“PSUGO – A victory for students!” banners and posters all over the capital and provincial cities proclaim. Photos show smiling, handsome students in clean uniforms. The Program for Universal Free and Obligatory Education (Programme de scolarisation universelle gratuite et obligatoire – PSUGO) seeks to educate “more than a million” students per year for five years, according to the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training (Ministère de l’éducation nationale et de formation professionnelle – MENFP). But is the US$43 million-a-year program a “victory” for students?
A two-month investigation by Haiti Grassroots Watch (HGW) in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne discovered problems and a great deal of dissatisfaction. In addition to suspicions of corruption, the amount paid to the schools is clearly inadequate, the payments don’t arrive on time, and the professors are underpaid. Also, most of the schools visited by journalists had not received the promised manuals and school supplies, items crucial for assuring a minimally acceptable standard of education.
“The state guarantees the right to education”
PSUGO has not kept its promises
“Turn towards quality?”
Errors and fraud?
What kind of education, for what kind of children?