11 Apr 2006

Marshall Islands youth need reading recovery agency - college president

8:15 pm on 11 April 2006

The President of the College of the Marshall Islands, Wilson Hess, says it would be ideal to have an organisation focussing on developing greater literacy skills.

The Pacific Islands Literacy Levels test has showed a modest overall improvement in English language skills among public and private school students.

Wilson Hess says there's also been a steady rise in proficiency test scores for those students applying to the college.

But the majority of students remain at risk and Mr Hess says there is a need for some agency to encourage reading skiills outside of school.

"That whole issue of reading in youth, reading in the family, having a place to go to to read. The faculty from our english department spent half of the day with young children who were on campus just reading stories to them, and the kids were mesmerized. But organisationally, there nothing that promotes that on a day to day basis."

Wilson Hess.