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Haiti pushes back school year start as economic crisis bites

August 28, 2022 People's Journal 399 views

PORT-AU-PRINCE, AFP — Haitian authorities are postponing the start of the school year by one month, as the Caribbean nation grapples with an economic crisis that has caused a fuel shortage and soaring prices.

The Ministry of National Education released a statement on Friday announcing that “the start of the school year for the 2022-2023 academic year is now set for Monday, October 3, 2022” instead of September 5.

The text did not give a reason for the postponement, and the ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment by AFP.

The impoverished island nation has been struggling to deal with insecurity, inflation and fuel shortages, all of which have made travel difficult and cast doubts over the start of school for weeks now.

In July the inflation rate reached 29 percent, according to data from the Haitian Institute of Statistics and Information Technology (IHSI).

As a result, the prices of basic necessities continue to rise, as do those of school supplies.

The coordinator of the National Union of Normalists and Educators of Haiti, Kenson Delice, pointed out that authorities have not announced any measures to allow a return to school in better conditions within a month.

“The government is content to announce the postponement of the start of the school year without saying what it intends to do to alleviate the misery of the population, resolve the problem of insecurity and make fuel available,” he said.

Haiti has also been mired in a political crisis for several years, and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021 has made the situation much worse.

Gangs also enjoy widespread impunity and violence has increased in recent years.