The 2019-2020 school year in Haiti was afflicted by unforeseen interruptions and unusual challenges. In the fall of 2019, political demonstrations and unrest in Haiti kept many students out of school. Later, COVID-19 led to nation-wide school closures from mid-March to June 2020. In Haiti, and internationally, students missed a significant amount of school.
While many school teachers in Haiti went without pay for months during school closures, Outreach continued to support the dedicated teachers in our School Program and, together with Community of Christ, provided meal kits for over 300 families during the summer months.
A SHIFTED SCHOOL SCHEDULE
Only 62% of people in Haiti over the age of 15 were considered literate in 2016 (UNESCO Institute of Statistics) and virtual learning is nearly impossible due to limited internet access. Making up for missed school days, therefore, is of critical concern.
To make up for lost time, schools reopened in August 2020 – a month earlier than usual. As mandated by the Haitian government, students wrapped up their 2019-2020 school year between August and mid-October, then began the 2020-2021 school year in the first week of November. Rather than ending as they normally do in June, classes will extend through the end of July 2021.
Students are back in school
For many families in Haiti, lost income due to COVID-19 put school-related expenses out of reach and kept students from returning to school in the fall. In the 63 Outreach-supported schools, however, school enrollment numbers have decreased by less than 1% since last school year. 5,728 students are back in school, and schools are taking extra health precautions to ensure that they can stay in class. School staff are promoting mask-wearing, physical distancing, and handwashing in order to protect students and teachers. Additionally, the 19 school feeding programs are up and running again this school year, providing 1,748 children with hot meals each school day.
Despite the challenges over the past year, children attending the 63 Outreach and Community of Christ-supported schools feel fortunate to be able to attend school with the support of generous people like you!
How to Help
See how other issues are being addressed through Outreach’s process of community-led development.