The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to give US$24 million to Haiti to improve the quality of education and provide access to free basic education to all children.
This is the fourth installment of funds that the bank has donated to help the impoverished Caribbean country after the 2010 earthquake destroyed more than 4,000 schools and threw thousands of students out of the educational system.
Over the past four years, Haiti has succeeded in increasing access to education at all levels, and today 88% of all children aged six to 12 are enrolled in school, compared to just 50% in 2006.
However, the bank says many challenges remain in terms of quality and access to education. For example, only one in four students pass the 12th grade exam, showing the deficiencies of the educational system.
The IDB donation will go toward replacing five public schools, which will benefit more than 4,000 children from preschool to ninth grade, and will finance the enrollments of approximately 32,000 children in private schools.
Part of the funds will go toward the training and accreditation of primary school teachers and the training of preschool teachers. They will also finance the development of a pilot effort to implement a new Early Childhood Development Program in 150 preschool centers.
According to Unicef, enrolling students living in camps set up after the quake has remained a challenge.
In September, the country’s Education Ministry launched mobile clinics to provide preventive and curative health care to schoolchildren, most of whom are suffering from the side effects of malnutrition.