One of our first fundraising and project goals has been met! We are pleased to announce that we will be holding our first teacher training workshop in Villard this summer!
Board member Alina Michelewicz and Eric Demeulenaere, an Education Professor at Clark University, will be facilitating the workshop in early August for dozens of teachers and principals in the village.
Our survey of teachers in the area revealed that only a couple of teachers in about 15 local schools had attended college and many had not finished high school. Although many teachers had received some kind of training from the Ministry of Education, these pieces of training seem to have been sporadic over the years and many teachers had not attended any kind of Ministry program in over 8 years. Almost none of the teachers had attended higher education for teaching. Haiti is known to have a shortage of trained teachers, especially in rural areas like Villard.
For students to gain a good quality education, it is imperative that their teachers receive training in pedagogy and teaching practices. Through training teachers, we can empower the Villard community to improve their quality of life in the long term and by giving Haitians the tools to increase the quality of education, we can help them to create their own development.
For more information about the teacher training project, check out the teacher training section of our website: https://haitischoolproject.org/our-projects/teacher-training/ Or contact Alina Michelewicz
We’ve had a very hectic two days. Yesterday three meetings starting with USAID, then with Zach Oles at Cross International and finally with a local Haiti Foundation working on community development. All were very informative.
USAID Deputy Director Herbie Smith basically covered all the ground we already know about how difficult it is to work in Haiti, about the lack of schools and education. One of his main points was teachers need to be trained and if we can follow through with our desire to help with teacher training and make the Villard school a model for that area it will help to improve the other schools. Herbie also stressed the importance of a good school lunch program but the drawbacks of the lunch program are the parents may not feed the children because they know they are getting fed at school. USAID is also starting a pilot program in the St. Marc corridor for reading. We might be able to get some of their materials on this.
Herbie’s advisor Herve Jean-Charles, PHD stressed the need to get the parent community involved with the new school; again teacher training; ask if the school is licensed, and find out if they are in the St. Marc district. The school director should share his accounting books with us too.
Then we met with Zach Oles, project officer in Haiti for Cross International. He filled us in more of the historical background about the 18 schools that Villard is part of and explained how he is monitoring the aid Cross provides which is teacher salaries, food, and propane to cook. Zach stressed to not import building materials as it takes forever to get through customs and you have to pay the bribes. The 18 schools did get together last September to have a one-day training in Port-au-Prince. It was very successful with almost all the schools attending. Villard teachers did attend. Then we discussed our schedule for today which was to visit two of the schools in Leogane one of which was the school that was being totally rebuilt.
Leogane was basically at the epicenter of the earthquake with over 90 percent of the buildings destroyed or damaged.