On average, 90% of schools in Haiti are private, and they usually operate without being inspected, and the teachers working there have little or no job security or protections.
Education international (EI) works with the Haitian trade unions to reverse the problem of privatisation of education in Haiti, as well as the ways in which privatisation undermines teachers and the teaching profession.
In July 2015, EI’s 7th World Congress in Ottawa adopted a resolution proposed by the UNNOEH*, one of the four EI affiliates in Haiti, which aimed to lobby the Haitian government with the goal of establishing a legal framework that would govern teachers’ working conditions and rights of teachers working in the private education sector in Haiti.
The first step towards implementing this resolution is to produce a situation report. EI is therefore supporting a four-month research programme, to be carried out by local Professor Pierre Enocque François, in close co-operation with the UNNOEH. This report will assess the following premise:‘ Teachers’ working conditions in Haiti generally remain very difficult: miserable salaries, poorly developed career plans, burdensome insurance premiums. Working conditions for teachers in the private education sector are even more difficult. However, the working conditions of these teachers are not clearly understood by those managing the system because no records of them are kept anywhere’. This research will collect information directly from governmental authorities, teachers, and schools on teacher training, wages, paid leave, school fees, availability of educational materials, relationships with school management and parents of pupils, etc.
The second stage of the research should begin near the end of 2017 and will build on the situation report prepared by Professor P.E. François. This research, carried out by an expert legal researcher, again in co-operation with the UNNOEH, will aim to draft a proposal on the status of teachers in the private sector in order to facilitate its review and adoption by the Haitian National Assembly.
Equipped with the results of these two research programmes, the UNNOEH will be able to launch a campaign advocating a proposal for action in the regions.
This programme falls within the broader context of EI’s Global Responsecampaign against the commodification of education. Through this campaign, and in accordance with the sustainable development objectives, EI intends to support the initiatives designed to develop a free quality public education for all.
* Union Nationale des Normaliens et Educateurs d’Haïti