ic Plan
for
ducation
in the
Republic of the Marshall Islands
14 December 2006

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Table of Contents
Introduction ........................................................................................................ 6
Background ...........................................................................................................
6
Marshall Islands - Profile
........................................................
Summary
9
Strategic Direction ......................................................................................... lo
The Future .................................................................................................. 11
Educational outcomes .......................................................................................... 11
Policy advice and implementation ........................................................................ 11
Resource delivery, monitoring and accountability ................................................ 11
Local empowerment ............................................................................................ 11
Internal business partnerships .............................................................................. 11
Operating Environment ............................................................................... 12
The Challenge of Raising Achievement ............................................................... 12
Demographic Changes ......................................................................................... 13
Social, economic and community needs ............................................................... 13
Diverse needs of the population of the Marshall Islands ....................................... 14
Global influences ................................................................................................. 15
Key Issues ......................................................................................................... 17
Development of a long-term strategic policy ........................................................ 17
Linkage between policy and implementation ....................................................
17
Capability of the Ministry of Education ............................................................... 18
Improving educational standards .......................................................................... 19
Language ............................................................................................................. 21
Teacher education ..............................................................................................
22
Management of risk ............................................................................................. 26
Quality of information management ..................................................................... 26
Relationships with stakeholders ........................................................................ 27
Communication ...................................................................................................
28
The Strategic Planning Process: Making It Work ........................... 29
Building Public Awareness .................................................................................. 29
Nurturing Self-Reliance ....................................................................................... 29
Fostering Community Responsibility ................................................................... 30
Restructuring the Ministry of
..............................................................
Education
31
Focus on Literacy Improvement ........................................................................... 32
Implementing Actions .................................................................................. 34
Mission of the Ministry of Education .................................................... 35
Goal for the Education System of the Marshall
................
Islands
36
Objectives for the Education System in the Marshall
....
Islands 37
Values .................................................................................................................. 38
Business Strategy ........................................................................................... 39
Pre- S chool Education ................................................................................... 40
Objective 1 .......................................................................................................... 41
Expand enrolments in early childhood education centres .................................. 41
Objective 2 .......................................................................................................... 42
Provide fbnding for earlv rt~ilAh-4
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Objective 4 ..........................................................................................................
44
Establish a support programme for kindergarten teachers .................................
44
Objective ..........................................................................................................
5
44
Create Marshallese early childhood curriculum materials ................................. 44
Elementary Education .................................................................................. 46
Objective ..........................................................................................................
1
46
Improve the language development of students ................................................ 46
Objective 2 .......................................................................................................... 48
Develop agreed standards of performance ........................................................ 48
Objective ..........................................................................................................
3
49
Undertake a national public relations campaign .............................................. 49
Objective 4 .......................................................................................................... 50
Develop a truancy to minimise truancy ............................................................ 50
Objective 5 .......................................................................................................... 51
Foster parental and community involvement in schools .................................... 51
Objective ..........................................................................................................
6
53
Improve the Community Based Governance Scheme ....................................... 53
Objective ..........................................................................................................
7
54
Increase hours of instruction per student .......................................................... 54
. .
Objectwe ..........................................................................................................
8
55
Improve classroom instruction ...................................................................... 55
Objective ..........................................................................................................
9
58
Strengthen management of primary schools ..................................................... 58
Objective 10 ....................................................................................................... 59
Revise the system of financing private schools ................................................. 59
Secondary Education .................................................................................... 61
Objective 1 .......................................................................................................... 61
Revise the secondary education curriculum ...................................................... 61
Objective 2 ................................................................................................... 64
Increase secondary school enrolments .............................................................. 64
Objective 3 .......................................................................................................... 65
Improve high school retention rates ................................................................. 65
Objective 4 .......................................................................................................... 67
Establish a National Vocational Training Institute ............................................ 67
Post-Secondary Education .......................................................................... 69
Objective 1 .......................................................................................................... 69
Review post-secondary education and training ................................................. 69
Objective 2 .......................................................................................................... 71
Implement the official teacher certification
.................................
requirements
71
Objective 3 .......................................................................................................... 72
Improve in-service teacher training programs ................................................... 72
Objective ..........................................................................................................
4
74
Increase numbers entering pre-service teacher education from high
......
school
74
Objective ..........................................................................................................
5
75
Improve pre-service teacher education ............................................................. 75
Objective ..........................................................................................................
6
77
Allocate scholarships as preparation for a teaching career ................................ 77
Making the Education System More Effective ................................. 78
Objective ..........................................................................................................
1
78
Implement a management information system ................................................. 78

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4
Objective ..........................................................................................................
