Despite the need and want for quality education, Haiti suffers from a variety of issues in its education sectors, most importantly poor schooling infrastructure. The construction of schools is vital way of encouraging children in Haiti to go to school to get the education they need.
“I love this school! It is so nice!” Menderlie, 14, exclaims pure joy.
The newly constructed school is a result of a partnership between Digicel Foundation and World Vision Haiti. It replaced an older institution that stood in the same place. The conditions of the previous school were deplorable. In fact, some of the teachers and students started to leave the institution as a result of the unpleasant conditions.
“The previous facility was not good," remembers Ancilove, 15. "When it rained, it would leak, animals would come into the school because it wasn’t fenced and people would walk in to wash their clothes and bathe. It really wasn’t good,” she says, sighing as she describes the disheartening conditions of her old school.
Unfortunately, poor infrastructure is a reality for many schools in Haiti. The situation was exacerbated by the destricution of many educational institutions during the 2010 earthquake.
This new school is a positive step towards improving school conditions in Haiti. When it is finished, the school will have 11 classrooms. To date, only eight of them are operational. As a result, the school takes in students from 1st grade to 8th grade. There are 472 students in attendance. In addition to finishing up the rest of the classrooms, there are also plans to a library.
In addition to this institution, World Vision has built three other schools in the Central Plateau and North of Haiti through it's partnership with the Digicel Foundation.
“Digicel has a wonderful culture of funding and sponsoring a variety of development projects in Haiti," says Vales Kela, World Vision Haiti's Education Advisor.
Sofia Stranski, Digicel Foundation Director said school infrastructure continues to be a serious problem but also noted that her organization is happy to continue to partner with World Vision to ensure that children have proper environments in which to learn. “We specifically build large, structurally beautiful schools to show what the Ministry of Education could accomplish if they tried harder,” Kela adds.
“The school is beautiful and modern," says Menderlie. "Everything in this school is better, the teachers are more patient, more understanding and the learning environment is better here,” she adds, sitting at her new desk.
In Haiti, while many children still remain out of school, enrollment rates have steadily increased over the years. This rise can be contributed to a number of factors, but ultimately, Haitian children deeply value education.
“I love learning. I come to school so that I can be better in life. I must go to school!” says Edmond, 8, a student of the new school.