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Democratic Government and School System of Haiti

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Published: Mon, 12 Feb 2018

About the paper

The given discussion paper is based on the topic ‘Democratic Government and School System of Haiti’. In the given paper, the main focus point is the education system of Haiti, which is an island of West Indies. Due to the adverse condition of the Republic of Haiti, since the independence of the nations, the education system is very ineffective and is the main cause of poverty and lower economic level of the country. In this paper, it is evaluated that with the democratic structure of the education system of Haiti, how can effective measures be taken for a positive impact on the social and intellectual development of the people over there; especially, the youth and the adult populace.

The given learning paper is divided into three parts namely the breadth, the depth and the application. All the three parts of this learning paper are interconnected with each other and the discussion of these three parts have a flow of information. In the first part of the discussion paper namely the ‘breadth’, the theories related to education and democracy and are analyzed. The theories suggested in the given paper are given by Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey and Jean Piaget. The concept of these theories is based on the formation of the organizational structure of Haiti. In addition to this, the Historical perspective of Haiti and its struggle for the imposition of the educational practices and values of the western countries is also described in the same section of the paper. With the use of the given theoretical framework, interlink between the race, education and democratic governance is also analyzed in the same segment of the discussion paper (Investing in Instruction for Higher Student Achievement, 2003).

The next segment of the learning paper is the ‘depth’. In this part of the paper, the annotated bibliography of a series of the current scholarly articles is made. The articles selected are related to the subject of democratic governance in Caribbean, especially, in context with Haiti. In addition to this, the current political events occurred in Haiti are also discussed in the same section of the paper. Also, the impact of the outside consequences on the governance of Haiti and Caribbean is also evaluated in the same paper and the effect of these governances on the poverty rates of these regions is also being explored in the same section of paper.

The third and last section of the paper, which is the ‘application section’; the theories of democratic governance are analyzed with the foreign and economic affairs of the United States on the education sector of Haiti. In addition to this, the societal and economical indexes of the Haiti and Caribbean and the effect of internal governance factors or the pressure of the global business organizations of the United States on these indexes, is also included. The several other alternatives for the democratic governance are also investigated in the series, which were given by the three theorists in the first section of the discussion paper.

Introduction

Haiti, which is an island situated in the West Indies. The official name of Haiti is the ‘Republic of Haiti’. This is a Caribbean country, which is considered as a French speaking nation or Creole is also followed by the citizens of Haiti. This republican nation is located in the west side of the island of Hispaniola. The country was not independent, since its origin and got recognition as an independent nation in 1804 from France. In that period, this island was considered as the lowest country on the literacy level and the most deficient country among the entire hemisphere of west side. During the 1990s, Haiti was aimed for the establishment of the democracy by the international community (Haiti, 2009).

From the population point of view, Haiti is counted among the highly populated nations of the world. Of the modern times, Haiti is figured as the ‘first independent nation of blacks’. During the period of nineteenth and twentieth century, several numbers of struggles were experienced in Haiti. Among the major struggles, the struggle for gaining more power by the several classes of the nations and struggle for the negligence of the advancements in the filed of social and economic aspects.

These efforts gave birth to the several types of occupations in the military of the United States. The occupations were mainly promoted during the period of 1915 and lasted till the year 1934. At the end of the twentieth century, the Republic of Haiti restored democracy. This was executed in the year 1987, when a new ‘Constitution’ was ratified and a Bicameral Parliament was elected in Haiti. In this governmental system, the head of the states were the Prime Minister and the President. The President used to appoint a Supreme Court (Florén-Romero, 2008).

The governmental system of Haiti is categorized into three sections namely the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Government. There is one ‘Senate’ consisting of 30 seats and a ‘Chamber of Deputies’ comprising of 99 seats in the legislative section of the government. The term of these two sections of the legislative governments, is for six years and four years. The other section of the government, which is the executive power, is headed by the President of the Republic. The President is considered the head of the state and the head of the government is the Prime Minister. The third section of the government, which is the judicial power, is coordinated by the Supreme Court.

The Democratic government had a great impact on the school system of Haiti. In the earlier period in Haiti, there were no uniform schedules for the schools. This is because in those times, the school system of Haiti was aided by the privately run schools. During that period, the population of the students rose with a great speed. Moreover, there were no arrangements of faculties in the schools and the schools lacked the equipments used for the educational purpose. The school timings were also shortened due to the ineffective system of education. The school systems of Haiti in the past periods had to serve the different groups of pupils.