3
81
Improve budget
...........................................................................
management
81
Objective 4 ..........................................................................................................
83
Improve community responsibility for education ............................................. 83
Objective ..........................................................................................................
5
84
Monitor student and teacher numbers ...............................................................
84
Objective 6 .........................................................................................................
84
Develop policy on falling rolls ......................................................................... 84
Objective 7 .......................................................................................................... 84
Review stafing policy of schools ....................................................................
84
Objective 8 .......................................................................................................... 85
Develop a formula-based system of school funding .......................................... 85
Objective 9 ..........................................................................................................

85
Investigate alternative policy for hnding post-secondary education ................. 85
Objective
........................................................................................................
10
85
Undertake research into teacher recruitment and retention ................................ 85
Specific Strategies for Change ................................................................. 86
Improving Teacher Qualifications ........................................................................ 86
Standards of Teacher Education Programs ................................................... 87
The Teacher Rotation Program ........................................................... 88
Collaboration Between CMI and USP .............................................................. 91
Incentives ........................................................................................................ 91
Teacher Salaries ............................................................................................... 92
Teacher Evaluation .............................................................................................. 93
Teacher Appraisal System Required ............................................................ 93
Management Training for Principals ................................................................ 93
In-Service Training of Teachers ....................................................................... 94
Using Effective Marshall Islands Models for In-Service Training .................... 95
Supporting the Curriculum .................................................................................. 96
Marshall Islands Standardised Achievement Tests ........................................... 97
Program Design ............................................................................................... 97
Improving the Effectiveness of the RMI Scholarship Programme ........................ 99
Proposed Policy Changes for Allocation of Scholarships ............................... 100
Standards ........................................................................................................ 100
Administration of the RMI Scholarships Scheme ............................................ 10 1
Use of Scholarships to Meet National Priorities ............................................. 102
Recovery of Funds from Scholarship Recipients Who Abscond ...................... 103
Pastoral Care and Support ............................................................................... 103
Restructuring the Ministry of Education ............................................................. 104
Developing Our People ....................................................................................... 105
Business Systems and Process Improvement .......................................................
106
Relations hip Management ................................................................................... 107
Aligning Resources with Changing Priorities ...................................................... 107
Recommendations .............................................................................................. 108
Recommendation la- Expand Pre-school Education ....................................... 108
Recommendation 2
-Establish a National Vocational Technical Institute ........ 108
Recommendation 3 - Provide for a School Maintenance Fund ........................ 109
Recommendation 4 -Improve the Community-Based Governance System ...... 109
Central Administration of the Ministry of Education .................... 1 lo
Purpose of the Ministry of Education .................................................................. 110
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Objective 1 .........................................................................................................
112
New structure ................................................................................................. 112
Objective 2 .........................................................................................................
112
Information Management Strategy ..................................................................
112
Objective 3 ......................................................................................................... 113
Monitor Targets in Strategic Plan ....................................................................
113
Objective 4 .........................................................................................................
1 1 3
Review Rules & Regulations .......................................................................... 113
Objective 5 ......................................................................................................... 113
Strengthen financial management in
......................................................
MOE
113
Objective 6 ......................................................................................................... 113
Improve communication with
.............................................................
schools
113
. .
Objectrve .........................................................................................................
7
114
Review vocational education and
.......................................................
training
114
. .
Objectlve .........................................................................................................
8
114,
Improve management of capital
.......................................................
resources
114
. .
Objective ........................................................................................................
9
'114
Prepare proposal to fimd capacity development of MOE staff ......................... 114
Proposed Outputs and Indicators for the Ministry of Education
............................................................................................................................... 115
Output 1 : Policy advice ................................................................................... 1 1 5
Performance Dimensions .
Quality, Quantity.
...............................
Timeliness
115
Aspects of Policy Advice - Qualitative Characteristics ................................ 1 1 5
Output 2: Ministerial
..........................................................................
services
117
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity,
...............................
Timeliness
117
Output 3 : Administration of education sector resourcing .................................
117
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity,
...............................
Timeliness
118
Output 4: Administration of education
..........................................
regulations
118
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity,
...............................
Timeliness
118
Output 5: Curriculum development and
..................................
implementation
119
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity,
...............................
Timeliness
119
. .
Output 6: Provision of
..................................................................
information
120
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity,
...............................
Timeliness
120
Output 7: Provision of school sector property .................................................. 120
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity,
...............................
Timeliness
121
Output 8:
Provision of Teacher
.....................................................
Housing
121
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness ............................... 121
The Road
............................................................................................
