National Education Fund – The promise, politics and profit of primary education for all

By Haiti Support Group (UK)

published in Haiti Briefing, Number 73, February 2013

On May 26, 2011, just 12 days after his investiture as President, Michel Martelly made his first major policy pronouncement: the launch of the National Fund for Education (FNE). Its aim was simple: get 1.5 million of the Haitian children not regularly in school into the classroom by the end of his five-year mandate. As a basic UN Millennium Development Goal, the ambition was widely applauded by Haitians and foreign donors alike.

Jan31-2012HaitiBlog7KindergartenCroixDesBouquets

Ecole Shalom, Croix-des Bouquets, December 28, 2011

….Sadly, one thing does confirm Martelly’s assertion that none of the Fund has actually been disbursed: there has been no discernable boost to the Haitian education system. While a number of pupils who had not previously attended school are now getting ‘free education’ (albeit far fewer than the government claims, as its figures include pupils already in free education), both public and private schools have been overwhelmed by an intake of unfunded students for whom they are unable to provide the basics, not least teachers.

Nothing has changed in the year since Martelly’s only comment on the Fund. The start of the 2012-2013 school year was again delayed by a full month due to lack of funding. Teachers continue to demonstrate in pursuit of months of unpaid wages. The original lack of a legal framework in setting up the FNE means its proceeds cannot be handed to the Ministry of Education. That state of affairs has now become institutionalised, the failure to hold elections for a number of Senate seats means it remains inquorate and thus constitutionally unable to ratify any retroactive legal framework.
For a recently published, detailed examination of the National Educaton Fund (in French), see here:
http://canadahaitiaction.ca/content/ou-est-largent-du-fonds-national-de-leducation.
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About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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