HAITI: Salesian missionaries launch the ENTEC Technical School to educate teachers of technical and vocational institutes
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, have launched a new initiative to train teachers of technical and vocational institutes. Called, the ENTEC Technical School, it aims to improve the quality of education and employment prospects of young Haitians by ensuring that their teachers have the most up-to-date training available.
In a speech given at the inauguration ceremony of the new technical school, the Superior of the Vice Province of Blessed Philip Rinaldi of Haiti, Father Jean Paul Mésidor, said, “Today we are happy to find ourselves in the situation of being able to continue believing in the future. If the present is uncertain, our presence here for the ENTEC inauguration expresses our determination to continue looking at the horizon to discover that ray of hope that will make us dream of a good Haiti, especially for her children. It is this optimism in the possibility of doing better and better that characterizes the work of the Salesians in Haiti these past 85 years.”
Salesian missionaries have a long history of providing technical and vocational training in the country. They have continued their collaboration with national authorities through the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training and with the National Institute of Vocational Training. Their current goal is to improve the quality of training for teachers and increase the skills of those teaching at technical and vocational training centers.
The ENTEC Technical School will provide a framework for permanent and ongoing formation of teachers and will endow them with solid pedagogical skills applicable to their sector. The intention is to establish a permanent body of educators at all levels capable of maximizing the performance and internal efficiency of technical and professional institutes.
This project received the support of the Spanish Cooperation, the Salesian organization, Jóvenes y Desarollo, and the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
“Teachers are the backbone of the Salesian educational system, and we are dedicated to providing the support and training they need,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian teachers face many challenges educating poor youth. Many of their students have faced severe poverty and often lack food, clothing and shelter. Some were previously living and working on the streets and others have faced war as child soldiers or become refugees in war torn communities. Salesian teachers meet these challenges head on, providing education and hope for a brighter future.”
Salesian missionaries began working in Haiti in 1935 in response to the Haitian government’s request for a professional school. Since then, Salesian missionaries have expanded their work to include 10 main educational centers and more than 200 schools across the country.
The 10 main centers each include a number of primary and secondary schools, vocational training centers and other programs for street children and youth in need. Salesian programs are located throughout Haiti including in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Fort-Liberté, Cap-Haïtien, Les Cayes and Gressier. Today, Salesian missionaries in Haiti provide the largest source of education outside of the Haitian government and their programs serve more than 25,000 Haitian children.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas ranking 163 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. The country also faces the highest levels of severe food insecurity in the world, according to the World Food Programme. More than half of the country’s population was chronically undernourished during 2012-2014, representing a total of 5.3 million Haitians. Nearly 100,000 Haitian children under the age of 5 suffer from acute malnutrition, causing irreversible stunted growth for close to 30 percent of all children in the country.
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World Food Programme – Haiti