30 Jul 2005

We have education disaster unfolding, Marshalls tell US

12:09 pm on 30 July 2005

The Marshall Islands government's annual report to the US President says an "education disaster" is in progress in the Marshall Islands.

The report is an annual requirement of the Compact of Free Association that is providing more than a billion US dollars to the Marshall Islands over the next 20 years.

The report said the entrance exam scores for both high school and College of the Marshall Islands continue to indicate that the Marshall Islands is facing an education disaster, particularly in maths.

The figures show less than two per cent of all high school graduates are ready to take college level maths and less than eight per cent are ready for college level English.

On the opposite end, between 80 and 90 per cent of all high school graduates are only ready for elementary school level maths courses and 30 and 40 per cent are ready for elementary level English courses.

The Marshalls government says American plans to increase the islands' economic self-sufficiency are unlikely to succeed without sweeping changes in education.