Redesigning the curriculum for our students every year is a challenge! Part of our goal is to provide a world-class education, and in order to do so, we have been creating our own curriculum from scratch. Our curriculum is a huge step towards quality education in Haiti!
In Haiti, around 60% of kids abandon school before the sixth grade. Almost all schools charge tuition, and added to the costs of uniforms and books, this keeps many families out of schools. Schools are also taught almost entirely in French, when most Haitians grow up speaking Creole. This makes education nearly impossible for those who don’t already know French. Our goal is to make a school where kids come to truly learn. While we had covered tuition and other costs for our students, there was still the issue of finding the right material in the right language to teach. TJS had previously been using the best of Haitian curriculum, but we found that it didn’t meet the standard of the world class education we wanted to provide. There was little to no material in Creole like we needed, and the curriculum is heavily memorization based. In 2017, we began the process of creating a whole new revolutionary curriculum for our students.
Lead by our education direction Katie Martin, we began designing our own curriculum for our students. We collaborated with our Haitian teachers to see where the best educational material in Haiti is coming from. After getting access to the limited material in Creole, we then starting slowly bringing material from around the world and combining it with our Haitian material. We took the best educational tools we could find from not only Haiti, but the US, Canada, and France. It is very important to us that we teach our students in the language they know best, so we carefully translate everything so that their education has a base in Creole. Once we have written the textbooks, we print copies in Haiti through local companies.
We assemble our curriculum based on our core educational themes: academics leadership, service, languages, Haitian culture & history, and discipleship. Our kids are engaged in classes like math, science, history and geography, but also in civics and biblical discipleship. We are also focused on teaching our students the languages they will need to be be be successful leaders. Our students learn Creole, French, and English, and will be fluent in all three before they graduate. We conduct regular testing every nine weeks, so that we know the students are keeping up with everything they should have learned.
We want our students to not only have the best Haitian education possible , but to compete on a global basis. Our students have already been testing, on average, much higher than other schools in the area. We will continue to update and change our curriculum as needed to guarantee that our students have the best education possible. Education changes everything, and by providing a world-class education to these children today, we are changing the future of Haiti’s tomorrow.