UNICEF correspondent Nina Martinek reports on UNICEF-supported tent schools providing continued access to education for Haiti's
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Tent Schools for Quake-Affected Haitian Children
Nina Martinek: You are watching UNICEF Television. Chantal is a teacher who encourages her students to look positively towards the future
Chantal Duphézin: There is one child who wants Haiti to be rebuilt and this child in the future wants to be a pediatrician.
Nina Martinek: It has been two weeks since lessons began in the tents of the camp at a sports centre at Carrefour. The surrounding neighborhood was severely affected by the January 12th earthquake. Approximately 500 families live here now. Before the tent schools opened, the children had no access to school or education.
Six classes share the space within these two tents and more than 300 children are registered in these classes. 5,000 schools in Haiti were destroyed or damaged during the earthquake. Most of these schoolchildren have lost friends and teachers. But a return to school is an essential step for a child to start a new life again.
Chantal Duphézin: A country cannot run without an education system. We have had organized psychosocial support as a way to help children handle the stress bus we must also remind them that school still exists. At present, it’s a little bit asleep but school is not dead.
Nina Martinek: To enable children to return to school, the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and its partners have established training for 10,000 teachers. In turn, the students benefit from the support. Without excluding formal education, most learning during these first few days will be done through games.
Before the earthquake, only about 50% of children in Haiti went to school. Whether the schools were private or in the state system, most were dilapidated and lacked supplies. In a positive light, the disaster that destroyed 80% of school buildings is, in a way, a means of rethinking education in Haiti.
Françoise Gruloos-Ackermans: We have before us a movement to get all children access to the school system, not only for those who had access before but also for those who didn’t.
Nina Martinek: At present, 150 tents are being distributed and set up to accommodate the students. The next step is semi-permanent schools and finally, with the help of UNICEF, earthquake-proof schools will be built in Haiti.
This is Nina Martinek reporting for UNICEF Television. Unite for Children.