Sustaining the Reconstruction of an Educational and Research System in Haiti

All of our thoughts are at the moment turned toward Haiti, a country where we have roots and friends, a society with which we work - through research programs carried out with Haitian teachers and researchers, our own teaching there, or the students that we train - a country also that we study for its contribution to the history of Humanity and of Freedom. We extend our since condolences to each and every Haitian, and we would like, specifically, to address our deepest sympathies to our colleagues and students of the schools and universities ruined by the earthquake.
The magnitude of the disaster is shocking, but beyond immediate emergencies, we must already think of the future and undertake the reconstruction of a system of education and research as a sign of a better future... if it is well organized.  The “earthquake of disengagement” that Haiti has known in the past should invite us to take the dramatic rupture, fatal to so many Haitians, as a signal of the necessary changes that must be brought to bear upon that country, especially in terms of how Haiti is represented and implications for the concept of international solidarity, both being interconnected. There is neither irreversible "fatality" nor a "curse" in the destruction of the major part of the educational infrastructure, but, instead, highlights the effect of the rural exodus and establishment of precarious zones of habitation. What we have witnessed is not "insecurity" and "disorder" but dignity and resilience in the midst of crumbling buildings of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and in the demand for resumption of classes that Haitian correspondents send via the incredible mobilisation of our international research networks through the Internet. The keys of Haiti are not being handed to foreigners as stated by the Président of Haiti, René Préval, even though solidarity is sought from the international

Gérard Barthélémy, an anthropologist recently deceased, never stopped reminding us that bad development in Haiti was inversely proportional to the international aid provided the country. We must, without doubt, remind ourselves of this with respect to education. Reconstructing the education network through dispersed initiatives launched by nations, organizations, or individuals must be avoided. Under the aegis of responsible Haitians, a global scheme integrating primary schools, technical (agricultural and artisanal) and university education, and training of teachers must be enhanced. In relation to the forthcoming conference in Montréal this coming January 25th, we ask each of our governments, to support the organization of an international plan that would bring synergy to all initiatives aimed at the system of education and research in Haiti, which is essential to the cultural and intellectual vitality of the country and a guarantee of its survival.

Without waiting for future decisions, we insist on the necessity of sustaining Haitian researchers and students. We call for resources to support teachers and students through scholarships and bursaries that can be implemented as soon as possible. We also call for the establishment of “Haitian Chairs” for professors and teachers and the creation of training stations for education. We need to implement flexible visa and other requirements. Our honor as teachers and researchers in the international community is at stake.

Myriam Cottias, Directrice de recherche au CNRS, Centre International de Recherches sur les Esclavages, EURESCL (7e PCRD), CRPLC, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane.
Jean Luc Angrand, historien, Prix de l’Académie des Sciences d’Outre-mer, France.
Cédric Audebert, Chargé de recherches au CNRS, Migrinter, Université de Poitiers.
Hilaire Bakala, Maître de conférences en physiologie, Université de Paris 7
Charles Becker, chercheur CNRS retraité, membre du Centre d'études africaines
Carmen Bernand, historienne, Professeur émérite de l’Université de Paris X-Nanterre
Maryse Condé, écrivain, Professeur émérite de Columbia University
Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, historienne, Professeure émérite de l’Université Denis Diderot
Marie Cuillerai, Maître de Conférence, Département de Philosophie- LLCP Université Paris 8
Jacky Dahomay, professeur de philosophie à la Guadeloupe.
António de Almeida Mendes, Maître de Conférences, Université de Nantes, Centre International de Recherches sur les Esclavages
Laurence De Cock, enseignante, Lycée Nanterre
Chouki El Hamel, Associate Professor of History and African and African-American Studies, Arizona State University
Marie-Albane de Suremain, Maître de Conférences en Histoire, Université Paris Est Créteil, Centre international de Recherche sur les Esclavages, SEDET Université Denis Diderot
Yveline Dévérin, Maître de Conférences, Géographie, Université de Toulouse-le-Mirail
Michel De Waele, Directeur du département d'histoire, Université de Laval, Canada
Marcel Dorigny, Historien, Université de Paris 8
Liviu Dospinescu, Professeur adjoint, Département des littératures, Université de Laval
Stéphane Douailler, professeur de philosophie, Université de Paris 8
Daniel Friedmann, chercheur CNRS, équipe Edgar Morin du IIAC, EHESS
Ratiba Hadj-Moussa, Sociology, York University, Toronto, Canada
Sindani Kiangu, Historien, Université de Kinshasa, R.D.C.
Gérard Noiriel, historien, Directeur d’Etudes à l’EHESS
Stéphanie Mulot, Maîtresse de conférences, Université Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, LISST.
Jean-Marie Théodat, Maître de Conférences Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, laboratoire PRODIG.
Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Professeur émérite, Université de Laval.
Bruno Ollivier, Professeur de Sciences de l'information et de la communication, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane
Ibrahima Seck, historien, The West African Research Center, Dakar, Sénégal
Blaise Tchikaya, droit public, Maître de conférences, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Membre de la Commission de droit international de l’Union Africaine
Maud Laëthier, anthropologue, URMIS-IRD, Paris
Paul Lovejoy, Distinguished Research Professor, Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History, The Harriet Tubman Institute, Member, International Scientific Committee, UNESCO Slave Route Project, York University, Canada
Clotilde Policar, professeur des universités, ENS-Paris
Alain Policar, professeur agrégé, faculté de droit et des sciences économiques de Limoges, chercheur associé au Cevipof (IEP de Paris)
Dominique Rogers , Maître de Conférences, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Centre International de Recherches sur les Esclavages, laboratoire AIHP-GEODE, CRPLC.
Francine Saillant, Directrice du CÉLAT, Université Laval, Québec.
Patrice Vermeren, professeur de philosophie, Université Paris 8
David V. Trotman, historian, York University
Michele Johnson, historian, York University
Rina Cáceres, Historian, Universidad de Costa Rica
Jean-Pierre Le Glaunec, Universite Sherbrooke
Mariza Soares, Universidade Federale Fluminense 
Meley Mulugetta, York University

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