Inauguration of two permanent schools in Haïti

Article, 12.10.2012

Programme of support for the reconstruction of school infrastructure

1,600 pupils were able to resume their school studies following the inauguration of the Ecole nationale de Dessources in Léogane and the Ecole fondamentale et Centre d’appui pédagogique (EFACAP) du Sacré-Cœur in Petit-Goâve on 10 October 2012. These are the first permanent school buildings that have been reconstructed in the country following the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010. Both schools comply with anti-seismic and anti-cyclonic standards.

Speech by Swiss ambassador Edita Vokral during the inauguration of the Ecole Dessources in Léogâne. (

The approach and the relevance of the support programme for the reconstruction of school infrastructure proposed by the SDC meant that in October 2010 it was the first institution to receive permission from the Haitian government to construct permanent school buildings. The foundation stone was laid on 12 January 2011, exactly a year after the devastating earthquake.

Pupils during the inauguration of the EFACAP Sacré-Coeur in Petit-Goâve. ( © SDC)

The Ecole Nationale de Dessources and the EFACAP du Sacré-Cœur were part of an initial pilot phase in which a system ofanti-seismic and anti-cyclonic construction using concrete was tested. This system was developed using a modern and ductile concept which fully respected the post-seismic standards required by the Haitian government. Moreover these constructions also comply with the school standards of the Ministry of National Education and Professional Training (MENFP)and the technical requirements of the Ministry of Public Works,Transport and Communication (MTPTC). They were jointly financed by Roche and thePrincipality of Liechtenstein.

Development of standard plans for school buildings
This experience means that it has been possible to improve the architectural and structural concept of the building and to create a standardised model which will be used in future constructions by theSDC.The technicaldocumentation will be made available to theHaitian Ministry of National Education and of Professional Training (MENFP)and to those involved in reconstruction.These buildings are part of a more comprehensive programme of support for the reconstructionof school infrastructure which is developing standardised plans with reference value. An engineer seconded by Basler & Hofmann working for the Reconstruction Competence Centrebased in Haïti is providing technical support throughout the process, from the design phase to the construction of the buildings.

Pupils of the Ecole Dessources in Léogâne. ( © SDC)

The building sites of the two schools were also used to improve the technical abilities of the engineers and architects of the MENFP and in particular of the School Engineering Directorate and of the departmental directorates. The engineers familiarised themselves with the basic principles of anti-seismic construction thanks to the practical workshops that the SDC ran on the sites.

The qualitative and specific added value provided by the SDC in the area of school construction means that it can play a special and recognised role within this sector. It led to the signing of a strategic partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the leading provider of funds for the construction of school infrastructure in Haiti.