To date, Haiti finds itself among countries with one of the lowest education rates. Although the number of children, ages 6-11, attending school from the early 1990s to the early 2000s has increased, access to education in rural, small towns remains at an all time low. 36% of rural children do not attend school versus 18% of children in urban cities. Undoubtedly, access to primary and secondary education remains limited throughout the country.
It is important to note the lack of formally trained educators. According to IHSI, only 16% of educators in Haiti are qualified to teach. These alarming findings are inextricably linked to Haiti’s national education budget. In 2008, 20.3% of the national budget went to education efforts but given the disparities between rural and urban towns, rural schools only saw a minimal percentage of the national budget.
Studies show that 73% of towns in the Artibonite department fall between “weak” and “less weak” in education. It is to no surprise that studies on Saint-Marc’s education rates show that education in Saint Marc is weak for all ages.
HEAL Haiti recognizes the need for more education institutions in the town and hopes to positively contribute to education efforts. Education reform in Saint Marc will increase education rates, specifically for females and young adults. Likewise, it will contribute to community development and decrease the gap between rural and urban living conditions.
HEAL Haiti’s main objective is to promote education while influencing the development of health care locally in Saint Marc and nationally in Haiti.