Haitian Students Awarded Laptops as part of CEI Education Initiative Ceremony


Education can be exciting, fun, and rewarding to everyone involved, as you’ll see in the video of a recent celebration and awards ceremony that culminated a CEI-sponsored student competition. In Spring 2018, the CEI Education Initiative, under the direction of Jean Marc Govain, held a contest for middle and high school students. Participants researched pressing problems in Haiti, suggested solutions, wrote their findings, and presented them. Winners received laptops provided by CEI. Congratulations, Jean Marc Govain, for envisioning and leading this important initiative.

“It’s important for students to learn to do research, thesis writing, collaborate, share their learnings, and learn to lead the change that Haiti needs.” — Jean Marc Govain, CEI Education Leader and Education Quality Inspector for Haitian Ministry of Education

“I never thought it was possible for someone from my school to have a laptop! It was very exciting to have the chance to win it for doing research about problems in my community.” — Student Winner of Competition

The purpose of the competition was to motivate all secondary students, their teachers, and school directors to do research, problem solving, and writing about a specific problem their communities are facing today, in order to engage students and staff in active, meaningful learning.  There were two research topics.

  • Consider the differences between a more developed country and Haiti. What are the benefits in a developed country that are luring our young people to migrate to places like Chile and Brazil? What would our communities need to provide in order for our youth to want to stay in their home country?
  • A stranger meets you and asks you questions about the commune of Paillant. From the geographical, social, economic, and other knowledge of the environment here, give a comprehensive portrait of the community.


Benefits and impacts of the competition for students from over 15 municipalities, included:

Impact on Students

“They said they’ve never before been exposed to a situation that forced them to search libraries, internet, dictionary, the town hall, and talk with local resource people to find information. The learning itself was exciting. It was motivating to know that winning a laptop was possible for someone in their schools, even if they themselves weren’t the winner. It showed that academic achievement is possible for all of them.”

Impact on Teachers

“This helped stretched the teachers, and show them the need for students to apply knowledge. It showed them the benefit of having students work in groups and share what they are learning. For some teachers, the competition was their first exposure to these aspects; for others, it reinforced what they know to be true, and inspired them to bring this practice into their classrooms.”

Impact on School Directors

“Few schools have a course in dissertation writing. This competition gave directors a vision for adding additional courses, such as dissertation writing, methodology, etc, so that their students can compete with those from other schools outside our area. Many of the directors said at the end of the competition that they will add these courses into the curriculum for their students.”


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