2 Apr 2005

Marshall Islands teachers fail English test

9:07 am on 2 April 2005

The majority of teachers in the Marshall Islands did not pass a high school English test, a development the secretary of education said demonstrates the crisis facing the country.

Minister of Education Wilfred Kendall announced the results of the first nationwide teacher testing yesterday.

Some 63 per cent of 900 Marshall Islands teachers failed both the reading and writing sections of the test; only 18 percent passed both parts of the test, with the remaining 19 percent passing only one of the two sections.

Mr Kendall says that the Ministry is taking numerous steps to address the problem, including implementing a new teacher certification programme.

The Education Secretary, Biram Stege, says the teachers aren't to blame but are a product of the Marshall Islands education system over the last 20 years.

Mr Stege said that these results show a "state of crisis" in education that needs the involvement of all government agencies to bring out improvements.

The Ministry of Education launched a teacher-testing requirement this year for the first time as part of a new teacher certification program to upgrade the standard of teaching in public and private schools.