Haiti’s school system has major flaws, which is why only around three-fifths of the adult population is literate. In many places outside the cities there are no schools and children often stay at home when the six-year-old school starts at the age of six.
The devastating earthquake in 2010 broke a large part of the already inadequate school system. Thousands of students, teachers and other school staff were killed and over 4,000 school buildings were demolished. A large part of the country’s school system was closed for up to a year after the disaster. New natural disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew 2016, have diluted the problems.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Haiti, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Only two children out of three were enrolled in elementary school in the early 2000s, which was still more than ten years earlier. According to a report that, among other things, the World Bank was behind 2014, the proportion of children starting school then increased to 90 percent, a significant improvement.
But only two-thirds of students complete the six formally compulsory years. Many are taken out of school by parents for financial reasons; the education itself is free of charge but school uniforms and teaching materials must be paid. Around every third child in one year of age begins the three-year high school, where different school fees are higher than in the compulsory school, and even fewer attend the three-year high school.
The low standards of state schools mean that almost 90 percent of students and students attend schools run by church communities or other private organizations. But even these often lack a qualified teacher. From 2006, Haiti has received extensive foreign aid for, among other things, teacher education and free school food for the many tens of thousands of students who often do not get a proper meal during the rest of the day. The reform has led to more children choosing to go to school.
Higher education is given at the State Université d’Etat d’Haïti and some private colleges and universities, most of which are run with foreign aid.
- Topmbadirectory: Offers information about politics, geography, and known people in Haiti.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
57.3 percent (1997)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
48.7 percent (2006)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
13.1 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
13.1 percent (2016)
The Prime Minister resigns
Just a week after the Commission proposal, Lamothe announces his departure. The protests that have been going on for a long time continue despite the message. Protesters demanding that Martelly also leave his post again clash with police in Port-au-Prince.
The Commission proposes a unifying government
A commission set up to try to break the deadlock around the electoral law concludes that Prime Minister Lamothe should resign, as will the head of the country’s highest court and the electoral commission. The Commission includes prominent representatives of the Church, business, politics and the trade union movement. They advocate that Prime Minister Lamothe resigns to pave the way for a unifying government. Furthermore, they recommend that a number of “political prisoners” be released. But the Commission has no comment on what will happen when Parliament’s term expires on January 12, 2015 and the country stands without government. Both the UN and the US commend the Commission’s work. The United States has been actively working to try to break the deadlock in Haiti.
Continued political crisis
Martelly announces that he has set up a presidential commission to try to deal with the deeper political crisis. On the same day, another in the line of demonstrations with demands for the president’s departure is held. The opposition protests both against the postponement of the election again and again, and against what is perceived as increasing harassment by government opponents. Several opposition leaders have been arrested in connection with demonstrations and have been detained for a few weeks.
Baby Doc dies
Executor Jean-Claude Duvalier dies in a heart attack in Port-au-Prince, 63 years old. Some attempts have been made to bring him to trial for crimes against humanity during his presidency (1971–1986), without success (see also Modern History and January 2011).
“Impossible” holding choices
The Election Council announces that it is “impossible” to hold elections as planned in October (see March 2014). Martelly promises a little later in a speech in the UN General Assembly that elections should be held “as soon as possible”, but does not specify a date.
Arrest warrant against Aristide
The order for the ex-president to be arrested comes after he has failed to stand in court. Aristide is suspected of money laundering, corruption and drug trafficking. But supporters, who claim the prosecution is politically motivated, travel barricades outside his residence to prevent him from being arrested. They throw stones at UN soldiers who may put in smoke grenades and an armored vehicle to recover another vehicle.
The UN chief visits
Ban Ki-Moon promises to try to get the outside world to contribute $ 2.2 billion to fight the cholera epidemic. Over 8,500 have now died in the disease and 700,000 have fallen ill. Three different cases against the UN are ongoing.
New demonstrations demanding Martelli’s departure
Police deploy tear gas to thousands demonstrating in Port-au-Prince and demanding the president resign. The protests have increased against the government, due to rising living costs and widespread corruption.
Renovation in the government
As a result of the El Rancho agreement (see March 2014), almost half of the 22 ministers are replaced, including the Foreign, Home Affairs, Education and Defense Minister. The Minister of Finance who resigned in April 2013 will return to the post.
Political settlement should resolve deadlock
The “El Rancho Agreement”, which is so named after the hotel where it is signed, represents a breakthrough and relates to governance, constitution and elections. The settlement means an election date is set in October, to add the ten empty Senate seats and a number of entries in the municipalities (see April 2013 and December 2013). At the same time, ordinary elections shall be held for a further ten Senate seats and all 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Furthermore, a commission will be set up with representatives of the executive (president and government), the legislative (parliament) and leaders of the political parties and other observer groups, with the task of reviewing the constitution.