Children born into extreme poverty are the least likely to get an education. Children without access to education are the most likely to live in extreme poverty as adults. It becomes a vicious cycle of poverty, but it can be broken.
Education is a basic human right and key component of breaking the cycle of poverty. Only half of school-aged children in Haiti attend school. Lack of schools, high tuition rates and socio-economic constraints severely limit school enrollment. Although Haitian law supports a free education for everyone, well over 80% of schools in Haiti rely on tuition and enrollment fees to run their programs. Children cannot go to school if their parents cannot afford the fees. With 78% of the population living on less than $2 a day and 54% living on less than $1 a day, even low school fees are difficult to pay.
Not All Education is Equal Attending school does not guarantee a quality education. A high-quality education gives children the skills to grow into productive members of their communities and is essential for social and economic development of a country. Schools in Haiti are often overcrowded and generally do not have the resources to provide a good education. Overcrowded classrooms, untrained teachers and lack of supplies make it difficult to learn. Generation at Risk In recent years, the Haitian government has made significant gains in improving schools. However, capacity building, program development and large scale teacher training take years to implement. While the government works to improve the education system, a generation of students is at risk of missing the opportunity to attend school, leaving them without the skills needed to succeed in the labor force.
The Desire for Education While the opportunity to attend school may be limited, the desire for education is strong. Parents want the best for the children, but when there is only enough money to provide basic needs for your family or pay a child’s tuition, parents have little choice. Every year our registration list exceeds the available seats we have in a classroom. The desire is there, they just need the opportunity.
There will be change. By empowering leaders in Haiti and educating children, long term,sustainable change will come.