Crisis: Failure of the official return to school in Haiti
P-au-P, Oct. 03, 2022 [AlterPresse] — School activities are totally paralyzed throughout the national territory, this Monday, October 3, 2022, on the occasion of the official reopening of classes, which was returned for the first time on Monday September 5, 2022, according to information gathered by the online agency AlterPresse.
No student in uniform was noticed in the streets of Port-au-Prince, where several schools called on parents the day before to keep their children at home, pending a change in the socio-economic situation.
The fuel crisis for several months, preventing the operation of public transport vehicles and the climate of terror maintained, with complete impunity, by armed gangs, in various places in Haiti, particularly in the metropolitan area of the capital, Port-au-Prince, are at the origin of this disruption of activities, including commercial ones.
The de facto government, which had postponed, without formal explanation, the official return to school, from Monday September 5 to Monday October 3, 2022, decided to close the school, announcing a substantial increase, of around 100%, of prices of petroleum products in Haiti, denounce many voices in Haiti.
Any increase in the prices of petroleum products would subsequently lead to an increase in the prices of all other goods, such as public transport fares.
This Monday, October 3, 2022, barricades, made up of various objects, are installed in various places in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, where several banks, gas pumps and department stores continue to keep their doors closed, while informal trade is slowing down.
Pedestrians are looking for supplies of water, products and essential consumer goods.
In a note, the Haitian (Roman Catholic) Conference of Nuns and Religious (Chr) informs that it has decided to postpone the reopening of classes, in its private establishments, due to the situation of violence and generalized insecurity, which rages on the national territory.
This decision was also taken by the Chr, as a sign of solidarity with the Congregations of the Diocese of Gonaïves (department of Artibonite), which were victims of acts of looting and vandalism, during the latest disturbances which broke out since on Monday September 12, 2022, following the protest movements aimed at asking the de facto Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, to withdraw the decision to increase fuel prices by more than 100%, but above all to resign from the political leadership from Haiti.
A number of warehouses, used by United Nations (UN) agencies, were attacked by protesters, in towns such as Gonaives (Artibonite/North) and Les Cayes (South), where losses, estimated at 2 thousand metric tons of food from the World Food Program (WFP), an agency of the United Nations, have been registered, according to the United Nations Organization.
In a press release, dated Sunday, October 2, 2022, the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (Menfp) says it recognizes how “the first week of the 2022-2022 school calendar will be difficult, for the relaunch of school activities in several parts of the country”.
The Menfp says it expects “a gradual and difficult back to school”.
The Council of the Government of October 2, 2022 is committed, once again, to creating an appropriate security framework and an adequate device, in order to facilitate the movement of the population in general and schoolchildren in particular, tries to reassure the Ministry of l ‘education.
the Menfp declares to call for the respect of the right to education of all children in all circumstances, recognized by the international conventions ratified by Haiti.
“Being a public good, the school must be safeguarded and preserved at all times. It is up to all actors to contribute to it, for the good and the future of our children”.
Various institutions and public figures have urged the de facto government to create a safe climate and a better framework to facilitate the movement of schoolchildren, parents, teachers for the start of the school year.
However, no provision in terms of security and social support for the most vulnerable families has been taken by the de facto authorities in place, to make effective a return to school 2022-2023, which has already been postponed from September 5 to October 3, 2022.
In addition, the de facto government has been struggling to make fuel available at distribution pumps, since the federation of armed gangs G9 in fanmi e alye of Jimmy Chérizier, alias Barbecue, prevented, as at the end of 2021 , access to the Varreux Terminal (in the town of Cite Soleil, north of Port-au-Prince), where 70% of petroleum products are stored.
In the meantime, human tides of protesters began to march, this Monday, October 3, 2022, in the streets of Cap-Haitien (North), Trou du Nord (North-East), Hinche and Mirebalais (Central Plateau) , Gonaïves and Saint-Marc (Artibonite), Jacmel (South-East), Pétionville (municipality east of Port-au-Prince), Delmas (municipality north-east of Port-au-Prince ) and Carrefour (municipality south of the capital), among others, to demand the resignation of Ariel Henry.
Barricades were erected in Petit-Goave (68 km south of Port-au-Prince), on National Road No. 2, and in Miragoane (department of Nippes, a part of southwestern Haiti).
In Pétionville (municipality east of Port-au-Prince), several young people, wearing their school uniforms, also demonstrated, this Monday, October 3, 2022, against the status quo.
Protesters have no boundaries in their journeys through the streets, many protesters have warned. [adapted from the AlterPresse edition]