As periodic changes, schools were firstly developed in Haiti in the year 1905, after the emerging of the Constitution. The Constitution prescribed for the ‘compulsory primary education’ that was free of cost. The primary schools of the rural areas were created with several limitations; specifically, agricultural degree program with the introduction of the ‘Education Act’ of the year 1848. Later, the educational system was encouraged by the leaders of post colonial period of the Haiti; but the development of a comprehensive and convenient school system was not possible. Still, there are no means for education, as there are no provisions of the formal educations for the majority of Haitians. On the other hand, the primary school education is given to the small minority groups (Haitians— Their History and Culture, 2004).

The Democratic government of Haiti made sincere and continuous efforts for the provision of better education to its people. Though, the efforts of the Haitian Government were much effective, yet, the results of the efforts, of the government were not according to the desired level. There was a great requirement of the initiation of a sincere reform and through the establishment of that reform; the country could utilize ‘education’ as an instrument for the enhanced growth of the nation. There were no clear signs to show the education as a focused point for the basic requirements of the country. In that period, the preferences of the Haiti population were not towards the public education governance; this was because, in those years, the Haitians were only interested to send the upper class children to the schools. And for the purpose of study, they used to go France and they were recognized as French people (Haiti – Educational System-Overview, 2009).

The entire education system of Haitians was fully based on ‘Racialism’. There was an in-depth tendency among the Haitian Communities regarding the education of the society. The formal system of the education in Haiti was fully designed in such a way, that there were two classes of the community namely the urban elites and others. The urban elites were very few of the total population, about 20% and only they were supposed to have education; while the other 80% population in the countryside, was fully neglected from such kinds of right of education. This error in the Haitian education system was required to be reformed by the administrative affairs. The students were required to given education through proper system with the provision of classrooms (Hanus, 1997).

There was a completely formal system of education. In that system, the kids of age group of 4 to 6 years were sent to the private schools for getting the primary education. This system was traditionally considered by only those families, which were capable to afford the payment of the education. There were no changes in the scenario due to the decree held in the year 1982. The decree put stress on the democratic principles of the government accessible at the universal level.

There were no effective facilities in the public schools for the children. The classrooms in the public schools were overcrowded, which are still in the same position. There were no means of security, comfort and hygiene facilities for the children. In the schools, there were no provision of drinking water for the children, no electricity facilities and no space for the recreational purpose of the students. The schools were far away from the localities; due to that the students had to walk several miles for acquiring education. The faculties were not sincere towards their work due to ‘absenteeism’ or were late from their duties, as they had to face the same problem, as was faced by the children.

For the reformation of the educational system of Haiti, there have been made several efforts in the recent years (Rotberg, 1997). The aim of these reforms is to make the system of education easily accessible to the poor, in order to fulfill their needs and making changes in their social structures (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990). But these reforms could not be successful at the optimum level and as a consequence, most of the parts of Haiti remained having the old system of education.

The main efforts to make changes in the educational system were brought in 1970s. An effective change was made in the year 1978, when the urban and rural primary schools were united and their provisions were protected by the DEN (National Department of Education). After this period, the whole education system was restructured. In the new system of education, the basic education for ten years became essential in addition to the secondary education of three years. Several effective changes were made in the educational materials and the course of study. The major change made in this period was the adoption of the ‘Haitian Creole’ as a basic language for the instructional purpose.

In such condition of ineffective education system, the democratic governance is required to have some effective measures, in order to make amendments in the situation of the educational practices. For the purpose of sustainable developments in the long run and for the reduction of the poverty, the democratic governance is the most important and essential measure. In the foreign policy of Canada, the democratic governance is considered as a pillar. The CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) does several works for the purpose of handling the problem of poverty, by the provision of education to all the people equally and make the improvements in the sources of livelihood of the general people.

The concept of democratic governance was also applied by CIDA in Haiti. CIDA established about 9000 centers for voting and gave registration to about more than 3.5 million of people for voting in the election of the year 2006. In the strengthening of the democratic institutions also, CIDA played an important role in Haiti. It established Haitian Parliament and other several Ministries in the form of democratic institution for the advancement of the educational level in Haiti. For the increasing level of access in the scope of primary education in Haiti, CIDA provided a great support. These efforts were made by CIDA for the development of the socially excluded children, in order to improve and protect them from the child labor and other risky activities (Democratic Governance in the Americas: Canada’s Role, 2007).

