The Minister of Education announced that it is now the official policy of the government that all grades from first to last will be taught in the mother tongue, Kreyol. This is significant because INCE Haiti has been pushing for such a declaration from the Ministry for a long time. The declaration comes at the launch of our pilot Mother Tongue Based Bilingual Education (MTBBE) project which is to begin with grade one in 12 schools within our network of 400 schools.
Kreyol based education
The highlight of the year for INCE Haiti was that we were able to complete the first training for our MTBBE Pilot. With our partner, L’universite Chretien du Nord Haiti, (UCNH), and Parole et Action (P&A), as well as Mission Baptist Haiti (MBH) we trained 14 teachers, 12 principals, and 3 trainer trainers on the usage of new Kreyol based educational materials, how to supervise classrooms, how to monitor teacher performances, and on parental engagement. We managed this all while the country was going through a gas shortage, gangs limited any sort of travel outside of port au prince, and constant popular protest were taking place against the high cost of living.
Rising violence in the streets
At the moment, life in Haiti is challenging. People are feeling more unsafe and insecure every day. Gangs are still conducting kidnappings to finance their purchases of illegal arms and to control the streets of Port Au Prince. It appears that the national police force in particular, and the government in general, cannot find a solution to dealing with the rising violence in the streets. The gangs occupy all the strategic points to enter and leave Port Au Prince. This means that with the proper coordination, they can suppress the life out of the country’s capital.
As of September, the inflation rate is estimated to be at 50%. The situation is getting worse every day for families trying to feed their families. To make matters worse, the government has decided to discontinue subsidizing petroleum-based products. The result of this decision is an immediate increase of 148% in the price of gasoline. Gas is one of the products that have a direct relationship to the cost of goods, so we expect the inflation rate to rise much higher. The government is also proposing an increase in minimum wage which will also further escalate the high cost of living.
We are already seeing the effects of these changes and the stress on the population with the rise of staple products such as rice, sugar, flour, and beans which have effectively doubled in the past year. So much so, that the country was on lockdown “peyi lock” for 10 days when many businesses were burned and pillaged.
Despite challenging circumstances, the INCE Haiti team is doing everything it can to move forward with our MTBBE pilot. With the strong commitment and hard work of all team members, we are optimistic about our program and hopeful for the future.