Improve access to good quality education through building safe, permanent and comfortable school infrastructure

Project completed
Façade of a school
National School and EFACAP of Sacré-Cœur in Petit-Goâve. © SDC ©

The earthquake on 12 January 2010 caused unprecedented damage in Haiti. In the southwest of the country, one of the worst affected regions, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is providing support to the Ministry of Education in rebuilding schools in accordance with the appropriate architectural and anti-earthquake norms. The programme is designed to provide the education community with model school buildings that are compliant with norms and can be used anywhere in Haiti.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Primary education
Reconstruction and rehabilitation (till 2016)
01.10.2012 - 31.12.2017
CHF 8'677'000

The SDC is helping to rebuild schools destroyed by the earthquake of 12 January 2010. Eight of the 12 schools planned for reconstruction have been built, one will be completed in October 2016, and three in 2017. As part of this programme, the SDC has established a close working relationship with Haiti's Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP) to secure approval for three prototypes for the construction of earthquake- and hurricane-resistant schools.

The prototypes are designed to promote and ensure broad application of architectural and structural standards that take account of specific economic constraints and available means and resources in Haiti. A ministerial decree requires all actors involved in building schools throughout the country to use these prototypes.

Objectives of PARIS
The support programme for the rebuilding of school infrastructure (Appui à la Reconstruction des Infrastructures Scolaires «P.A.R.I.S.») plans:

  • to build national schools  in compliance with certified norms
  • to provide strong support for local partners under the leadership of MENFP for the design of models that comply with earthquake and hurricane-resistant construction norms and to the principles of user comfort
  • to advise on larger structures developing in the same field

Plans of models adapted to different contexts in Haïti
On the basis of the experiences gained from the pilot schools, the MENFP, with the technical support of the SDC, has set up a working group to develop plans for models for use in different contexts in Haïti. This working group brings together the main actors in the reconstruction of school infrastructure in Haïti: the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), UNICEF, The Spanish Cooperation Agency (AECID), the Ministry of Public Works and Communication (MTPTC), and NGOs active in the sector.

The objective of the model plans is to shorten, simplify and reduce the costs of the conceptual phases of specific school construction dossiers through the production of technical reference documents based on the norms and on the knowledge acquired experiences gained. At the end of 2012, the first two models were finalised and obtained building permission from MENFP and MTPTC within the framework of a project to build a national school in the municipality of Miragoâne. A third model, specially adapted to areas that are remote or difficult to access is in the process of development.

In addition to the Dessources and Sacré-Coeur schools, six state schools, of which two are EFACAP (école Fondamentale d’application Centre d’Appui Pédagogique [Elementary School and Teachers’ Support Centre]), offering a programme of teaching to 4,800 pupils and training for 400 teachers are expected to be completed by the end of 2015. The programme aims to build or rebuild schools situated in both urban and rural areas on the basis of the model plans that have been developed.

Theoretical and practical workshops for engineers
The P.A.R.I.S. project also aims to strengthen the technical capacities of the engineers of the MENFP.

The first such action was carried out in 2012 and comprised the organisation of a series of four theoretical and practical workshops on the pilot building sites for some 20 engineers for the purpose of learning the principles of earthquake-resistant construction. The workshops terminated with the delivery of 15 sets of supervision equipment for the DGS and the departmental managements, including in particular special hammers for testing concrete (sclerometers), portable computers, GPS devices and cameras.