GSE receives $10,000 gift to support Haiti education efforts

Haiti Boy

A young Haitian boy with a sack waits for the excavator to finish its work before he can start sorting through the rubble for cables and other metal scraps on Feb. 7, 2010. Selling metal scraps is one of the ways that enabled people to earn money to buy food.

In January 2010, after a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands, including nearly 1,300 teachers and 200 education officials and administrators, a team of researchers from Penn’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) began searching for ways to help the Caribbean nation’s education sector recover and rebuild. In December, the GSE team solidified an official partnership with the Ministry of Education in Haiti (MENFP).

To strengthen GSE’s efforts, the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia (HPP) have donated $10,000 to GSE’s Haiti Applied Research Team. The gift is designed to provide general support to the collaborative initiative between GSE and the MENFP.

As part of a five-year educational redevelopment project, a GSE team traveled to Haiti last summer and conducted a community-needs assessment of the education sector. The group toured education facilities in both urban and rural areas to get a more complete picture of the state of education in the country.

GSE Haiti

Sharon Ravitch and her team meet with officials in Haiti to develop a culturally relevant and sustainable educational infrastructure. 

Led by GSE’s Sharon Ravitch, who was recently appointed senior international advisor to the Haitian Ministry of Education, the team is focused on capacity-building within MENFP and establishing a quality sustainable education system in Haiti that incorporates cultural relevancy, interdisciplinary collaboration and leadership development, and builds upon the knowledge and resources that currently exist.

“We’re grateful to the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia for its extraordinary generosity,” says Ravitch. “We are privileged to be part of this historic, crucial and regenerative endeavor, and honored that the HPP has chosen to help support our work.”

The Penn team includes GSE students Laura Colket and Yve-Car Momperousse, and David Land, a veteran of non-governmental organization work in Haiti.

Originally published on August 18, 2011