Educational achievement in the Marshall Islands remains poor, but the education minister says a three-year trend is showing improvement.
Dr Hilda Heine says, based on the 2012 Marshall Islands Standard Achievement Test, there are overall improvements but the country has a long way to go.
The national average scores for English, mathematics and science for third, sixth and eighth grades show that at least two-thirds of the students are not able to do grade level work in these subjects.
But with one exception, all three-subject areas saw improvement in 2012 compared to test scores from two years earlier.
There was no change in English language proficiency at the third grade level, but improvements were apparent at sixth and eighth grades.
Dr Heine says this has prompted the ministry to review its system of emphasizing Marshallese language instruction in grades one-to-three.