Press note

An unfair return to school in 2023: the “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation asks the authorities concerned to take their responsibilities

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation notes that some students in the capital and surrounding areas are struggling to return to school for the start of October, as the start of the school year for the 2023-2024 academic year begins. officially since September 11. This situation is explained by the violence of armed gangs which forces residents of several neighborhoods to take refuge in schools in the capital. Based on this observation, it is important for the “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation, as an institution promoting the rights of the Child, to appeal to the authorities concerned to take steps to provide a satisfactory response to this situation.

The Haitian Constitution of 1987 guarantees everyone the enjoyment of rights which constitute the values of well-being of society such as: right to education (art 32.1) and to the protection of human rights (art 19). Therefore, the State must highlight these articles of the constitution in order to meet the educational needs of children and young people. It is also urgent to allow everyone to enjoy the right to move and live without being exposed to the risk of danger. However, the government in place hardly cares about all these rights guaranteed by the constitution to the entire population. Which implies, on the one hand, inequality to a certain extent between children who have the opportunity to go to school and those who do not. On the other hand, part of the population is increasingly exposed to acts of violence of all kinds, which sometimes forces them to leave their homes urgently to take refuge elsewhere.

In addition, we can see the catastrophic result of the single bac exam for the 2022-2023 academic year, with a national success rate of 36.38%. This could be explained by the repercussions of acts of armed violence which affected the school year from the start of the 2022-2023 academic period, causing the closure and relocation of schools. With the quantity of displaced people who occupy, especially public school spaces such as: the Lycée Jean Jacques Dessalines, the Lycée du Cent Cinquantenaire, the Lycée Marie Jeanne, the National School Republic of Brazil… the results could still be catastrophic for these students . Therefore, the State must assume its responsibility for the reopening of schools which served as accommodation camps for people displaced following the violence of armed groups.

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation demands state institutions including the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training (MENFP), the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) and the Haitian National Police to take all arrangements to ensure security for displaced people housed in schools so that they can return home. Repair work must also be carried out in schools occupied by displaced people in order to ensure the return to class of the students concerned. In other words, the State must act in such a way that it can respond not only to the needs of displaced people occupying school spaces but also to students who are obliged to return to their classrooms to start the year. academic.

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation calls on social organizations to mobilize to ensure respect for the right to education for all in Haiti in accordance with the requirements of the Haitian constitution and the international commitments made by the Haitian State. Youth without education cannot be the future of a country which has been experiencing a hemorrhage of skills for several years.

Done in Port-au-Prince, October 9, 2023

Manoach PRESNA
Program Manager
Tel: 509 3746-7196 / 3396-1778