23 Apr 2007

Marshall Islands private school attributes better scores to quality teachers

3:13 pm on 23 April 2007

The principal of a private school in the Marshall Islands says the quality of their teachers is one reason their students do better in national tests than many at public schools.

Kathy Stratte, who runs the Majuro Co-op school with a role of 205 primary school pupils, says they make an effort to hire teachers who have 4 year teaching certifications.

She was commenting after the Ministry of Education released national student test scores for last year which showed only a modest improvement in areas like Maths and English.

Mrs Stratte says many teachers in public schools haven't undergone a full 4 year programme because they would have to do that off island, and some only have a high school diploma.

She says there is also a difference because the public service commission is responsible for the quality of teachers at public schools.

"We at the private school have a lot more freedom about who we hire and making sure that our teachers are accountable, like, I know that if I've got teachers that don't turn in lesson plans or that don't do their assessments in a timely manner, that I have the authority to do something about that."

Kathy Stratte.