For the improvement of the worsened condition of Haiti, education can prove to be a corner stone. For the development of the democratic way of life in the nation, transformation and advancement of the Haitian education system in the government, as well as, the general public of Haiti is essential. It is clear now, that for the improvement in the situation of the human rights in Haiti, there is a great requirement of the acquisition of the democratic government.

As a step in this field, a development of the US policy is made for the strengthening and nurturing the democracy in governance. This also helps in the improvement in the illiteracy level and alleviation of the poverty. This policy provides assistance to the citizens of Haiti by the provision of effective services in the filed of health and education.

The Breadth

This is the first and the most important section of the discussion paper. In this section, the main focus is given to the theories of the democratic governance. The concept of these theories is focusing on the democracy and education system. The theories discussed here, are given by Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey and Jean Piaget. All these three are the great philosophers of their own time. All these have given several views on the issue of democratic governance and the education system. The views of these theorists have a great implication in the school system of Haiti, to structure the education system, with the full integration of the aspects of democracy, given by all these three creative theorists and the interaction of both these aspects with each other.

Theories of Democratic Governance & Education

The democratic governance has a great integration with the consensus of the society, as it is a long extent of procedures, which assists the society in the implementation of the better social and regulatory decisions such as government policies and laws, social justice, social welfare, human rights, protection of different sources of environment etc. For this purpose, several institutions or organizations are developed in different nations. In this series, the governing bodies included are the legislature, executive bodies, judiciary, private organizations, political parties, educational institutes and several other major bodies. In short, it can be summarized that the democratic governance is an essential provision to bring equality and fairness for the entire mass of the citizens in the matters of social aspects, education, livelihood and other social and economic aspects.

The education and role of democratic governance in education are the two important aspects, which are viewed by the several numbers of theorists in the world. The concept of democratic education is a very composite philosophy for the purpose of learning and governance of the educational institutes such as the primary and secondary schools. In democratic education, there is a provision of the free participation of the school students and the faculty members in the democracy of the schools on an equal level. In these kind of educational centers, there is found a decision making process, which is based on decision sharing. The decision making is shared by the school students and the faculty members. In the democratic education, the decisions made are related to the working environment of the schools, way of teaching and learning of the students and several other concerning issues.

Though, the contribution of all the theorists in this field has equal importance; yet, there are three theorists, who have contributed a lot in the field of democratic education. These theorists are:

Jean Jacques Rousseau

John Dewey and

Jean Piaget

The theories of these theorists are being given for the education system and democracy. The theories given by them have a great implication for the development of the democratic education in the Republic of Haiti.

Theory of Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a great Philosopher of his own time. Rousseau composed several articles, philosophies and theories on politics and education. He emphasized on the thoughts of the modern aspects of politics and education. A great contribution was given by Rousseau for the support of the various educational methods, which put emphasis on the separation of the children from the society. The purpose of this implementation by Rousseau was to make the children capable of handling the adverse conditions of the environment by making them enable to handle them, to a great extent.

According to Rousseau, the problems recognized by him were very unusual, as this was recognized that in the field of teaching and education, there was a problem of legitimation. Rousseau suggested in this theory of democratic education, that there is a great requirement for the adults to be honest with their children. The adults according to Rousseau were required not to conceal the realities that they have the power to make their children forced for education, as they have this as a physical compulsion. According to him, when the children grow up till a certain age group, they themselves become engaged in the activities of their own processes.

According to Rousseau, human beings are born in free conditions; but after being a part of this society, they are bound with the chains of social regulations. At some points, where a requirement of the executive bodies is essential to accomplish a law, both the theories of Rousseau namely ‘Educational Theory’ and the ‘Political Theory’ appear to be integrated. According to Rousseau, in all the human beings, there exists a congenital capacity to grow. This capacity of development resides in our internal body organs and the faculties of the schools and learning institutions help in the further development of these capacities. Rousseau stated that if the natural tendencies of the humans are permitted to develop without any kind of limitations, the individuals can reach to a state of exemption and happiness. This is given a particular term by Rousseau namely ‘Education of nature’. In contrast to his own statement, Rousseau proclaims that without the provision of the freeness and happiness the human kinds can not have moral excellence. Without virtue, the man can have only happiness; but he will lack his worthiness. According to him, the man gives a great importance to virtue. The capacity of the man for worthiness is the special trait of human beings, which makes him distinguished from the creatures. The animals are free to live in their natural habitats and they are happy; but they do not have virtues of their own (Dewey, 2005).

