17 Sep 2009

Cuts to school lunches in Marshalls could see kids cutting class

6:17 pm on 17 September 2009

Budget cuts have forced the Marshall Islands Ministry of Education to stop a school lunch programme, raising fears that student attendance and performance could fall as a result

The Education Secretary Biram Stege says a 700,000 US dollar budget cutback in the ministry's 2010 fiscal year budget forced the end of the programme for all Majuro schools.

He says when there is a lunch programme, attendance is much better, and students don't miss classes.

The cost to run the program for Majuro last year was 400,000 dollars.

Academic results from Marshall Islands public schools rank among the lowest in the Micronesian region, and a 2007 study of attendance at one public school showed that 25 percent of the students were absent every day.