Joseph Woaly is sitting at his desk in the hallway, so he can monitor several classrooms at the same time. Children in pink uniforms and laughing girls with braided hair and matching ribbons pass by him. He has been working for the elementary school « The enchanted hive » for seven years. This school gets great results. When a tuition waiver program started, all schoolchildren were able to take advantage of it gradually, including his five children. The eldest, Woade, is 10 years old and wants to become an ophthalmologist.
« It’s my duty to send my children to school, » he says calmly when asked how he would have done this. He would have struggled to pay for their education.
In Latin America, nearly 3 million children are out of school. In Haiti, parents spend an average of $ 130 a year to school children and more than 200,000 children are out of school. While we have been witnessing a school year in the past, a new World Bank study looks at the impact of the tuition waiver program in the country.
Here are some important facts to understand the situation in Haiti.
1. Almost all schools in Haiti are privately run
At the beginning of the 2000s, about 90% of the schools were private institutions, which could be run for profit or non-governmental organizations.
« If I could have found the same opportunity in a public institution, I would have gone to work there, » says Innocent Samuel, a Grade 3 teacher. However, jobs in public institutions are rare and generally less than private sector.
2. Tuition fees applied by most institutions, a brake for many Haitians
These schools, which are privately run, usually charge tuition fees in addition to transportation costs, textbooks and uniforms (mandatory), which prevents many families from sending their children to school. school.
At the Enchanted Hive, a tuition fees from $ 127 for the first year to $ 180 for the sixth year. It’s just the official rate. « They have paid all the fees. », Explains Joelle Dalphe, who opened the school with her sister in 1994. « They rarely paid all the fees. »
This fee waiver program, launched in 2007, with technical and financial assistance from the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank. Establishments that meet the requirements (such as holding a state license) received $ 90 per year per child. The program covers children aged 6 to 8 entering primary school.
3. School enrollment rates increased from 78% to 90%
The World Bank study shows that in the schools covered by the fee waiver program, the level of schooling has increased and, at the same time, the level of recruitment of staff. Although all other expenses have not been eliminated, the financial burden has been reduced.
Joelle had to take a second job to keep the finances of her establishment afloat. Now she can devote herself to the Enchanted Beehive.
4. The tuition waiver can help children
In 2003, the average age of children in Grade 6 was 16, although it should have been more than 11 or 12 years old. This is due to the weight of tuition fees for poor families, who were able to pay a child to school during certain months or years when they could pay the fees.
The World Bank study found that in schools participating in the fee waiver program, more children are enrolled in a class that is age appropriate.
Joseph Woaly has « completed primary school at age 17 and high school at age 25 ». « When parents do not have to pay every month or every trimester, children grow much faster. »
Public Financing of Private Institutions is a country with a similar profile. The study concludes that the success of the program reinforces the idea that public funding of non-public services is a viable and promising option to assist children