30 Jul 2004

Disappointment in Marshalls at poor school results

3:28 pm on 30 July 2004

The head of the College of the Marshall Islands says the poor results in college entrance exams is a long, complicated and sad story.

Wayne Schmidt was commenting on this year's 99-percent maths failure rate and 93-percent English failure rate by high school graduates hoping to get into the College.

The Marshall Islands Journal reports that of 521 graduates applying for a place at the college, only 36 passed the entrance requirements.

Another 330 will enter some form of remedial instruction to boost their academic performance and 155 scored so low they will not even get into remedial instruction.

Dr Schmidt says half the country's teachers have only a high school diploma themselves.

And he says the problem is made worse by the fact that those teachers are unable to use the normal curriculum for a graduating high school class.

"They are not able to teach what would normally be taught at that age level because the students haven't achieved the prior levels coming up through the system. And so the failure is at all levels from primary levels through the secondary levels."

The head of the College of the Marshall Islands, Wayne Schmidt.