Schools Reopen in Haiti For First Time Since Quake

Kimberly Seals Allers
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Flickr Photo By: Living Water International
After nearly three months since a devastating earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people, schools have resumed in Haiti. Only a few hundred of four-thousand Haitian schools have reopened its doors, but according to the Associated Press (AP), educators in Haiti say the regular curriculum will wait while they address the trauma do the earthquakes. UNICEF says it hopes to have 700,000 children back in school by the middle of May.

The reopening of schools started with an attempt to calculate the number of students who were killed in the earthquakes by taking roll as students entered the buildings on the first day. The Education Ministry and all its records were destroyed in the quake, and more than 700 teachers and staff were killed along with an estimated 4,000 students.

I couldn't help but think about how important a school routine is for all children. School is such an important anchor to the day and it provides children with much-needed consistency and a sense of accomplishment. Walking into a school building gives students structure and hope, which is comforting to most children, especially those who have suffered traumas.

But I can also imagine how nerve-racking it must be for parents to separate from their children for the first time since the quake, where many are still homeless and living in fear of aftershocks.

Unfortunately, some schools in Haiti are still waiting for tents from the Ministry of Education since parents are in fear of the children staying in concrete buildings that could be unstable or susceptible to an aftershock.

The school year is scheduled to be extended until the end of August, to make up for lost learning time. The goal is for 700,000 Haitian students to be back in school by the middle of May.

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