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Long road ahead to get Haitian students back in school

One of the many tragic features of this disaster is the number of schools that have been destroyed, many with students inside. We still don’t know the numbers of students and teachers killed, or the precise magnitude of the destruction of schools and education facilities, but we know the full picture will be devastating.

In a coordination meeting focused on emergency education today, Haitian Ministry of Education officials recounted how a building in which teachers were undergoing training collapsed in the quake, killing 300 teachers. This is an incalculable loss, all the more so in a country so desperate for teachers.

School enrolment in Haiti before the earthquake was very low, with the average child spending only four years in classes. Trained teachers are in short supply; the average primary school teacher has only finished one year of secondary education. There is a long road ahead to ensure that this blow that the earthquake has delivered to the already struggling education system does not jeopardize the future of Haiti’s children.

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