January 24, International Education Day: the “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation advocates an inclusive education system in Haiti
The date of January 24 is the date chosen by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate International Education Day since 2018. This day highlights the essential role of education in construction for peace and development. However, despite this laudable initiative taken by this international body, making it possible to promote the education of boys and girls throughout the world, education is far from being a priority for the authorities in Haiti. Thus, the theme chosen for this year is: “invest in people, make education a priority”. The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation, a collective defending the rights of deprived children, calls on the Haitian authorities on the need to create a conducive, serene climate and to truly invest in the education of children.
For many years, the Haitian education system has faced a set of problems which are the result of an ineffective educational policy. Such a situation creates exclusion and inequity blocking the socio-psychological development of children from families in social categories with low income. In addition, the absence of qualified teachers, the unsafe school environment, and the inaccessibility of children to education are all factors that weaken the Haitian education system. Furthermore, the proliferation of armed groups in many regions of the country is not without consequences on the education system. These acts of violence have pushed many children out of schools. In addition, some establishments in these areas have had to close their doors. The phenomenon of kidnapping and socio-political unrest, in turn, have a considerable impact on the number of school days planned by the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training (MENFP).
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as of May 5, 2022, 500,000 children have lost access to education due to gang-related violence in Haiti. Nearly 1,700 schools are currently closed in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, while clashes between rival gangs have broken out since the end of April 2022. Despite symposia, forums on the Haitian education system, demonstrations organized by civil society organizations, education in Haiti remains a real burden for the Haitian state. With the concordat of 1860, signed between Haiti and the Holy See where the State left its original obligations to the religious and private sectors in matters of education.
The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation invites the MENFP authorities to take charge of the education of the population, in order to train real citizens, and so that school is not an economic gain, a social injustice, but rather a public service.
Done in Port-au-Prince, January 24, 2023
Joseph Richard FORTUNE
Communications and Advocacy Manager
+509 3187-73 63 / 3387-06 88