31 Oct 2006

Marshalls survey to probe cause for school drop-outs

2:33 pm on 31 October 2006

A Marshall Islands government official, Pat Lane, says a survey has been launched to find out why seven out of ten high school students drop out before graduation.

Statistics compiled since the 1980's show about 15 per cent of secondary school students drop out every year.

Some educators say hunger and malnutrition are causes for drop-outs in the lower grades, and suggest re-instating school lunches.

Others suggest visa-free access to the US prompts many students to leave the country.

Since 2001, the US has given 15 million US dollars a year to pay for new schools and classrooms in Majuro and Ebeye.

Some say there is a direct link between the funding and a record 85 per cent of students moving from primary to secondary school this year which is an eight-percent increase in only one year.