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Haiti Goes Back to School, 2016-17 Begins

Valéry Bennett

National Palace Correspondent

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ( – Determined parents made with decreasing means to ensure their children be present for the first day of classes, Monday for the beginning of the 2016 to 2017 school year.

The social situation was more calm than in the years following the earthquake. Even with elections scheduled there still is a wind of political uncertainty.

The Ministry of National Education and Professional Formation (MENFP) announced some programs to help parents through the pressure of the time of the year. In a note:

  • The grant program and staffing of textbooks is running. The books are available in several outlets for certain suppliers;
  • School feeding services will be available in different schools from the first days of class with emphasis on the quality of services and the use of local products;
  • School buses will also be available in different circuits to facilitate the transport of children;
  • Availability of funds have been made available to pay the schools involved in the Universal Schooling Program Free and Compulsory (PSUGO). Once verified by the inspectors of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, these schools will be paid;
  • Teachers appointed position will gradually start receiving their due before the end of September.

The President of the Republic, His Excellency, Jocelerme Privert had a message to parents, students, school principals and teachers on the occasion of the reentry to classes:

Dear parents, school principals, inspectors, teachers, unions, students and pupils, Haitian People!

On the threshold of the new school year 2016 – 2017, I want to send a message of solidarity, support and congratulations. Companies are only as good their schools! Education remains the only safe path to progress and the only launching pad to social mobility. It is education that allows citizens and citizens to gain respect, to be useful to themselves and their families and to occupy a prominent place in their communities and in society. Thus, I invite all players in the chain of education to work with all seriousness, dedication and determination that the nation knows you, to ensure that return and successful school year.

Dear parents, teachers, principals, unions,

The Administration that I head is facing many challenges. One of them is to hold fair elections, credible and transparent, to give the country legitimately elected authorities. This is the essence of my mandate and I brace myself every day. In doing so, I do not lose sight of other national priorities, including education. Thus, with the Prime Minister, all members of the government and especially the Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, we have carefully prepared the return and made all the arrangements to ease the burden of parents, in these times of great economic difficulty. Do not drop our guard. You are the architects and guardians of Haiti tomorrow, it concerns us to build together and to bequeath to our children. We have, in this sense, no other choice but to join forces and work together for a more just society through universal education, responsibility and quality.

Manman ak papa pitit,

Pandan nap mobilize tout resous nou pou nou reponn a misyon esensyèl nou ki se fè eleksyon pou peyi a rive jwen estabilite’l, e pran wout devlopman ak travay, nou vle pwofite nan okazyon rantre lekòl ane sa a, pou nou salye tout aktè ak tout ajan edikatif yo pou angajman yo ak kolaborasyon yo ki pèmèt rantre lekòl la rive posib nan dat 5 septanm nan. Mwen konnen sa pafasil ak gwo difikilte ekonomik pou fanmi yo. Men mwen konnen tou pagen sakrifis ki enposib pou edikasyon timoun yo, pou pèmèt yo ale lekòl e rive itil tèt yo demen. Nan sans sa a, Mwen vle salye espesyalman tout paran alawonnbadè kipa janm sispann goumen pou pitit yo rive al lekòl e pèmèt yo reyalize rèv yo. Chapoba pou nou ! Mèsi anpil pou tout lòt Manman ak papa k ap mete men pou ouvè pòt lekòl pou pitit yo e ede yo vanse pi devan. Gouvènman an, bokote pal, ap kontinye bay bourad pou soulaje manman ak papa pitit pou rantre lekòl la menm si pagen anpil mwayen. Minis edukasyon ap bay popilasyon tout enfomasyon sou jefo sa yo. Moman an difisil se vre, men se men nan men nap rive chanje sa, chak sitwayen dwe pote kontribisyon pal pou nou rive chanje eskanp figi edikasyon an nan peyi a.

Dear Compatriots,

The school year opens unquestionably an exceptional period in which the state support must address the way the clearest possible for the most needy relatives despite the harsh political and economic realities of the country. However, despite our limited means, true to our commitment to serve you with respect and dignity while safeguarding your confidence in the future, we decided to make strategic choices and priorities. After several meetings related to prérentrée I spent formal instructions to all ministries and all state bodies concerned to work together in synergy to fulfill their missions in the most efficient manner and as efficiently as possible for the benefit of all students, all students and all students in the country.

Dear teachers, dear teachers,

You are the pillars of the education system, you are the controllers of education that accompany our children on the path of knowledge. The Government has, once again, on your daily support to guide our youth in classroom and contribute to the revitalization of the education sector. We know and understand the difficulties faced by your industry and we are committed to move toward their final resolutions.

Dear principals,

You have a key role to play in improving the academic performance of your institution. I count on you to assume full responsibility for boosting your and your excellent school in the Haitian school.

Dear inspectors,

I count on your dedication and commitment to the cause of education for a successful mission to provide a quality school accessible to all and to all. Thank you to continue to give the best of yourselves despite difficult working conditions on the ground.

Dear students,

Be on the expectations of your parents and your teachers by leveraging every minute of your time. Learn, listen, read, do research, be attentive and applied. You have your future in your hands. We are in a globalized world and very competitive. Only the best can take their game and be successful. I urge you to be the best! To all stakeholders and partners of the education sector, I renew the Executive’s commitment to continue efforts to continuous improvement of public education services as well as the actions taken to reform the sector. An n mete men pou yon lòt kalite lekòl nan enterè timoun nou yo e nan enterè péyi-a.

Welcome back everyone!

Port-au-Prince, Friday, September 2, 2016

His Excellency Jocelerme Privert
President of the Republic of Haiti

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About The Author

Valéry Bennett is a graduate student of Digital Publishing at ESCP, Paris. He is of Haitian descent and participates in the biennial mission trip with his church.