SELF and Haiti Tec commit to expand upon their current solar PV training program with the development and regional promotion of additional advanced and short-course curricula.
First, the partners will create a second-year professional PV training course at Haiti Tec for 25 students, including at a minimum 10 women. This will entail completing the translation of the curriculum from English to French, training five solar trainers, and staging the first offering of the second-year course. The course will be certified as a degree program in Haiti. Staging the course will include advertising, promotion, and cataloguing materials. Additionally, SELF will establish a learning lab with a solar PV installation that provides energy to the facility. After the program, Haiti Tec aims to find a 15-day internship for at least ten graduates by partnering with the private sector. 75% of graduates from the second-year program are expected to find permanent employment within one year.
Second, the partners will create curriculum for two “spin-off” courses for lower-level vocational schools. Both courses will be taught twice each year to 10 students per course, reaching a total of 40 students.
Third, SELF and Haiti Tec will create at least three non-degree short courses to be taught at Haiti Tec that cover topic areas such as: PV for electricians; installation and maintenance of inverter/battery systems; and seminar for government, nonprofits, and businesses about solar and storage. The three courses will be taught twice per year, for ten students each, reaching a total of 60 students.
Finally, the partners will promote the availability of programs to other countries in the Caribbean through conferences, workshops, and by contacting vocational education authorities in at least five countries.
SELF serves as project manager and is responsible the curriculum, training, procuring equipment, and conducting installations for the labs and 2.5 kw solar PV system. Haiti Tec collaborates on program design, provides classroom and lab space, and administers classes. Together, partners expect that 75% of students across the program will complete courses successfully.
For the completion of the second-year professional PV training course:
(1) Complete English version of year two curricula (creation of the curriculum in English and part of the translation has already been funded and is underway): February 2019
(2) Continue raising funds. Completion target: March 2019
(3) Complete translation into French: April 2019
(4) Complete training the trainers: August 2019
(5) Complete lab installations: August 2019
(6) Begin first session of program: October 2019
(7) Complete first session of program: July 2020
For the creation of “spin off” courses for lower level vocational schools:
(1) Coordinate with partner vocational schools: Ongoing
(2) Complete program design: April 2019
(3) Complete writing and translation of curriculum: July 2019
For creation of three non-degree short courses:
(1) Complete writing and translation of curricula: June 2019
(2) Procure any needed additional lab equipment and tools: August 2019
(3) Completion of the first sessions of these courses: May 2019
For dissemination/promotion of these programs to other Caribbean countries.
(1) Completion of multi-media promotional materials: August 2019
(2) Complete formal approaches to at least five Caribbean countries: November 2019
(3) Complete presentations at conferences and workshops as opportunities arise: December 2019
Before Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, only 20-40% of its population benefitted from unreliable grid electricity that was 85% dependent on expensive imported fossil fuels. The rate of rural electrification was even lower, at 15% or less. Moreover, Haiti’s national utility has suffered from management and accounting issues. The 2010 earthquake significantly worsened conditions with all power plants serving Port-au-Prince being knocked off line for weeks or months, and many thousands of power poles destroyed. Even after eight years of recovery, the electrification rate has not exceeded pre-earthquake numbers.
In recognizing solar electricity (PV) as part of Haiti’s energy future for reducing carbon emissions, cutting fossil fuel imports, and meeting the need for a resilient electrical supply system, PV development is being officially supported. The Government released a World Bank funded RFP for community-based solar-hybrid micro-grids in January 2019.
In addition to addressing Haiti’s critical energy needs, solar development creates the opportunity for new jobs in the energy sector which are critical in a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the Caribbean. To enable the rapid deployment of PV, there needs to be comprehensive capacity building in the form of vocational level PV training.
The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) has been a leader in solar electrification in Haiti since 2008. Initially, it brought solar to hospitals, clinics, schools, micro-enterprise centers, micro-grids, a fish farm, and agricultural projects. SELF and Haiti Tec, a leading vocational school in Port-au-Prince, have partnered to create professional PV training courses to meet the needs of a wide range of people seeking employment in renewable energy. To date, the partnership has created a one-year professional PV technician course which is currently being taught for the 2nd session. To date, seven companies have hired graduates and three graduates have started their own solar companies.
SELF has received $300,000 from OFID to start the development of the second-year PV program. SELF is now seeking additional funds to complete the program and to develop courses for lower-level vocational training and shorter courses to meet the needs of other students.
SELF is able to offer initial consultations to private or public vocational schools as well as to NGOs and governments on the development of PV training programs.
SELF is also committing to disseminate information about the solar workforce development program to other countries in the Caribbean through conferences, workshops, and by contacting the appropriate government vocational education authorities in at least five Caribbean countries.