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Towards a mini youth proposed action points to transform education in Haiti

13 August 2019

Some 250 young people from different neighborhoods in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince and some departments of Haiti exchanged on the theme of the International Youth Day 2019 "Transforming Education, with the aim of achieving to a mini youth proposed action points to give to the decision-makers.

This activity was held at the Ranch de la Croix-des-Bouquets (north-east of Port-au-Prince), which houses the premises of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Civic Action (MJSAC), on the initiative of MJSAC, a group of UN agencies in Haiti (UN Women, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF) and youth organizations such as FOSREF, HAGN and OJH.

An inclusive and quality education adapted to the needs of the country, the standardization of teaching methods, the generalization of Creole as a teaching language, free education at primary level, credit programs for young people , school canteen programs, sustained support for adolescents, especially girls regarding comprehensive sexuality education, programs to promote self-esteem, mutual respect and leadership among young people, awareness programs to encourage young people to make good use of ICTs for their personal development and the development of the country: These are so many recommendations coming from the different working groups.

The group work were preceded by a mini-intergenerational dialogue between the Minister of Youth, the heads of UN agencies represented and the youth.

To boost their self-esteem and faith in education, Edwing Charles recalled his humble origins that did not prevent him from becoming a lawyer and minister. The minister was born in La Saline, one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of the Haitian capital.

Along the same lines, UNFPA Representative Yves Sassenrath said that "ledikasyon se lajan sere" (education is like savings account). A slogan taken up in chorus by young people and followed by another equally revealing "edikason djanm = jenès djanm" (literally in English: a robust education = a robust youth). Mr Sassenrath emphasized the multidimensional nature of education, drawing attention to comprehensive sexuality education, which allows young people to examine how their choices affect their own well-being and that of others, and to understand and ensure the protection of their rights throughout their lives. In Haiti, half of the population is under 23 years old.

UNESCO Representative in Haiti Alvarez Laso Pilar emphasized that the theme of the 2019 International Youth Day highlights efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all young people, including the youth own efforts. This theme is rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all".

In Haiti, major progress has been made in the last decade in improving access to education and increasing enrollment rates at all levels in schools, especially for girls. Basic knowledge has progressed dramatically, but efforts need to be redoubled to move even faster towards achieving the goals of universal education.

The day of August 10 was therefore a space for youth to "examine how the Haitian government, youth, youth-led organizations and youth organizations and other stakeholders can transform education, so that it becomes a powerful tool for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Haiti ", stressed the various speakers.

Story: Vario Sérant

Photo: Molière Solon