Ahead
122

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Introduction
A strategic plan is a blueprint for planning the fbture. The purpose of a strategic plan
is to identify and address needs by
establishing a clear set of priorities
enhancing the co-ordination of effort
improving overall effectiveness and efficiency
This draft plan has been put together on the basis of
a stocktake of current educational performance in the Marshall Islands
a review of previous reports on the education system of the Marshall Islands
an analysis of the Ministry of Education's management capability
This plan has been developed in order to assist the Minister of Education set his
priorities. The proposals put forward in this plan are intended to provide support for
the changes that are required to manage education in the Marshall Islands over the
medium term.
Background
Between November 1999 and April 2000, Change Consulting of Wellington, New
Zealand, researched and prepared two documents to guide and direct efforts to
improve the quality of education in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).
These documents were the Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Education. Republic of
the Marshall Islands (Strategic Plan for Education) and an accompanying technical
reference document titled Developing a Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Education,
Final Report (Strategic Plan Report). Both reports were prepared under a contract
with the Asian Development Bank (Project TA No. 2599: Civil Service Reform
Implementation).
This original Strategic Plan for Education identified 36 major objectives on which the
RMI Ministry of Education (MOE), as well as other stakeholders, should focus in the
efforts to strengthen the nation's education system. Most of these objectives were
organized around and grouped under the four major sectors of the education system:
(1) preschool education; (2) elementary education; (3) secondary education; and (4)
post-secondary education. In addition, the Strategic Plan identifies objectives to (5)
improve the overall effectiveness of the education system; and (6) implement an MOE
restructuring initiative proposed and discussed in detail in the Strategc Plan Report.
After initial review and consideration of the Strategic Plan, Ministry of Education
staff noted that the objectives cited in the original document are often quite broad
(e.g., ccdevelop measures to improve the language development of students") and did
not always provide detailed guidance to educators about how to achieve them.
Accordingly, in June 2000, the RMI Minister of Education requested assistance from
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"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
7
educators. The results of PREL's work are contained in a report titled Implementing
Guidelines for the 2000 Strategic Plan (Implementing Guidelines).
In June 2000, the Minister of Education also requested PREL's assistance in preparing
an assessment of the impact of U.S. federal education programs on the RMI's
education system since implementation of the Compact of Free Association between
the two nations in 1986. This report, An Assessment of the Impact of Federal
Education Programs in the Marshall Islands (Assessment), was published under
separate cover and submitted to the Minister of Education in February 2001.
In June 2001 the Government of the Marshall Islands developed Vision 2018, the first
segment of a Strategic Development Plan for the nation for the next 15 years. This
document sets out the broad vision for the whole country in terms of its sustainable
development by the year 201 8. Vision 2018 and the companion document Strategic
Development Framework (2003 - 2018) set out long-term goals, objectives and
strategies, which were developed through an extensive consultation process starting
with the second National Economic and Social Summit, followed by extended
deliberations by various Working Committees established by the Cabinet.
The second and third segments of the Strategic Development Plan are to consist of
Master Plans focusing on major policy areas, and the Action Plans of Ministries and
Statutory Agencies.
These documents will incorporate programs and projects,
together with costings.
Following the adoption of Vision 2018, Master Plans are being developed in the
following major policy sectors: Human Resources Development, Outer Islands
Development, Culture and Traditions, Environment, Resources and Development,
Information Technology, Private Sector Development, Infrastructure, and Tourism.
The Action Plans of Ministries and Statutory Agencies will be developed in order to
state in detail the respective programs of action aimed at achieving the targets
identified in the Master Plans.
The Human Resources Development Master Plan is the product of a wide cross-sector
planning process that touches all sectors, and focuses on national capacity-building to
implement Vision. 201 8 and to achieve its goals, objectives and strategies. The
education sector will have a central role in implementing the Human Resources
Development Master Plan. While the Ministries of Education and Health are two
major stakeholders in respect of human resources development matters, their
responsibilities do not represent the total picture. The broad goals of the Human
Resources Development Master Plan are to deliver capacity to implement Vision
2018
-7
to increase national capacity through baseline, manpower and standards studies
that determine training and educational requirements, and to deliver specific or special
capacity building interventions based on the information from the national baseline,
manpower and standards studies.
Both the Ministries of Education and Health have existing Strategic Plans. To a very
substantial degree these strategic plans are consistent with the goals and objectives of
Vision 20 18.
The original Strategic Plan for Education, and the accompanying Implemenhg
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"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
8
above, are subordinate to Vision 2018 and to the Human Resources Development
Master Plan that arises from the goals and objectives of Vision 2018.
