Educational planning in Haiti today

13 October 2017


Jimena Pereyra, IIEP programme specialist, during the training with participants Nathalie Louis and Carl Henry Joseph from the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) in Haiti.

Over the years, Haiti’s education system has grappled with a series of natural disasters and the implications of widespread poverty. Basic education is unaffordable to many – with the vast majority of schools being private – and the transition to secondary school remains a major hurdle. But despite these challenges, the Haitian government is committed to improving the management and quality of the education system.

A new capacity development programme, launched in September with support from the European Union, strives to set in motion improvements for better education sector planning and management, at both the individual and system level. One key component of this programme is the participation of seven Haitian education officials in the 2017/18 IIEP Education Sector Planning course.

Several participants – from both the central and provincial offices of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) – shared their views with us on educational planning in Haiti today including its role, challenges and opportunities ahead. 

Aligning educational planning with local realities

A number of the trainees echoed this idea that educational planning must be better attuned to local contexts and available resources.

"I hope to have the capacity to contribute to educational planning in Haiti that is better suited to our realities, namely, the country’s energy shortage, vulnerability to natural disasters, political uncertainties, and financial resources,” said Carl Henry Joseph, who heads the MENFP’s monitoring and evaluation section. “I want to acquire the tools that will enable me to make rational and effective budgeting as well as a projection of education financing."

Refining skills for plan implementation

Wilfrand Michel, a technician in the MENFP’s Study and Programming Unit, said the training will help him refine a number of planning processes. These include mastering the methodology of creating a strategic education plan, calculating and interpreting statistical data related to education, integrating climate change and risks and disasters into planning, and developing a monitoring and evaluation plan.

"After acquiring all of these skills, we will accompany the technical and decentralized departments of the Ministry of Education in the implementation of its strategic plan,” he said.

Overcoming challenges in educational planning

Charles Nodié, an education planner in southeast Haiti, reflected on the role and constraints facing educational planning today.

“Planning must help the education system produce a skilled and quantitative workforce that can meet the demands of the labor market. This will enable society to change its behavior towards the environment, strengthen governance, improve the management of the education sector, and face the lack of financial means to implement the plan. We must strengthen links with partners, create political stability, strengthen governance, and overall, improve the management of the education system.”

Nathalie Louis, a technician in monitoring and evaluation, said challenges in planning often arise from political instability and the low budget allocated to education. She says planning is an ongoing process that must address equity, neglected groups, and the inefficient or inappropriate use of resources in education.

"Educational planning should be a priority,” she said. “The various actors should be able to advocate for the implementation of a quality, sustainable education policy based on the technical decisions of educational planners."

Educational planning for sustainable development

Merci Dieu Jean, a section head at the MENFP’s Planning Directorate said educational planning plays an important role in the development of a country.

“As a Haitian, I am very grateful for this mode of cooperation offered by IIEP in terms of training in educational planning. In my view, it is an essential means of helping Haiti to embark on the path towards sustainable development. That is why I am very motivated to receive this training, which will allow me to contribute to efforts for the socio-economic revival of Haiti.”