Published On: Fri, Dec 7th, 2012

Haiti to improve education with $50 million grant

WASHINGTON, USA – Caribbean News Now reports that Haiti plans to improve education for as many as 360,000 children from preschool through grade 9 with a $50 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The grant will fund the building of new schools, tuition-free primary education, student health programs, and strengthen the Ministry of Education and Professional Training (MENFP) and its executing agencies.

Twenty new public schools will be built, benefitting 8,200 children from preschool through grade 9. When completed, these schools will include equipped libraries, sanitary facilities, a school canteen, energy and water systems, and be made accessible to disabled children.

The grant will also subsidize education expenses for 35,000 children attending primary non-public schools for two school years. The IDB contribution adds resources to an existing tuition waiver program, which is co-financed by the government of Haiti, the Caribbean Development Bank, CIDA, the Global Partnership for Education, and the World Bank. The program is expected to increase retention and contribute to Haiti’s goal of providing free and universal education to all 6 to 12 year olds by 2015.

In addition the $50 million will fund bi-annual de-worming campaigns in schools for 300,000 children and support 100 schools which enroll 15,000 children in achieving a “Hygiene Friendly” certification. School de-worming is a simple and inexpensive yet highly cost-effective intervention. Hygiene Friendly certified schools will contribute to children’s health through prevention of water-borne diseases and promotion of good hygienic practices.

Another component is technical assistance to the Ministry of Education to further develop and structure interventions aimed at expanding literacy skills and strengthening the institutional capacity of the MENFP to implement its 2010-2015 Education Plan and regulate non-public schools. This will include reconstruction of MENFP offices, upgrading of information systems, and procedures for school accreditation.

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