A review of the original Strategic Plan for Education (April 2000) and
the
Implementing Guidelines document ((January 2001) was therefore undertaken in
November 2001 in order to incorporate both these documents into one, in a form
compatible with Vision 2018. This document is the result.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
9
Marshall Islands - Profile Summary
The Marshall Islands consist of 29 atolls and 5 low islands scattered over 2
million square kilometres of ocean in the Central Pacific, midway between
Hawaii and the Philippines
The total land area is only 180 square kilometres, compared with a total sea
area of approximately 2 million square kilometres
The region has a long history of occupation and control by foreign powers.
Spain claimed the region in 1686. Germany declared a protectorate over the
islands in 1885. Japan occupied the territory between the two world wars in
the early twentieth century. The United States of America governed the region
as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands from 1947.
The country became an independent Republic in 1986. The legislature is
modelled on the British parliamentary system, and the Parliament (Nitijela) i
elected every 4 years. A change of Government occurred following the
November 1999 elections.
The economy is largely dependent upon United States funding. The Compact
of Free Association has provided US$53 million from 1987-91, US$49 millior,
from 1992-96, and US$46 million from 1997-200 1. These figures include
payments for the use of the US military base on Kwajalein atoll.
The population of the Marshall Islands is 50, 840 (1 999 census). Majuro Atoll
(the capital) is the largest population centre (23,676 people), and Kwajalein
Atoll (Ebeye Island) the next largest (10,902 people). The remaining
population is spread over a large area in the Outer Islands.
Pre-school education is provided almost exclusively through the Head Start
programme, funded by an annual US Federal Grant of approximately $2
million each year. 1200 children are enrolled each year in 48 centres
throughout the country. The programme reaches only about 20% of the
children aged 3-5 years in the Marshall Islands.
The present 12 year structure of compulsory school education is based on the
US model of 8 years of elementary school followed by 4 years of high school.
There are 104 elementary schools (77 public and 27 private) and 16 secondary
schools (3 public and 13 private). School rolls in 2000 total 11,739
(elementary) and 2586 (secondary).
16% of children aged 6- 13 and 30% of youth (aged 14- 18 years) do not attend
school.
A High School Entrance Test at Grade 8 is used to select students for entry
into secondary school, as no places at a secondary school are available for
35%-40% of the elementary school graduates.
Problems with literacy are endemic. The Pacific Islands Language and
Literacy test (a standardised test used across the Pacific Islands) rates about
70% of the Grade 4 population of the Marshall Islands in the "at risk" group.
This is one of the lowest rankings in the Pacific.
Teachers are not well qualified. Nearly half of the teachers in the Marshall
Islands have a high school diploma as their highest qualification.
The total unemployment rate is 30.9%. The unemployment rate for young
Marshallese (aged 15-19) is much higher
The median age of the population is 17.8

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10
Strategic Direction
Education delivers substantial social and economic benefits to students, their families
and communities, and to the Republic of the Marshall Islands as a whole.
The benefits of education include:
knowledge, skills, and attitudes which promote social and economic
development
individual development through gaining knowledge, skills, and understanding
development of attitudes and values that promote social cohesion and stability
The vision of the Republic of the Marshall Islands is of a fbture where every child has
positive first learning experiences, and where parents support their child's learning.
Young children will be encouraged to participate in early childhood learning
activities, regardless of their background, and will gain in confidence and experience
success. Schools will be welcoming and inclusive, and parents will be encouraged to
participate in the life of'the school and support their children in their learning.
Principals will be regarded as leaders in their community. Teaching will be a dynamic
and respected profession. Opportunities for further learning will be available through
the College of the Marshall Islands or through other tertiary providers. All students
will have a desire for lifelong learning. People in the Marshall Islands will value
education, and everyone will succeed in reaching their full potential.
The Ministry of Education is not a provider of education. Its influence is therefore
indirect. The Ministry of Education is responsible for the administration of the
education system. Its goal is to foster a policy environment in which teachers can
operate effectively and students can participate and achieve to a high standard. It must
ensure the education system is able to respond quickly and effectively to social and
economic trends as they emerge, and can meet the diverse needs of different
communities, employers, and the wider society.
Its role is to empower other people through its own leadership, through its support of
the infrastructure, and through its assistance of those who are at risk of
underachievement.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
The Future
The Ministry of Education's priority in the medium term will be to improve education
by strengthening its own capability and effectiveness. Improved internal systems will
be needed, and better relationships with the wider education sector. A focus will be
placed upon:
Educational outcomes
The Ministry's work will focus on improving educational outcomes. These
outcomes include improving student achievement and the performance of
providers of education. Factors that limit student achievement will be identified,
and unnecessary barriers will be eliminated. The objective is to improve the
educational "health" of the system as a whole.
