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Haiti - Education : Collaboration between the Haitian and international scientists
16/09/2011 13:31:45

Haiti - Education : Collaboration between the Haitian and international scientists
According to a new report from the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) written in collaboration with Haitian scientists and international educators, Haiti and the global community should work together to build a robust science sector that can help the nation recover from January 12, 2010, support future development, and improve the lives of Haiti's people. "The task of increasing science capacity must be integrated into the full range of local, regional, and national efforts to rebuild Haiti"

The report, "Science for Haiti" offers a set of strategic goals for increasing science capacity and urges collaboration between Haitian scientists, the international science community, donor and aid organizations, and other partners to achieve them. Taken together, the goals would cultivate scientific expertise in areas that support Haiti's sustainable development, rebuild and strengthen Haitian science education, and increase the nation's ties to the international science and engineering community.

"Science for Haiti" will be a central topic as the report's authors meet in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince 19-20 September with representatives of the nation's scientific community, universities and high schools, and private sector. On 20 October, AAAS will host a meeting of U.S. organizations interested in advancing Haitian science and science education capacity in Washington, D.C.

The project is founded on a key principle: Haitians must chart their own future and their own goals for science, while the international science community must provide collaborative partnerships and other support.

"Haiti needs to integrate science into the process of reconstruction and renewal,” said Fritz Deshommes, vice rector of research at l’Université d’État d’Haiti. “This report will help build the scientific community in Haiti and strengthen bonds with the regional and global scientific community."

Science for Haiti "is an important, ambitious document," said Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of the journal Science. "The authors have recognized that science, engineering, and education are crucial to the future of Haiti.... Through this collaboration, they have developed a road-map for building Haiti’s prosperity and improving the lives of its people."

Among the specific proposals for achieving those goals:

  • Set national policies to build science capacity as an "integral element of social and economic development";
  • Develop science education at every level, while training and hiring more teachers and improving curriculum and textbooks to support that effort;
  • Promote more working engagement between Haitian scientists and their international peers through research programs in key disciplines and a program that identifies opportunities for collaboration.

"Science for Haiti reflects the resilience of the Haitian people and their strong desire for science and science education as a pathway towards sustainable development, even under the most challenging circumstances," said Colón, President of the AAAS Caribbean Division.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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