Pacific US Army base education program faces possible elimination

12:56 pm on 5 July 2016

A 30-year-old education programme for Marshall Islanders at the local US Army base could lose its funding as a result of an ongoing review.

 The US Army's Kwajalein missile testing range in Kwajalein Atoll.

The US Army's Kwajalein missile testing range in Kwajalein Atoll. Photo: AFP PHOTO/Ben Chutaro

The army command had funded the "Ri-Katak" program, which provided opportunities for Ebeye Island residents to attend army-run schools on neighbouring Kwajalein.

Former Marshall Island's Ambassador to the US, Charles Paul, said it was a great program and he would hate to see it go away.

Mr Paul was one of four Marshallese students from Ebeye who were selected to begin studying in kindergarten to launch the program in 1987.

The program had accepted up to five students per year and three new kindergarten students annually.

Last school year saw 44 Ebeye students attending the Army-run schools at Kwajalein.

The operational cost for the schools is about $US600, 000 a year, funding that comes out of the US Army's Kwajalein budget.

But a investigation by the Army's Installation Management Command has put the program funding at risk.