Rousseau is an educational reformer, who prescribed that there are three sources through which, we can get education. These three sources are the nature, other human beings and the non- living things. With the education, which we acquire from the nature, the human being can develop his internal organs, as well as, the inner capabilities. With the education acquired by the human beings, we come to know, the ways to implement the education acquired by the nature. From the things, which are found in the surroundings of the human beings, they have several kinds of personal experiences through which, they make developments in their personalities. There is a state at which the man can achieve this real goal. This is the state, when all the three types of education gained by man, becomes harmonized and aims for the same target. For the complete growth of a man, the aggregation of the above three kinds of education, is a very essential aspect according to Rousseau. The statements given by Rousseau constitute the underlying truths about the education in alignment with some developments (Snauwaert, 1993).

Rousseau stated that the educative development is based on the three important factors namely:

The operative natural process and the structure of the internal body organs of the human beings.

The application of the activities performed by the internal organs of the human beings, which are influenced by the behavior of the other persons.

The interaction of the human beings with the environment in a direct way.

Theory of Dewey

The next theory related to education and democracy is given by John Dewey. He was also a great Philosopher of his own time. He gained popularity due to his contribution as an ‘Educational Reformer’ in America. The thoughts and ideas given by John Dewey influenced the standards of education in the United States of America and the other parts of the world; such as Haiti. The inner qualities of Dewey made him enthusiastic democrat and he stated that the success of the democracy is only possible, when, the people of a particular region, are well developed on the basis of the educational abilities

These are the democratic thoughts, which include the ideas about the interaction of the education and democracy. In the first half of the twentieth century, a great influence of the ‘Educational Theory’ of John Dewey was seen. The democracy does not have a single meaning. According to Dewey, the democracy has a different meaning, which he stated in the report of the mission started by him, as a part of the educative mission. This aim to provide this new definition of the democracy was to present the new ideas of the education in concern with the democracy.

According to Dewey, Democracy is not a kind of faith; rather it has a very simple meaning. In this sense, the energies of men can be tuned, when; they have the full fledged permission to show their varying qualities. According to him, Democracy does not have a faraway goal for human beings; but is a very easy way to have a spirit of freedom, among all the individuals. The essence of this kind of freedom is the individuals’ responsibility for the every aspect of their development.

In the same report, the views of Dewey about the nature of democratic education are also included. According to this report, in a democracy, the development of an educational system for the development and sustaining of life depends on the actual worth and the dignity of the individuals and the proper identification of these two traits of the individuals. This is organized in such a way, that the entire individuals can have equal opportunities of gaining education according to their own abilities and knowledge level of having the education. For the critical analysis, the democracy provides the freedom of inquiry to the individuals and special training to them for the purpose of the critical analysis.

The democratic education has the capability to promote the broad and conceptual discussion of all the information, based on facts that in the educational environment of great competence, the students have varying development stages. Such kind of broad discussion are not possible to be promoted in an educational environment; where the students are given only a limited prescribed syllabus for the basic studies and only some particular course materials are given for the study purpose. It is also stated by Dewey, that the uniformity and the standardization are not only two aspects on the basis of which, the degree of success of education in a democracy can be measured. This should be the obligation of the education that through its provision, all the individuals become cooperative and responsible for the society.

The abstract of the democratic education is to promote the development of the democratic citizens, who can have the feeling of regarding the rights of other individuals in accordance with the fulfillment of their own obligations, towards the society by the observation of the different rationales of the democracy including equivalence of equals, rule of majority and different ideas of individuals. On this basis, the individuals can demand for the provision of their own rights and positive results of their efforts, for the perfection in the personality of the individuals.

The democratic education has a very effective objective of the establishment of the perfection in the personality of the individual regarding their character and the development of more and more members in the society, who are much responsible for the well- being of the society.

There were considered two important factors in the theory of democratic education by Dewey. These two factors are the civil society and the schools. These are the two important areas, which need special attention for the promotion of the intelligence on the basis of experimental studies. According to Dewey, to construct the civil society again in a different form, there is a keen requirement of the complete democracy. This level of complete democracy can’t be gained only by the extension of the rights of voting for the individuals, but it also needs the assurance that, there should be an equal opinion of all the individuals for the policies framed in the democracy in any field of human development.

