17 Oct 2011

Primary school students struggling in Marshall Islands

6:19 am on 17 October 2011

The Marshall Islands latest national test results for primary aged students reveal that the majority of third and sixth grade pupils are struggling.

Nearly 80 percent of all third graders cannot perform at grade level in English, math and science.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson says results have been poor over a number of years.

He says it is not because of a lack of funding, given the education ministry gets more money than any other ministry.

"A fundamental problem here is there are not enough qualified teachers available and so a very high percentage of teachers do not even have a two year college degree, simply are high school graduates who've been grabbed and put into classrooms to teach, don't really have the skills to teach."

Giff Johnson says public schools should introduce English at an earlier age.