SOS Children’s Villages Haiti contracted the faculty of education studies of local Quisqueya University to give teachers further training and renew the curriculum. The teachers’ training enters phase II as 66 Haitian teachers receive classes in August 2011.
The Haitian educational system has added to existing social inequalities over the past decades. As part of the emergency work after the earthquake in 2010, SOS Children‘s Villages decided to focus on the field of education in order to be able to provide sustainable contributions to the process of change.
A typical lesson in Haiti is a one-way street: the children simply echo what the teacher says. In order to learn about the student’s needs and teach them to have their own ideas, to think themselves and decide independently, this system must change. Of course, this has to be done step by step and starts with the training of teachers.
At the official inauguration of the teachers’ training phase II, co-workers from different working areas of SOS Children‘s Villages in Haiti were present. Ilu Valenzuela, from the international support team of SOS Children‘s Villages Haiti, says: “We want a school with quality: human quality, technical quality and professional quality”.She believes that education will enable the children to become independent and self-confident and that it is important to pay attention to the needs and rights of the children. A remarkable detail is that she gave her inauguration speech in Haitian Creole, which by now is spoken - at least on a basic level - by every member of the international team.
Haiti has a long way to go until every child attends a school and the majority of the population is able to read the newspaper. SOS Children’s Villages was searching for ways to create a more permanent impact than just building new schools. The teachers’ training is meant to open up new aspects and perspectives; first to teachers and through them to the students. After all, as Henry Brooks Adams once put it: "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."