On September 5th, public schools in Haiti opened up their doors to the new school year, and with a new school year comes the renewed opportunity to tackle educational gaps and challenges.
Haiti’s education system deficiencies have been magnified by past international and national assessments results that showed how almost half of primary school students are not able read or write in French nor Creole by grade 2. In response to this alerting information, on November 5th of 2014, the Haitian government adopted the National Cause: Reading, Writing and Math (CNLEM). The National Cause is a nationwide platform to advance the aforementioned skills in basic education through focalized and standardized efforts. As a way to bring back national awareness to the National Cause, the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a Back-to-School Conference on the importance of reading, writing, and math in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien, Haiti.
SSG Advisors led the technical implementation and logistical coordination of these events, bringing together close to 200 participants per location. The event mobilized MENFP local and regional staff, as well as representatives of national and international partnering organizations committed to improve basic education in Haiti.
Conferences were divided into two main sections: presentations and discussion. The first part of the conference was structured with two key sessions covering the National Cause and the importance of literacy, numeracy, and mother tongue instruction, with national presenters such as the MENFP Director General-Mr. Louis Mary Cador and Matenwa non-profit, community leader Abnel Sauveur, and international presenters such as Dr. Josefina Vijil, Dr. Rosangela Bando, and Christine Low. Followed by the presentations were the small group breakout sessions to discuss personal and organizational resolutions to drive the National Cause for improving reading, writing, and math. This last part was highly appreciated by participants, as it not only offered them a space to voice their thoughts and learn from others, but it offered them the opportunity for their inputs to directly feed this national movement.
SSG Advisors is happy to see how the multi-stakeholder, collaborative nature of these efforts within the education sector remained true throughout the execution of these events and beyond. We look forward to learning about the shared advancements to achieve higher quality education in Haiti under the National Cause umbrella in the upcoming years.
By Andrea Alcala