you some context of what the educational system is like in Haiti. For information on our specific needs for the 2017-2018 school year.
There is no standardized education in Haiti. Each school has its own curriculum and testing but it is not in any way standardized. However, students desiring to go into secondary school and finish will have to pass two very rigorous government tests in order to be able to advance. If they do not pass the exam at that level they will have to do the grade over again. Even if they have passed their grade level in class at their school the test results overrules all of their grades in school.
Almost all schools in Haiti require tuition, including government schools. In addition, the price of tuition does not necessarily equal the quality of education. It is very difficult to ensure that a student is receiving any kind of education that will help them advance their learning, prepare them to pass the government standardized test or adequately equip them for some kind of profession or skill that would lead them to gainful employment after graduation.
The High Cost of Education
Tuition costs in Haiti vary but a good school with a solid education will cost $50 USD a month and up. Sadly, tuition is just the beginning of the costs. Books are not included as part of the cost of tuition. They are sold on the street all through the country just before school starts. However, availability of the specific books required by a school for a specific grade may be difficult to find or impossible and the closer it is to the start of school the more expensive the books become. Book publishers produce a limited amount of books each year. Once they are gone, they are gone. Adding to the educational expenses are uniforms. Each school in Haiti requires a uniform. Each school has their own pattern and material that identifies a student to that school.
The students are also required to have the following accessories that match the selected uniform: belt, matching socks, hair bows and go-go’s. They also have to have a certain type of shoe. Guys have to have black dress shoes and girls are required to wear closed toed flat black shoes. If a student does not have the complete uniform on, they will be sent home from school until they can assemble a proper uniform.
In addition, the cost of education is very high in relationship to the income ratio of most Haitians. According to the latest household survey (ECVMAS 2012). More than 6 million out of 10.4 million (59%) live under the national poverty line of $2.42 USD a day; over 2.5 million (24%) live under the national extreme poverty level of $1.23 USD per day(The World Bank, The World Bank in Haiti-Overview-April 11, 2017).
As a response to many injustices that we experienced within the Haitian educational system two years ago, we took a leap of faith and moved all of our kids to a school system that cost more but would actually provide an education and challenge our kids academically. In order to help our kids with these new challenges, we hired an Educational Director to tutor the kids in all subjects.
For the second half of the 2016 school year through the end of this year our kids have traveled in a bus up to 4 hours a day to get to a good school. This year we are so happy to announce that we are again moving them to a better school and it is located just 20 minutes from our house. The kids worked extremely hard this year and they all passed and are now headed to an even more challenging academic curriculum. It is our heart’s desire that all of our kids graduate High School and College.
With more than 60% of the Haitian population jobless, we believe that this will help to ensure that each child in our care will have the best possible opportunity for some kind of gainful employment. However, not all of our kids will desire or have the aptitude for the complicated academic rigors of a Haitian university. A vocational college option will then be presented for those students.
We highly value learning in our Haiti home. Each summer, all of our kids attend summer camp for a month through our church. This camp offers an English course for students age 8-18. Older students can learn either music or some kind of art that can be used to advance a skill set with the intent of it providing a revenue source.
In addition, we have provided cooking classes, basic hygiene classes (emphasis on personal hygiene), basic health classes (focus on Haitian communicable diseases), and this year we added a gardening class.
We need your help getting all of the kids back to school for the 2017-2018 school year.