23 Mar 2005

French Polynesia's education minister pushes for equal opportunities

5:47 pm on 23 March 2005

French Polynesia's new education minister, Jean Marius Raapoto, says the fight against illiteracy is a priority for his team.

Mr Raapoto says school children have to be offered equal opportunities as illiteracy still affects 20 to 35 percent of children of Polynesian origin.

The minister told the Tahitipresse news agency that he and his team will conduct visits to get a clear picture of the situation, with a trip to the Marquesas islands next on the agenda.

80,000 children and young people are in public and private schools terriotory-wide.

And they are being taught by 2,000 teachers, 1,400 of whom are from France.