7 Oct 2004

About a third of Marshalls teachers fail reading and writing tests

11:18 am on 7 October 2004

Education officials in the Marshall Islands say only about one in three public school teachers have passed reading and writing tests.

The Education Minister Wilfred Kendall says poor academic results are a reflection of their teachers.

Earlier this year, the Ministry announced that teacher assessment testing was to be started as part of an effort to improve its school system.

A pilot test was given to a group of 69 teachers who volunteered in August and all public and private school teachers will take a revised test on Friday.

A majority of public school teachers in the Marshall Islands have only a high school diploma. Fewer than 10 per cent of them have university degrees.

Mr Kendall says other islands in Micronesia that are also doing teacher testing are finding similar problems with generally low teacher abilities.

He says that the Ministry will provide plenty of opportunity for the teachers who don't pass the first test to improve their academic ability and remain in the profession.