20 Sep 2006

Pastor in Marshalls says money alone won't solve education crisis

4:07 pm on 20 September 2006

The pastor at a prominent private school in the Marshall Islands says a funding boost alone is not the answer to improving the country's poorly performing education system.

About 40 million US dollars, nearly a third of the national budget, is to be set aside for the education system in the new fiscal year.

A recent education reports confirmed the learning crisis in the country's schools, with about two thirds of all fourth graders failing Maths and English.

The pastor at Assumption Elementary and High Schools, Father Richard McAuliff, says their students are thriving from getting basic things like attendance right, something that's not happening in the overall education system.

"They certainly have more than enough money to do what they need to do. I think part of it is a little bit of a lack of coherent vision about what they want to do. In a culture where everything is breaking down in a sense - a lot of cultural things and custom has broken down - the school has become the only place to socialise people and they're not doing that in the public school system."

Father Richard McAuliff