29 Aug 2003

Marshall education threatened if College loses Federal money

3:36 pm on 29 August 2003

The president of the College of the Marshall Islands, Wayne Schmidt, says the possible loss of federal funding of 4-POINT-5 million US dollars would have a negative effect on the whole education system.

The College has yet to meet five criteria from the US Western Association of Schools and Colleges in order to receive accreditation for funding.

Mr Schmidt says the criteria include financial resources, a drop in staff turnover and the keeping of accurate records.

He says if the criteria is not meet by January the College would probably close.

Mr Schmidt says that would drastically lower the education opportunities for Marshallese and he would have concerns for the training for nurses and also teaching.

"There's still a massive need here for teachers in the publicschools because most teachers in the public schools, nearly fifty percent, only have a high school degree ..that high school degree is less quality...their ability is less than many other places"

Mr Schmidt says the college is relying on the government for more funding and governance issues affecting the accreditation process relate to previous administrations.