Tag: Mycala

Some Haitian schools in worst quakehit areas to reopen by 31 March

12 February 2010Despite only a handful of schools being open in the Haitian capital and outlying areas, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with the Haitian Government on a new deadline by which classes in the areas worst affected by last month’s earthquake will resume by the end of next month. Despite only a handful of schools being open in the Haitian capital and outlying areas, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with the Haitian Government on a new deadline by which classes in the areas worst affected by last month’s earthquake will resume by the end of next month. “Some of the schools in non-affected areas are now open, others in affected areas for sure will be open by then and we will do an accelerated learning programme so they do not lose the school year. This will be challenging in terms of coordination but everyone is on board and in support of the Ministry to meet this deadline,” Roshan Khadivi, UNICEF’s Spokesperson in Port-au-Prince told the UN News Centre. According the UN, only 10 per cent of the schools in the capital, Port-au-Prince, were functional as of 1 February and about 40 per cent in the southern port city of Jacmel and other localities. “We can’t afford to waste a school year. Even if our buildings are destroyed, we can set up tents so the children who are still alive can come back to school to learn,” Louis Montespoir, Director of the Daniel Fignole School, told UNIFEED.Working with the Haitian Ministry of Education, UNICEF and other partners plan to set up tents for immediate use as classrooms until the rainy and hurricane seasons start in the spring. By then, UNICEF says it hopes to have temporary learning spaces which can be used for a year or two until the schools are rebuilt.In addition to identifying space, UNICEF and the Ministry are working to identify and quickly train teaching personnel. New teachers will have to overcome not only the difficulties of working in a tent, but also of working with students who are afraid of being in a classroom again.”What about the students who didn’t die, like me? How are they going to find the strength to go on? There are some kids who are the only ones left in their entire family. How are kids like that going to find the will to come back to school at all?” Fedler Saint Croix, a former grade school student at Daniel Fignole School, told UNIFEED.In addition to children, university officials and students who hoped for a better life have had their education and future employment cut short. The University of Port-au-Prince mourned 150 students who lost their lives in last month’s earthquake.”If the university had to reopen it would be a struggle for me to go back. I haven’t only lost comrades, but also teachers and my father,” said Jean Rene Destin, a student interviewed by UNIFEED.Meanwhile, some school officials want to look ahead and try to maintain a sense of normalcy.”We need to find any means of reopening the university. And this should be handled seriously. Half-term exams are ahead of us,” said Serge Luc Bernard, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the University of Port-au-Prince. To assist with the financial aspects of getting students back to school, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last week launched a public appeal for donations to help re-establish the country’s educational system. read more