[Port-au-Prince] – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the official launch of the Continuity of Learning Activity (Ann Kontinye Aprann). Over the next five years the Continuity of Learning (COL) Activity aims to benefit over 25,500 Haitian students by supporting the development of a more resilient education system that delivers uninterrupted access to a safe, quality basic education despite interruptions from natural disasters such as hurricanes and man-made stresses such as insecurity which may keep students from the classroom.
U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Eric W. Stromayer remarked, “The Continuity of Learning Activity shows once again that the U.S. government believes in advancing education as a cornerstone of a more resilient Haiti. I am excited to see the activity come to fruition.”
The COL Activity will work with 170 schools in the Ouest, Sud, Grand’Anse, Nord, and Nord Est departments. With the goal of reaching over 25,500 students in the first through fourth grades and more than 1,500 teachers and school administrators, the activity will engage a number of local partners to ensure young students have access to a resilient education system that provides uninterrupted access to safe, quality education.
The COL Activity aims to build the capacity of students, teachers, schools, and communities through four key objectives and activities including:
1) Building students’ socio-emotional learning (SEL) and reading and literacy skills through the development and use of appropriate, tested SEL and literacy curricula; training and empowering teachers and school professionals; and providing additional support for students who need to catch up on learning.
2) Fostering a safe learning environment for students, teachers, and school administrators by building a comprehensive understanding of the risks and threats that impact students both in and out of school; piloting safe school environment interventions that incorporate SEL and integrating Parent Teacher Associations/School Communities (PTA/SCs), students and communities as part of the solution; and improving hygiene practices at schools.
3) Increasing support, advocacy, and coordination with key stakeholders at the national and local levels; developing robust informed PTAs that link the school with families, community, and the private sector to ensure support for improved learning.
4) Developing and employing distance and remedial learning programs through a protective distance learning model featuring grades 1-4 Literacy and SEL radio programming, linked to the curriculum; improving coordination via a Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP in French)/Donor/Stakeholder working group.
In June, USAID, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services and its other partners, held a series of events launching the five-year COL Activity in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitian, Fort Liberté, and Les Cayes. Representatives attended from USAID, the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training, the Episcopal Education for Catholic Education (CEEC), the University of Notre Dame (UND) as well as other organizations working in the education sector. They participated in the first of a series of co-creation discussions to create synergies and identify adaptable solutions.
The COL Activity builds upon the momentum created by all partners during co-creation and development of the activity. The co-creation process seeks to coordinate and harmonize our activities with those of key stakeholders, actors, and other donors in the sector and at all levels. The goal is to identify adaptable solutions so that Haitian students, families, and communities can benefit from an education system that is increasingly resilient, responsive, and adaptive to strengthen students’ foundational skills, literacy, and socio-emotional learning.
The activity Technical Director, Marie Nelie Jeantillon, remarked “The Continuity of Learning Activity will engage teachers, school administrators, students, and parents. We will take every opportunity to coordinate closely with other initiatives in the school communities that support the holistic needs of students and their families, including food security and livelihood initiatives that create resilient families and communities, and avoid duplication of efforts.”
USAID Acting Mission Director Christine Djondo said, “USAID believes in educating Haitian children as it will constitute the foundation of a strong and resilient Haiti. This responsibility is shared, and success will be found in strong collaboration to achieve a more resilient primary education system.”
For more information, please visit www.crs.org