Parents Doubt Free Education Possible in 2011

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Wednesday, 10 August 2011 13:24

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - With less than a month to the start of the school year, some parents in the capital are expressing doubts that the president's campaign for free education will materialize in 2011.

The Agence Haitienne de Presse reported having met with parents in the capital city of Port-au-Prince who say they require government support to send their children to school but don't see any solutions on the horizon.

The uncertainty is compounded by a drop in the first year's projections which was said that 500,000 children would enter the schools but now 100,000 are expected.

President Martelly recently indicated that the program would not put these children into class rooms until a month after classes begin, in October, but parents tell the AHP, they doubt that the extra month would make a difference.

School officials complicate a delay as the Director of Basic Education, John Reynold Telfort, asked principals of institutions, including public schools, to respect the school calendar. The Director of Secondary Education, Jackson Pléteau, has required of the government to subsidize 70% of secondary education textbooks and pay for its distribution.

Many secondary level students have not claimed their school books for the year because they can not pay the last months of the year 2010-2011, according to some school principals.

Mr. Pléteau has also indicated that technicians from his department should be working with the Presidency to see the realization of the project for free education. A coordination committee was formed in that sense, he said.

President Michel Martelly has required the one month delay on the grounds that he has not yet form his government. The president points to the Parliaments rejection of two of his choices for Prime Minister as the specific cause.

The government began excising taxes on international transfer and phone call in June 2011. The surcharges and fees go towards financing free education across Haiti.

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Source: {japopup type="iframe" content=""}Agence Haitienne de Presse{/japopup}