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Project September 20, 2010

Rebuilding Haiti's Education System from the Ground Up


Media file: Haiti_Earthquake_Education_Reform.jpg
Many Haitian children living in tent cities such as Canaan will never get the opportunity to receive even a basic education. Canaan, which is located just north of Port-au-Prince, is home to more than 30,000 refugees from the January earthquake. Aside from a small set of road-side stores in the camp center, there is hardly any infrastructure to support Canaan's residents. Image by Paul Franz. Haiti, 2010.

As Haiti continues its recovery from the January earthquake, reconstruction in the country takes many forms. With a literacy rate of about 50 percent, Haiti's education system has struggled to provide for its youth, especially those living in rural areas. The disaster only exacerbated the pervasive institutional problems faced by the country's few reforming educators.

Over the past two decades, the Haitian government has struggled to provide its youth with an adequate education. With an average literacy rate of about 50 percent, Haiti faces severe shortages in educational supplies and qualified teachers. Although private and church-run schools educate 90 percent of the country's students, the quality of education is often poor or unavailable to the majority of Haiti's rural population.

This reporting project uses the Clinton Global Initiative's (CGI) five global challenge areas as a framework to personalize Haiti's education reform efforts. It attempts to bring Haitian voices into a global conversation about education reform in developing countries and to put a human face on these efforts.

CGI reports that more than 200 million children around the world will not have a chance to begin a secondary education this year. In Haiti alone, only 20 percent of eligible-age children are enrolled in secondary schools.

In addition to visual profiles of some of Haiti's most prominent education reformers working outside of the government with non-governmental organizations and charities, this project will tell the personal stories of Haitian students and teachers, who mostly still live in makeshift tent cities in and around the country's capital of Port-au-Prince.

Using digital story-telling tools, "Rebuilding Haiti's Education System from the Ground Up" will be featured on a multimedia Web site that will host these different videos, as well as provide social networking tools to maximize the impact and public reach of the project.

To learn more, visit YouTube Project Report winner Paul Franz's website, Haiti's Lost Children: Education Reform After the Earthquake.

Paul Franz is one of the five winners of the 2010 YouTube Pulitzer Center Project Report contest. Learn more.