Global Entrepreneurship Week Haiti Education and Good Governance will move the country forward

Article Information

  • Posted By : 11th Department Team
  • Posted On : Jul 25, 2015
  • Views : 460
  • Category : Other
  • Description : "I would love all Haitians to regain the sense of what it is to be Haitian, and to be civic-minded; to understand that the growth and prosperity of a nation, not just yourself, should come first." This is Linda Tavernier-Almada's vision for Haiti.

Overview

  • Linda Tavernier-AlmadaLinda Tavernier-Almada

    "I would love all Haitians to regain the sense of what it is to be Haitian, and to be civic-minded; to understand that the growth and prosperity of a nation, not just yourself, should come first." This is Linda Tavernier-Almada's vision for Haiti.

    Dr. Tavernier-Almada has been a university professor in the US for over a decade. She is also the President of the Haitian Association Foundation of Tampa Bay, an organization that aims to support Haitians in the area of Tampa, Florida.

    She noted that the progress in Haiti is very slow due to political instability, internal corruption, lack of leadership, various undermining forces from Western countries, natural disasters, and other historic and social factors. She believes that Haiti's sustainable development can only be achieved through education and good governance.

    Improving the Education System is fundamental

    Dr. Tavernier-Almada believes that Haiti's long-term development can be achieved through a structured educational system, which would not only reach the populated areas but all of the rural isolated ones. In her opinion, it is too late to try to fundamentally change the current generation. Instead, the society should focus on educating the next generation. Based on the international experiences, Tavernier-Almada feels certain that the education system can be reformed in one generation, and the entire country can be brought up to literacy within two years. Being able to read and write would help people tremendously in making more informed decisions, such as the decision of who to vote for.

    She noted that schools should introduce civic education as an important part of the curriculum in order to build a “cohesive” nation.

    "Teaching civic duty is fundamental: teaching the best about your history, teaching civic pride, teaching national responsibility. Nations do that - they teach the best about their history," says Tavernier-Almada.

    Fighting corruption

    Currently Haiti is one of the most brain-drained countries in the world. Many educated Haitians have left their native land to seek opportunities abroad.

    Tavernier-Almadais certain that in order to keep its most educated and active people, Haiti would first have to fight and reduce its corruption.

    "You first have to have a less corrupt environment. Because when a person like me goes back to Haiti, it's not the poverty of the country that makes him or her leave, it's the corruption," said Tavernier-Almada.

    She added:

    "If the person goes to Haiti to do the right things, it's very difficult because they are surrounded by people who are not willing to do what it takes because they are busy lining their own pockets. The country has become so corrupt because people have lost their dignity, the dignity that was taught in school."

    Love is not enough

    Asked "What about love? Would love for their country help keep people in Haiti?"

    Tavernier-Almada provided a "mature" answer.

    "Wanting to stay in Haiti and being able to stay in Haiti are two different things. I have a colleague who went back to the island with the intent to stay and to help the people. But it was not possible to do something that would matter. Just the cost of life in Haiti was impossible for someone teaching, for example."

    "Love has nothing to do with it. There are many Haitians who love their country; many of those people who were the brains of Haiti and who left, tried to go back but couldn't stay.

    They couldn't stay, not because they didn't love their country, but because every time they tried to do something it could not get done," noted Tavernier-Almada.

    She continued:

    "Human beings are human beings. People have their families, people have their lives. You are not going to find a hero in everyone. But you are going to have people who are willing to try. And if trying becomes impossible they will leave. We are not heroes. We are human beings with families and lives."

    What does it take?

    Tavernier-Almada believes it would take a competent and uncorrupt government to move the country in the right direction.

    "For Haiti to move forward it would need a government that is honest and that is working just for the benefit of the country. Not a president—but a government—working together to move the country forward. When you have that, then the people who go back will have a social infrastructure that would support their efforts. That would keep those people in," noted Tavernier-Almada.