The case for learning, with or without school

Tim Falconer, back from his recent tour of his partner schools in Haiti, makes the case for focusing on learning in Haiti, rather than physical schools.  This is not to say that schools aren’t important — when a community needs a central place for scores of children and teachers to gather, study, or break bread, clearly they need a comfortable space if not an entire school.  But Tim notes out that many children never go to school.  Ever.  He asks:

[In Haiti] why are we still talking about building schools? Why aren’t we talking about training adults to use laptops instead of chalkboards? Why aren’t the teachers going to the children, to teach in small local groups?

I would like to see recent data on this that consolidates private and public school information; but it’s fair to say more than half of all school-age children are not in school at a given time.   (I am reminded for a moment of the remarkable UNICEF game Ayiti: the Cost of Life , which deserves more development and attention.)  If you have thoughts on home schooling, or community schooling and mentorship, stop by and leave him a comment.

3 thoughts on “The case for learning, with or without school

  1. Hello Belizaire, lovely to hear from you. These are things that schools using OLPC do – certainly typing and finding information (both online and offline). Finding reliable Internet access for schools is sometimes the most difficult part.

    Tim is already working with one laptop per child in a number of private schools in Haiti, as is John Engle of Haiti Partners. And there are many government schools that are involved in the program. Where in Haiti are you based?

    Regards
    Sam

  2. I m a teacher in haiti and I really want to help all the children in haiti who don’t have anything to do in their life. I want to work with computers and teach the children how to use computers, but right now it is not possible because I don’t have any lap top computers to work with. I didn’t think it would be possible to do this, but I heard about one lap top per child and thought I’d ask and see if it would be possible to make it work. I want to teach the children how to type, how to find information on the net and how to email.
    Can you tell me if you think this is possible?
    Thank you
    Belizaire Esdras

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