Haiti Elections 2011: What does this mean for education?

After the flawed election in November, the long awaited election in Haiti will be here this week, March 20th.  People will be watching and listening all around the world to hear the outcome of the important election in a country that is still trying to rebuild and reconstruct after last year’s earthquake and cholera outbreak.  So what can the results of the election mean for education in Haiti?

Here is a breakdown of the two front running candidates and what they pledge to Haitians regarding education.

Mirlandi Manigat

Mirlandi Manigat, a university administrator and former first lady, puts education at the top of her list.  In interviews, she has acknowledged that Haiti can’t grow without first educating its people.  Not only does she believe in basic education for school-aged children, but also education in the professional world.  What she means is that, in order to rebuild, carpenters, electricians, and engineers must be trained in professional schools to begin the process.  In addition she hopes to increase a presence of public education sectors in the nation.

Michel Martelly

Michel Martelly, a Haitian recording artist (better known as “Sweet Mickey”), has not talked about his education plan in Haiti as extensively as Manigat.  However, he does recognize that the education system has suffered greatly due to the catastrophes of the past 16 months.  Part of his plan is to raise funds, through tax deduction, to modernize the equipment and technology in schools.  In addition, he wants a board to better oversee the education system in schools and universities.

Who has the better plan?

Will it be Manigat with knowing that education is the first step in rebuilding? Or will it be Martelly who believes in modernization first in order to educate and rebuild?