Haitians Cooperate to Give Children Access to Free Education
Monday, October 3rd, 2011 was the first day of school in Haiti and the official launch of a plan to give all of Haiti's children access to a free education (up to the 6th grade by 2015 and up to the 9th grade by 2020). The plan calls for students to be educated in private schools which will be publicly funded. Participating schools that offer free tuition, adopt a national curriculum, and submit their students to annual testing, will receive state funds, certification, and training for their teachers. The ambitious 10-year-plan was initiated by the Preval administration in May 2010, to be financed by a 500 million dollar loan (50 million a year for the next 10 years) from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB.) The Martelly administration is proceeding with the plan, and has initiated a National Fund for Education that collects revenues for education from taxes on phone calls and wire transfers ($1.50 per transfer) made by the Diaspora. This education plan is a unique effort on the part of the stakeholders in Haiti and on the part of the Haitian Diaspora to collaborate to help Haiti rebuild its educational system and educate every child after the devastating earthquake of January 2010.
Update as of November 1, 2011: Unfortunately, the money that is being collected by the Martelly administration is not subject to any governmental oversight. There is no website or governmental site to follow how much is being collected and to whom the money is being disbursed. As a result of the lack of transparence, a report has come out from a leading newspaper (Le Matin) claiming that 26 million of about 30 million collected since the inauguration of Martelly has mysteriously dissappeared. http://www.lematinhaiti.com/contenu.php?idtexte=26791&idtypetexte