INCE Haiti continues to defy all odds and has made significant progress toward improving the quality of education in Haiti. We have been working diligently to introduce a Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual Education (MTBBE) project which consists of a home-based learning program, a teacher training initiative, and community advocacy within our network of 365 schools. Given the present situation of the country, it has taken a herculean effort by all our partners to bring us to the point of implementation.
Political instability is not something that the Haitian people are unaccustomed to. However, the assassination of our President Jovenel Moise in his home on July 7, 2021, has re-defined politics and has set the country on a new course that no one knows where it will lead to.
The absence of government has emboldened the already powerful gangs and they operate freely with impunity. The whole country is literally held hostage with fear because of street violence and constant kidnapping at the rate of more than 5 people per day. Although it seems that we are operating from a vacuum from a governmental perspective, the Ministry of Education took a huge step toward improving learning in the country. The Ministry announced that at the beginning of the school year 2022, they will only subsidize school books that are written and printed in the mother tongue, Haitian Creole. This is a major decision, one that we had hoped that the Ministry undertook for many years, and one that legitimizes our efforts.
Bringing quality education to Haiti
We had several impactful successes in meeting our overall objective of bringing quality education to Haiti. Our partner, UCNH, began the renovation of our new Knowledge and Training Center. The Center will conduct research and develop new learning and training materials that address a dire need for the nation’s new commitment to a MTBBE learning objective.
Home-Based Learning Program
Partners Parole et Action and Mission Baptist Haiti, our implementing partners, have developed, tested, and gathered feedback on a very simplistic, but comprehensive Home-Based Learning Program that ensures the children follow the national school curriculum but also addresses many of the problems that schools in the rural areas are facing when it comes to Home-Based Learning. Developing a Home-Based Learning program is paramount for Haitian society where there are constant interruptions in the school year. Many Home-Based Learning Programs are internet-driven and call for electricity and internet, things that are not readily available in the rural provinces. However, our partners were able to develop a system that relied on printing the materials and delivering them to the schools with the use of local coordinators. The system is a huge success and we are able to reach the poorest of the poor in the most rural areas of the country.
Meeting in the Dominican Republic
It is customary for us to convene in Haiti every year to discuss strategy, vision, and whats ahead for the new fiscal year. However, violence and political unrest forced us to hold our convention in the neighboring country of the Dominican Republic. We had a very productive meeting where we covered topics such as the MTBBE project pilot, Advocacy, our mission, and our vision for the upcoming year. Participating partners were Woord En Daad, INCE Haiti, Parole et Action, and Universite Chretien Du Nord Haiti. Although we wished to be in Haiti, we nonetheless accomplished all our objectives and enjoyed the great weather as well.