Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Schools In Haiti Reopen, Signaling Small Return To Normalcy

By Ayinde O. Chase -, AHN News Editor
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AHN) – In a step to return some semblance of normalcy to Haiti’s children, schools reopened Monday on the earthquake-ravaged island. School districts across the country scrambled to meet the deadline announced last week by the ministry of education.

Since the Jan. 12 quake, students have been out of school and for many that meant idle time in tent cities or in damaged homes. Many of the island’s residents lost everything.

The first day of school for students included ample time to talk about the tragedies lived through. Teachers and administrators were mandated by the ministry to have curriculum centered around the earthquake for the next two weeks.

Teachers will not only talk about quakes and aftershocks, but, should one strike again, what to do.

However, not all schools were able to reopen. Since the quake and subsequent reconstruction process, building and construction supplies have been in short supply.

On Monday, neither government nor international officials could say for sure how many classrooms had opened. But officials and humanitarian groups agree that it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

Haiti’s devastated infrastructure, creating new jobs and placing the country on the path to sustainable development, is where $9.9 billion of international donor money pledged last week will be focused. The announcement was made by donor conference co-hosts United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinto.

The January quake killed at least 217,000 people and left another 1.5 million homeless.

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