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Key Components of the Haiti Catholic Education Initiative

Elements of the Haitian Catholic Education Initiative

In an effort to ensure that all Haitian children have access to an excellent education, the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education (CEEC; the national office for Catholic education in Haiti) has partnered with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Congregation of Holy Cross in Haiti, and the University of Notre Dame to develop and implement the Haitian Catholic Education Initiative (HCEI).

Emerging from the national study and strategic planning effort supported by CRS and Notre Dame, the HCEI is a comprehensive approach for transforming the Haitian Catholic school system with a focus on markedly improving educational quality. The initiative is pursuing the following objectives for long-term, systemic change in Haiti:

  • System-wide teacher training at both the primary and secondary levels;
  • Strengthened school governance capacity and effectiveness; and
  • Increased community ownership of and participation in local schools


2013-2015 activities

The HCEI will implement activities in the Central and South regions of Haiti (the Dioceses of Hinche and Les Cayes). The HCEI project aims to scale nationally over time, and the partners share a long-term commitment to improving educational outcomes for Haitian children served by Haiti’s Catholic schools and strengthening the system as a whole.

Primary School Teacher Training

  • Train up to 800 primary school teachers in 200 schools over a three-year period, resulting in teacher certification for all participating primary school teachers.
  • Strengthen the capacity of an existing network of national and regional Diocesan education offices and improving educational expertise within the Catholic school system through the training of regional pedagogical supervisors.
  • Leverage existing assets, experience and plans of the CEEC as a licensed provider of primary school teacher certification, as well as a history of strong collaboration with the Government of Haiti.
  • Pilot the use of new standardized testing instruments in Haiti, needed to inform planning and monitor quality.

Secondary School Teacher Training

  • Train up to 300 school teachers in up to 10 secondary schools through robust, two-year professional development program for in-service secondary school teachers administered by the Haitian Congregation of Holy Cross through their Institute Superior Marcel Bedard (ISMB), founded in August 2012 in partnership with the University of Notre Dame. The ISMB is entirely staffed by qualified Haitian professionals.
  • The ISMB accepted its first cohort of 35 students in August 2012. The program requires more than 300 hours of instruction over two years, on par with international standards for teacher licensure.

Community Engagement and Local Ownership

  • This project will implement participatory governance structures at the school and regional levels to improve student and community participation in Catholic schools. It will raise the proportion of Catholic schools with boards and parent associations from 30% to near universal coverage. 
  • This initiative will also improve the sustainability and local ownership of schools, as well as parental engagement and accountability of Catholic schools locally and regionally through improved governance.

ACE in Haiti