UN envoy touts Haiti education 'overhaul'
Ottawa (AFP) Feb 14, 2011
UNESCO special envoy for Haiti and Canada's former governor general Michaelle Jean on Monday called for an "overhaul" of Haiti's education system.
Jean is to appear before the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti on Tuesday to present an education strategy for the Caribbean country, where only one in five children had access to public school prior to last year's quake.
"It is imperative to implement the National Pact for Education, which was developed by Haitian authorities in the world of education and endorsed by the president of the republic," Jean said in a statement.
"This plan lays the foundation for building an education system that is accessible, universal and offers quality instruction, " she added.
It aims to provide free education for all children from 6 to 12 years of age by 2015, increase the proportion of students pursuing secondary and university level studies and provide literacy to 2.5 million Haitians.
"Haiti must rely on an educated workforce to implement the Action Plan for the rehabilitation and development of Haiti," Jean said.
"The plan's goals for territorial, economic, social and institutional reconstruction presented by the Haitian government in March 2010 in New York will be realized only if its citizens have all the tools needed to tackle future challenges. In this regard, education is essential."
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