Yes, there are public schools, but the majority of kids go to private schools because the quality of education is better. Private schools run by churches and by NGO’s educate 80% of the students. In a 2011 report published in the Journal, “The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs”, author Brian McNulty wrote that 80% of Haiti’s 16,500 or so primary schools are private and adhere to no academic standards. www.fletcherforum.org/2011/01/20/mcnulty

But these private schools cost money and it is frequently beyond the means of the family. If there are 3 or 4 children in a family they have to take turns going to school – child #1 this year, #2 the next year and so on since there are not funds to send all to school at the same time. Many students are “overaged”, that means that they are chronologically much older than they should be for the grade they are in. It is not unusual to find a person that is 19 or 20 still in high school or secondary school or a 10 year old in 2nd grade. This is the norm, not the exception.