All school systems across the globe have their own strengths, while also facing distinct challenges. We may be accustomed to the school systems we have here in the U.S., but those in Haiti are unique and run quite differently.
Here are a few ways that schools in Haiti differ from those in the United States:
Schools in Haiti are Privately Run
Unlike many schools in the United States, most schools in Haiti are privately owned and run. This means that schools rely heavily on tuition and fees to cover costs due to very little (if any) public funding. Because of this, many families cannot afford to send their children to school, choosing to forego education in order to cut expenses.
Location Largely Affects Your Opportunity for Schooling in Haiti
Although around half of Haitians live in rural communities, most schools are located in urban areas. Enrollment rates are improving across the country, but Port-Au-Prince, the capital and most densely-populated city in Haiti, continues to have much higher enrollment rates than the rest of the country.
Electricity and Running Water Are Not A Given
Around 75% of schools in Haiti do not have electricity, and 59% have no water. Instead, schools rely on chalkboards and books, and outhouses are often used.
If you decide to visit Haiti, we’re sure you can find other ways in which the schools are different than just what we’ve listed here.
Haiti is a country where most of its citizens—around 80%—live in poverty. Many families cannot afford to send their children to school and, what’s worse, many of them are forced to send their children to work in restavek. Restavek is a form of modern day child slavery that affects over 300,000 children in Haiti. Many of these children will grow up without an education and without the hope of a future because they feel stuck in their situation.
By making education more accessible to all children in Haiti, we can help open up opportunities for them that don’t include child slavery.
We are passionate about helping children in slavery and, more specifically, putting an end to the restavek system in our lifetime.