TVM Sector Perspective
How Sector Activities Impact People, Place, Planet and Profit
Chapter 12 - Education
Education is, more than anything else, the investment that will facilitate a successful future. Education is a prerequisite for jobs and opportunities and to be able to have valuable lives. The value of education is not a “certificate” but the training of body and mind so that a person can do valuable things. Education needs to move from basic to higher levels where a person is not only challenged academically, but also is prepared for a productive life. Accordingly there needs to be not only primary, secondary and tertiary education, but also vocational and professional eduction.
Education does not need to be done in traditional or old-fashioned ways, but in any way that works and is cost effective, including using electronic resources of various sorts. In the future, the education sector is likely to include activities related to the use of Internet resources.
Some appropriate goals of an education policy in Haiti might be the following. No specific goals have been included here. Thus:
- Expand primary education
- Address priority needs in secondary, technical and vocational education
- Improve quality and equitable distribution
- Extend new curriculum to all levels,
- Increase the number of certified primary teachers
- Lower textbook ratio
- Achieve more efficient use of teachers,
- Raise female participation
- Increase the proportion of female teachers
- Rehabilitate all schools damaged by wartime activities
Haiti has some areas that are under-served regions. The literacy rate in Haiti is very variable depending on the place. In the main urban centers literacy is around 80%, while in remote rural areas it is more likely to be 20%. Literacy among women is 50% of the literacy rate for men.
Curriculum and text books
Haiti has a well developed curriculum of education. A laudable effort has been made to revise the curriculum and prepare textbooks and teaching materials. A lot remains to be done to improve the curriculum and the teaching materials.
Textbooks are also needed for the schools and training centers. The program will support the preparation and the purchase of textbooks for schools and training centers.
The number of teachers in secondary schools in particular is less than optimum. The proportion of female teachers in primary school is low and there are almost no female teachers in secondary schools. New teachers need to be found, and most important, new teachers need to be trained. Haiti needs capacity to teach teachers. The teaching of teachers is needed for primary grades and secondary grades, but also for skills training and the non-formal basic education initiative.
Planning and management
Planning and management capacity at every level is very weak. The decentralization process implies that a lot more is expected from regional and local government. There are a lot of vacant posts in the regional education bureau and almost all the zonal offices are a one man offices. Most people in responsible position at all levels lack the required qualification and experience.
Women and girls
The situation of women and girls in education in the area should be addressed by the program in a practical way. There are ways in which women can expand on skills they already have to become of very much more value to themselves and to the community. Health skills training, for example, already known at an artisanal level can be upgraded so that health skills can be used for the benefit of the community at large. Informal, but nevertheless real, knowledge can be mobilized so that it forms the basis for teaching in the non-formal educational environment.
Skills training for mature adults is critical for the growth of the economy and to enable unskilled mature adults to participate in the opportunities of wage employment. The skills training that is needed ranges from the very basic to quite advanced, from how to be a laborer to doing repair work on computers. People need to have an opportunity to learn skills so that they can make the best of their capabilities.
Skills training is needed for all, young and old, male and female. There is, however, and important need to address the skills training of young adults, many of whom have lost many years of education and are now uneducated, unskilled, unemployed and potentially a source of future difficulties.
Employment or jobs
Jobs is not really a sector or sub-sector ... but employment and jobs are very important. The effort to creating self-employment opportunities that require a lot of labor for very little return needs to be supplemented by much more effort to make it possible for small employers to become bigger employers, and for employees to self-improve so that they can do bigger and better paying work. The jobs that are created need to be profitable, that is value adding, in order to be sustainable. Where the value is social, as in health and education, there also needs to be jobs in productive sectors that generate the cash flows to pay all the wages.