Six Steps to Creating Stronger, Safer Schools

schoolhouse-pin-6Six elements make up the approach to education used in our Schools Not Slavery initiative. Pioneered by our long-time partners at the Matènwa Community Learning Center, the approach is proven to produce reading scores that are nearly three times better than the national average, according to a 2014 MIT study. And thanks to generous Beyond Borders supporters like you, we’re rolling out this approach to all of the 35 schools in our Schools Not Slavery network on the island of Lagonav.

1.  Native Language Instruction – An approach to learning in which students are taught in Haitian Creole, the language they speak at home, instead of French – a language they rarely encounter in their daily lives.

2.  Participatory Approach to Classroom Management – This participatory-based approach is meant to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills among students. Rather than simply copying, memorizing and parroting back lessons in French, students write their own stories in Haitian Creole about their own lives and share them with each other.

Schools Not Slavery 20153.  Non-Violent Classroom Management – A non-violent classroom management approach teaches students leadership and democracy. The approach gives students the opportunity to practice democracy rather than simply be responsive to authoritarian rule.

4.  Education Rooted in Rural Life – School gardens teach students agricultural science and mathematics, including techniques to improve yield and mitigate drought driven by climate change. Vegetables grown are used in daily school meal programs, with excess food sold in the market, helping students learn to manage money.

5.  Accelerated Education – Students who miss out on starting school at age six either because their parents were too poor to pay tuition fees OR because they were sent away to live with others and work as household servants can catch up on the learning they missed through an Accelerated Education program. The Accelerated Education approach provides over-aged children two years of the national curriculum in a single year.

6.  Textbook Banks – Textbook banks ensure every student has the textbooks they need to be a successful learner. Previously, more than 2,300 students in 11 schools borrowed textbooks through Schools Not Slavery, with the effort now being expanded.

We partner with the Matènwa Community Learning Center and 35 schools on the island of Lagonav as part of our Schools Not Slavery initiative.