Start of new school year, a bane on Haitian parents

Published on by Darsen Roger (author)

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) - The start of the new school year is a hassle for parents of low income who are unable to find the means to send their children to school.

The official reopening of classes took place on Monday, September 5, however a high rate of absence in the classrooms could be witnessed this year, given the increased lack of financial resources which parents are facing.

This year, the situation is more difficult given that the Haitian government is struggling to subsidize textbooks and other school supplies to a level equal to that of previous years.

This inability of the public treasury to grant adequate funding for activities related to the new school year is mainly due to a huge shortfall in the sale of petroleum products through the Petro-Caribe agreement, concluded with Venezuela, and to the fact that the Haitian government is forced to mobilize significant amounts to fund the electoral process.

"I could not send my three children to school on Monday and i won't be able to send them to school throughout the month of September, since I do not have the financial means to do so," Mirlande Sainvoyis, 46, told HCNN.

"I'll see if I can send one of them to school in October, but the other two will probably go to school in January or perhaps will they have to stay home this year," explained Sainvoyis visibly distressed by this situation.

Many other Haitian parents interviewed by HCNN expressed the same anguish and bitterness in the face of situation which dangerously affects one of the prime responsibilities of parents which is the education of their children.

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