haitichildren.jpg  Traumatised Children in Haiti The Haitian eduation minister has said that the country's education system has 'totally collapsed' Joel Jean-Pierre - who has himself lost his sister in law and her children in the earthquake and whose own ministry building collapsed says that half of Haiti's schools and it's three main universities have been destroyed or badly damaged. Universities and schools were all working at the time the earthquake hit so the loss of life both among students and teachers was severe. Some estimates put the total number of dead at 200,000. The country's education system was already struggling before the disaster hit with a literacy rate of only 53%. The country has been impoverished and exploited from the time of its colonisation by the French and the importation of hundreds and thousands of slaves from Africa. Since then - despite the heroic and successful struggle of the slaves to free themseves from their colonial masters at the beginning of the 19th century - the country has never been free of debt particularly to the US nor have the people been able to benefit from their previously fertile and productive country nor determine their own destiny. It is very much to be feared that the present mobilisation on Haiti - which is being led by the US military will be a precursor to a yet more firm stranglehold on the Haitian people by US and corporate interests. British academic Peter Hallward has written an analysis of the situation which can be read at the following link http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/13/our-role-in-haitis-plight