Brooklyn, NY, Jul 26, 2018 — The pearl of the antilles becomes the home of a new summit that brings together stakeholders in the field of education and technology to discuss and formulate a solution for the longstanding challenge, that is, integrating technology into Haiti’s education system. The first edition of the Haiti EdTech Summit, spearheaded by EMO-Haiti and its CEO Dr. Mardochee Reveil, proved to be a hub for informational workshops, presentations by leaders within the EdTech sector, multi-level networking and an official launch of BRAVO, a platform created by EMO-Haiti to tackle the barriers that exist where school management is concerned.
On July 5th, 2018, the Convention Center of BRH (Bank of the Republic of Haiti) was buzzing as 500 attendees, 100 represented schools, 20 leaders and 15 companies congregated in the convention center to figure out and answer an extensive question that, not by coincidence, found itself at the focal point of Dr. Lesly Michaud’s (representative of world vision Haiti) presentation on the inveneo project. The question posed was “How can a formal integration of technology into schools be initiated?”. This query set the tone for the overall atmosphere of the EdTech summit. The summit, unlike others, didn’t simply consist of people absorbing information. The whole day was comprised of healthy exchange and conversation. There were numerous occasions for attendees to, not only ask questions, but share their own concerns and ideas about the state of education in Haiti and the way technology can be utilized to restructure it. After all, that’s the type of innovative mindset that bred this summit. The various trailblazers in the room also created a unique opportunity for everyone to witness “L’union fait la force” being exemplified, as work that was already being done to revolutionize education in Haiti, whether through software, hands-on instruction or a variety of investments, was put on display.
As presentations proceeded in the main center, exhibitor tables were set up just outside where everyone had a chance to network and converse with other leading giants in Education and Technology in Haiti. Names like RETEL (www.retel.ht), Kat-Kat game (katkatgame.com), SÛRTAB (surtab.com) and more were in attendance. Private rooms were also allocated for workshops on subjects of interest such as scholarships and computer programming. Presenters gave students, parents and teachers alike, the blueprint to obtaining scholarships within Haiti as well as countries abroad . Information was supplied concerning the grade average that students would need to receive scholarships and an overview on the organizations granting these awards. Other high points in the summit found themselves at the heart of the dialogues of the day. Issues like technophobia, conflict between students and teachers, the roles culture and infrastructure play in the advancement of education and Haiti’s brain drain (the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usually for better pay or living conditions- Merriam Webster dictionary) were explored.
The summit culminated with the planned formal launch of BRAVO, a platform created by EMO-Haiti (the prime mover of the summit). Mr. Carl-Hens Fievre, as co-founder, delivered the presentation on what BRAVO was and why its existence was crucial to the transformation of schools and education as a whole. He outlined the alluring features of BRAVO such as its free accessibility for schools who want to begin using it and its advanced student record management capabilities. This platform aims to democratize access to school management systems in Haiti and resolve the many complications and setbacks that Haiti has experienced thus far. A couple of them being the following: the loss of students records in case of natural disasters, the inability to follow up with students and parents and the transference (or lack thereof) of grades in cases where individuals needed it most, and more!
The EdTech summit lasted from morning to late afternoon and attendees left with an air of hope and reassurance that the future of Education in Haiti would be bright. Furthermore, any skepticism regarding the significance of integrating technology into education for a better Haiti, was surely dispelled. At the first edition of the EdTech summit, issues plaguing education in Haiti were exposed and solutions were proposed. Most prominently, a myriad of individuals, organizations, schools, administrators and students were actively in the process of making changes on a micro and macro level.
Attendees were asked for their feedback. Here are a few of their responses (translated from French):
“Congratulations to the EMO-Haiti team for the work that you guys are doing within the haitian community. This is an impeccable and praise worthy initiative. I am happy to have participated and to see that there are still people who are thinking of our country’s development through the inevitable mean of education.”
“ Congratulations to EMO Haiti and to all the panelists of the EdTech Summit. It’s a great initiative. I want to start integrating the platform BRAVO to join the movement. I also want all the schools in Haiti to benefit from this platform and not only in the capital.”
“ EdTech Haiti Summit was an incomparable event. It was about time that an event like this was organized in Haiti. Keep it up!”
The date for the 2nd edition of the summit has not yet been announced. However, there’s no denying that it will be just as unforgettable as EdTech Haiti 2018.
Mitsuka Attys is a blogger for EMO-HAITI