The six-year compulsory school is compulsory and free of
charge, but due to lack of teachers and schools, only 60%
(1990) start school, and most of them do not complete their
schooling. Thanks to the investment in educational programs
for adults, illiteracy has decreased somewhat during the
1990s. However, illiteracy, which was estimated at 55% in
1995, is still high. There are six teacher colleges, but the
number of newly graduated teachers (200–400 annually) is not
enough to reduce teacher shortages. Around 1990, 80% of
rural teachers and a third of urban teachers lacked formal
qualifications. About one-sixth of the children who complete
compulsory school continue in the six-year high school. Half
of schoolchildren attend private-run schools, primarily by
the Catholic Church. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Haiti.
In Port-au-Prince there is a university with about 5,000
students. Only 0.7% of the residents have college education.
In March 1990, General Avril was overthrown by General
Gérard Abraham, who shortly afterwards transferred power to
a provisional transitional government led by Judge Ertha
Pascal-Trouillot. It was the first time a woman was head of
government in Haiti. The Provisional Government worked to
fulfill the conditions of the Constitution, and printed the
December 1990 presidential election.
With 67% of the votes cast and widespread support for the
poor urban population, Pastor Jean Bertrand Aristide was
elected President as candidate for the National Front for
Democracy and Change - better known by his Haitian
designation, "Lavalas", the waterfall (there should flush
the old regime away). Aristide was inducted into the
presidential post on February 7, 1991. He was a supporter of
liberation theology, and for the same reason in 1988 had
been excluded by the Salecian order. His government program
was partly oriented towards combating corruption and drug
trafficking, and partly aimed at alphabetizing the
population and ensuring social and economic progress so that
the large population could move from "extreme poverty to
poverty with dignity".
But the government did not have many months to implement
its program. On September 30, a bloody military coup was led
by General Raoul Cedras. In the months following the coup,
it emerged that Haiti's citizenship had ordered the coup. It
feared Aristide's social reforms. At that time, it was not
possible to confirm or deny whether Denmark's consul in the
country, Ronald C. Madsen, had participated in the financing
of the coup.
The Organization of American States (OAS) immediately
initiated a trade embargo and initiated diplomatic
initiatives in the region and according to the United
States. In an attempt to avoid international isolation, the
coup makers declared that they would recognize the
functioning and supremacy of Parliament.
In February 1992, representatives of the OAS, Haitian
parliamentarians and the overthrown Aristide in Washington
signed an agreement on the reinstatement of democracy and
the president's return to power.
In April, 4,000 political murders were reported, while
thousands of Haitians fled in fragile vessels for fear of
repression. After Aristide's fall, 40,000 Haitian refugees
had been picked up on the sea by the North American Coast
Guard. Most of them were sent back to Haiti by the United
In May, the United States government issued a decree
ordering the Coast Guard to intercept all vessels from Haiti
and return them. Two months later, an appeals court in the
United States issued a ruling that knew the decree in
violation of 1980 refugee law.
In June, Haitian military dictatorship appointed Marc
Bazin as prime minister. He was the founder of the Liberal
Movement for the Restoration of Democracy.
In January 1993, US President Clinton declared that his
government still intended to bring in Haitian refugee ships.
At the same time, a federal court ordered 158 Haitian
refugees released from the US collection base in Guantánamo
so that they could be treated for AIDS. The court
characterized the camp as a "prison for HIV", with
conditions similar to those in camps for "spies and
United Nations and OAS envoy Dante Caputo now launched a
diplomatic offensive to secure Aristide's return to
government. As part of the proposal, the military people who
had participated in the coup in September 1991 were to be
granted amnesty, and at the same time a "development plan"
drawn up by the World Bank should be implemented.
In January, the dictatorship voted to replace part of
parliament, but the voting share was below 3% and a few
months later Marc Bazin resigned from the prime minister's