Equity and Quality in Private Education:
the Haitian paradox

Publication date



ABSTRACT Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has a unique education system. The overwhelming majority of children are enrolled in private schools. In the absence of a functioning system of public schools, religious communities and private operators have become the main providers of educational services. This situation raises the question of the fairness of a system in which the quality of the education children receive is directly related to the level of tuition their families can afford. This paper assesses whether private education is playing an appropriate role in a poor country like Haiti in terms of providing quality education and promoting equity. It also reviews strategies which could allow the government to use its limited financial resources in a more cost-effective and equitable manner.