USAID Announces Three Year Effort to Promote Literacy and Fight HIV/AIDS
USAID has just announced that literacy and fighting HIV/AIDS will be the focus of a new three year stabilization effort. HIV/AIDS will be built into curricula and training will be provided for for teachers, school administrators, and inspectors. If you've had any exposure to the Haitan education system(s), you know how important this is. Food may be the key to the present, but education is the key to the future. For more information, take a look at the main USAID website or the USAID/Haiti website.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2008
Press Office: 202-712-4320
Public Information: 202-712-4810
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Increasing literacy and curbing HIV/AIDS is the centerpiece of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) new three-year effort designed to stabilize parts of Haiti plagued by community unrest.
The Haiti Basic Education Project-a $19 million investment-will target public and private primary schools as well as youths no longer in school, according to Rebecca Adams, who manages a worldwide education and health program for USAID.
"In Haiti, 50 percent of children and adolescents have never attended or didn't complete primary school and can't read, which means there is little chance they can escape the intergenerational cycle of poverty," Adams said. "It's not something you remedy overnight."
Through this program, youths who are out of school will be offered accelerated learning at community centers and HIV/AIDS prevention will be added to the curriculum-mainly reading, math, decision-making and problem-solving courses-for grades one through nine. The program, Adams explained, also provides books and supplies and reaches beyond public schools because most of Haiti's primary education is private or church-sponsored.
Bringing educational services to troubled areas is intended to keep youths away from crime, draw parents into the community and improve schools. While the plan increases literacy, it also perfects administrative skills and training for teachers and school inspectors so education officials can better manage schools and resources.
The American Institutes for Research, a Washington, D.C.-based behavioral and social science organization along with Catholic Relief Services and The Mitchell Group, a company that provides guidance to developing countries, are contracted to carry out the program.
A database will track student progress and document the licensing of non-public schools and teacher certification.