Haiti postpones back to school as economic crisis rages

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Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Haitian authorities are postponing the start of the school year by a month as the Caribbean nation grapples with an economic crisis that has caused fuel shortages and soaring prices.

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

The text gave no reason for the postponement, and the ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment from AFP.

The impoverished island nation is struggling to cope with insecurity, inflation and fuel shortages, all of which have made travel difficult and cast doubts on the start of the school year for weeks now.

In July, the inflation rate reached 29%, 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 the 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 relieve the misery of the population, solve 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 made the situation much worse.

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

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