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Haiti - Education : Only 50% of children attend school
15/04/2011 17:03:00

Haiti - Education : Only 50% of children attend school
The reconstruction of schools damaged or destroyed remains a priority for UNICEF. Since the earthquake of January 2010, UNICEF has constructed 110 semi-permanent schools in the capital Port-au-Prince. UNICEF is also preparing to rebuild 37 schools in the city. "We also focus our efforts to build schools in the various departments of the country and we will start with the construction of 28 schools within one or two weeks," said Ginette Mathurin, engineer of UNICEF. Each school costs an average of 175.000 dollars and takes about three weeks to build. UNICEF hopes that 200 semi-permanent schools across the country will be built by end June 2011.

"About 80% of the Haitian population is illiterate, and only 50% of children of school age go to school," declared Ms. Mathurin "We must continue to invest heavily in the construction of schools, so that at least, these 50% can continue to go to school and obtain the education that Haiti will need to build a better future."

Sr. Norelus, Director of one of the educational centers built by UNICEF says "We want that our children to learn here, and give them the attention that they often lack at home [...] One of the difficulty is that most schools are private and they receive only few or no public funding. Schools should be free and there should be one in each neighborhood" she said.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Education of Haiti, UNICEF is exploring strategies to implement a free education system for children in Haiti. The right to education is vital for all children. Not only the school allows children to escape the often harsh living conditions, but also contributes to achieving stability in the lives of children, to enhance self-esteem and their ability to guide their own future.

See also :
http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-1214-haiti-reconstruction-unicef-builds-200-schools.html

HL/ HaitiLibre

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