WASHINGTON, March 11, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Congressman Chaka Fattah (D., PA) this week met with first lady of Haiti Elisabeth Preval, Louisiana Recovery School District Superintendent Paul Vallas, and George Washington University President Steven Knapp to discuss the future of education in post-earthquake Haiti.
At the meeting, it was announced that Haiti will be launching a new national effort to increase access to high-quality publicly funded education for all of the nation’s children. This work will build on the success of post-Katrina education in Louisiana with the assistance of Paul Vallas and Congressman Chaka Fattah. Vallas, who has been praised for his work in rebuilding New Orleans schools from the ground up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, will work with the people of Haiti and Congressman Fattah to rebuild Haiti’s educational system. (more…)
Operation Blessing, a Virginia Beach-based international humanitarian organization opened a makeshift school adjacent to a tent city in Port-au-Prince. About 500 Haitian children showed up on its first day, a news release from Operation Blessing International said. The school, which will cater to grades 1 through 6, is being held inside a 40-by-60-foot tent that had previously been used as a mess hall for Hurricane Katrina relief.
Classes will take place on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and activities have included hygiene training, camp safety and basic first aid. Formal classes began today. The school was set up adjacent to Camp Dadadu, a tent city housing about 7,000 earthquake victims on a soccer field. It is believed to be one of the first schools to open since the deadly quake struck January 12, 2010.
By JONATHAN M. KATZ (AP) PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — After seven weeks with seven kids huddled under a shelter of tarps and bed sheets on the median strip of a busy road, Lissithe Delomme says the Haitian government can’t reopen schools fast enough.
“If they would open right now I’d be pretty happy,” she said, trying to ignore the tumult of two of her boys wrestling as she fried up a batch of plantains for sale. “They’re just sitting around doing nothing.”
The Jan. 12 quake dealt a devastating blow to Haiti’s already struggling schools: More than 80 percent in the earthquake zone were damaged or destroyed. All in Port-au-Prince and the other affected towns remain closed, and with tens of thousands of bored and restless children living in increasingly squalid encampments, patience is growing short. (more…)