Even before the catastrophic earthquake of January 12, 2010, Haiti was not able to respond to the educational needs of its school population. In 2006, USAID reported that there is “strong social demand for education among Haitian families as evidenced by the high percentage of household income spent on schooling— approximately 15% per child.
Haitian parents place a great deal of faith on schooling as a means to improve their lives. . . . [Yet] . . . with an adult literacy rate of 52% and a primary school enrollment rate of 67%, education remains a key obstacle to social and economic progress. Less than 30% of the children who enter primary school will reach 6th grade” (http://www.usaid.gov/ht/education.htm).
An estimated 80% of children were enrolled in mostly substandard private primary and secondary institutions, creating an intolerable situation that the earthquake has magnified to unimaginable proportions.