Early in our experience in Mirebalais, we realized that teacher’s education was a key component of our project, as the level of information was quite low among this crucial group of professionals. We also realized that parents play an indispensable role in the education of their children. So, the institute in its second year was extended to include interested parents and community leaders.
The theme of the institute is culture, education and sustainable development, as the linking of those three elements seems crucial if we are to help ourselves understand Haiti’s predicament and embrace the road of sustainable development. To help Haiti move into the 21st century, in our mind, education must be grounded in cultural awareness. In this regard, the institute focused as much on content and curriculum transformation and adjustment (remedial, for our curriculum is severely deficient) as well as on teaching method and techniques of classroom management. The institute brings forth to our teachers, parents, and community leaders that faith in our possibilities and creative powers to transform our physical, social, cultural, and spiritual environment can be a reality, for we can transform our social conditions and transcend our limitative educational milieu. We can construct a curriculum that responds to our needs as a people with a particular history and biography.
Finally, the institute brings forth as well the imperative of institutionalizing a culture of self-reliance grounded in effective decentralization as an indispensable component of sustainable development.