Joseph C. Bernard

La Reforme Bernard and Haiti Education System

La Reforme Bernard and Haiti Education System

In 1982, Haiti started a major overhaul in the educational system based on the recommendation of the Haitian professor Joseph C. Bernard (1917 - 2005). He advocated the introduction of Haitian Creole as a language of instruction and a second language is taught in cycles of primary and secondary education for a period of 5 years minimum.

One of the main objectives of his system was to achieve a functional bilingualism after three cycles of elementary school and to achieve that, a language program was developed--both vernacular and second language. Creole was the first choice as the vernacular language of instruction in the five years of basic or primary education and French was taught as a foreign or second language and language of instruction.

There was always an obvious question hanging before-- why the choice of second language did not consider English or Spanish when they too have equal global openings and opportunities. The Reformation Bernard was not very successful because lack of good teaching material and trained teaching staff in Creole.

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