30 Jun 2010

Call for Marshalls government help with school leavers

2:12 pm on 30 June 2010

A group which works with early school leavers in the Marshall Islands is calling for the government to get more primary school dropouts back to school.

The Waan Aelon in Majel, or Canoes of the Marshall Islands, is a non-profit outrigger canoe building programme that trains early school leavers in vocational and life skills.

Its manager, Alson Kelen, says he is worried not enough is being done by the government to give dropouts the opportunity to get back into the system.

He says most training programmes are looking for high school graduates and not elementary dropouts.

Our correspondent says the government's one adult education programme is underfunded and understaffed, resulting in years of waiting for dropouts who want to continue their education.

The General Equivalency Diploma Director, Tone Herkinos, says the adult education programme has a waiting list of 250 people, and generally accepts about 50 people per semester.

However, she says they are working to try and improve intake numbers.