According to Dewey, the education does not only mean a formal education; but it calls that the people should have equal level of knowledge intelligence, for the generation of the beneficial laws and for the generation of the appropriate judgments. According to Dewey, the education gives the life effective growth and development without any formal element. In the reciprocal of this term, the democracy should be in the form of a social system based on education. In other words, a democratic society is the society, in which, there is an enormous role of education in the growth and development of the citizens. The inverse arrangement of this type of society is that, there should be provision of the education and the requirement of the further education by the means of self governance.

The desire of democracy is realized in the presence of several other factors. America as a good democratic nation, has realized the power of democracy with a great success. But Dewey did not have clear facts about the establishment of democracy in America. According to him, demarcates are the individuals, who consider that instead of giving any training for a particular task and turning the perception of the individuals for their growth and development, education is the better way to reach such goals. In education, the major role is played by the Educators. According to them, the democracy is a type of social system, in which the Educators greatly encourage the growth of the individuals and help the people to have an association of free and inducing behavior for others. According to Dewey, in such a social system, the individuals can have positive growth.

Dewey states that ‘Democracy’ cannot be considered only as a governmental structure, but is a social organizational system of a distributive nature. In such a system of democracy, all the individuals are free to combine their actions and thus, generate an induced mixture of the human interests with the inclusion of several cultural perspectives. In a democracy, all the values and aims of the different individuals challenge each other and they work for the achievement of some uncertain results. In this kind of system, the new approaches are generated for the attainment of these results. The life is a long and continuous process. In this process, the formal education acts an integral part. The formal education executes several works for us, as it directs the human beings to tread some constructive paths. In the views of Dewey, the philosophical methodology and the educational exercises; both are the two equivalent aspects.

In the educational institutions, it is learnt by the students that to have affection for any kind of subject matter or text matter is not important, but important is the process through which, the knowledge related to that particular area can be derived. In regards to the field of education and democracy, two other aspects can also be considered as equally important. The first aspect is linked with the communication philosophy given by Dewey and the other one is the consideration of the theory of education, quite similar to the communication theory. In this way, Dewey has proved that the concept of communication and education has dual interaction with each other. This is why; the concept of ‘Democratic education’ is specially focused in the theory of Dewey.

Both the concepts of the Dewey’s theory namely education and democracy has clear indication towards the concept of democracy. The concept of communication denotes the sharing of the common interests of the general people; but it puts emphasis on the identification of the co-relative interests of the people as an aspect of the administration. The concept of education focuses that; there should be organization of the social groups, which have free interaction among each other. These social groups can also make modifications in the habits of the social groups by the frequent readjustments according to the new situations, which are produced because of the changing conditions of the society. The social groups, which are constituted on the basis of the democracy, are mainly characterized by these two specific traits.

The democratic societies are more interested in the systematic education, rather than other social groups; because in such a society, the people have actualization of the way of life in which, the interests of the people are diffused with each other and they have positive attitude towards the re-adjustment and progress. In such social groups, the education seems to have a great devotion on the part of democracy. In regards with a democratic government, it is said that those governments, which stand upon the right of voting are not the fully successful governments, if the general citizens of a particular democracy are not well- educated. In the democratic societies, the explanations of the external authority are repudiated, if these are not created on the basis of the educational aspects.

Democracy is not only a type of government but, this can be considered as the affiliated system of living in which the people are linked with their transmitted experiences. Democracy is characterized by two aspects such as distributed pertains of people and attempting the larger varieties of the capabilities, of the individuals. These two characteristics of the democracy are not generated through the intended efforts of the individuals or their planning; but are considered to be developed by the intercommunication, immigration and business activity among the people, which are carried out by the facts of science over innate force.

In general terms, if the stratification of a society into two different classes is considered mortal, it should be analyzed then, that all the intellectual possibilities of the society are approachable by all the individual members of the society in a convenient way. The democratic societies, which are divided into different classes, are required to give the specific education to all its constituents incorporated in the ruling section. There are some social groups, which are completely mobile. In such societies, the member persons should be fully educated, so that, they can adapt the newer conditions easily. If they are not become able to adapt the newer situations, the new changes overcome the different areas of these societies, which were not comprehended by them.

Dewey also gave a philosophy of ‘Platonic education’. In this theory, the implication of the different ideas, of democracy in the education, is discussed (Campbell, 1996).

In the educational field, the most permanent inher


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