Policy advice and implementation
To establish its leadership role and credibility within the public and wider
education sectors, the Ministry needs to provide the Minister and the Government
with high-quality policy advice. It must be able to implement that policy
effectively.
Resource delivery, monitoring and accountability
Regulations need to be enabling and to encourage schools to be self-managing.
The regulations need to focus on accountability and quality assurance. The criteria
for determination and allocation of resources should be clear. The Ministry's role
is to deliver resources to self-managing schools according to the criteria. It should
empower people rather than try to control them. The Ministry's emphasis will
shift to monitoring and intervening at an early stage to address problems that
emerge.
Local empowerment
Relationships with local education providers are important. The Ministry needs to
work with local communities to help them play a stronger role in the education of
their children.
Internal business partnerships
All parts of the Ministry will be business partners that work closely together to
achieve the common goal. The Services Division will contribute to the overall
effectiveness and capability of the Ministry by becoming business partners in the
educational enterprise. Strong links will be forged between the Policy and
Implementation Divisions. The Property Division will exist to ensure that facilities
and equipment are adequate to serve educational aims and aspirations.
A list of outputs arising fi-om this plan is set out later in the document.

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12
Operating Environment
As social and economic circumstances within the Marshall Islands and the world
beyond change, so do expectations of what the education system should deliver.
Strong global influences, growing social economic and ethnic diversity, and evidence
that the educational achievement of students in the Marshall Islands does not compare
well with the educational achievement of its neighbours, are all putting pressure on
the education system.
Expectations keep rising, challenging all to keep lifting the quality of education.
These issues create demands for schools, teachers, and policy-makers to keep
improving the quality of their response to the changing needs of students. To meet
these challenges, the Ministry of Education must develop and implement strategies
that anticipate fbture trends and developments, and support changes necessary to
respond to such developments.
Key dimensions of the operating environment in the Marshall Islands are:
the challenge of raising achievement
demographic changes
social, economic and community needs
diverse needs of the population of the Marshall Islands
global influences
The Challenge of Raising Achievement
Recent educational studies have highlighted areas where the educational performance
of Marshall Island students needs to improve. For example, recent Pacific Islands
Literacy Levels (PILL) data for the Marshall Islands show that a high proportion of
Grade 4 students are categorised as "at risk" in respect of literacy in English or in
Marshallese, or are "at risk" in numeracy skills.
Standards of education attained by both primary and secondary school students, in
general, are low by comparison with international and Pacific Island country norms.
The levels of literacy demonstrated (both in the Marshallese language and in English)
by students at all levels are not sufficient to ensure that the young people of the
Marshall Islands are adequately equipped to contribute effectively to the sustainable
development of the Marshall Islands, nor to participate on an equal basis in an
increasingly globalised economy.
A comprehensive long-term strategy needs to be implemented to raise the
standard of educational achievement in the Marshall Islands.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Demographic Changes
The total population of the Marshall Islands (as at November 1999) is estimated at
50,840. 23,676 people are estimated to reside on Majuro Atoll. The population of
Kwajalein Atoll is 10,902. These figures are below previous population estimates. It
appears that there may have been increased migration by Marshallese over the last
decade to the United States of America. The generally low level of education of
Marshallese citizens, and better job prospects in the continental United States for
those with few or limited qualifications, indicates that Marshallese have had strong
incentives to use their free access to the United States of America.
Birth rates in the Marshall Islands in the past have been high by comparison with
other countries, and the population as a whole has a very high proportion of young
people. Just under 43% of the population is under 15 years of age.
Demographic pressures are significant in their impact upon the school sector. As an
increasing population of school-age students moves through the school system,
administrators face challenges in providing educational opportunities for all. In the
year 2000, 14325 students were enrolled at primary (elementary) and secondary
schools in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. 9959 were enrolled in public schools,
and 4366 were enrolled in private schools. 11739 students were enrolled in primary
schools and 2586 were enrolled in secondary schools. Current arrangements mean that
35% to 40% of students cannot progress beyond the Grade 8 cut-off point, as
insufficient secondary education places are available. The challenge for the fbture will
be to provide universal education for all students of primary and secondary school
age.
The decrease in school enrolments from 14888 in 1999 to 14325 in 2000 indicates a
significant shift has occurred in the last year. The reasons for this decrease in school
enrolments are not clear. The 1999 census data indicates outmigration is a factor in
the lower-than-expected population estimates. The fall in numbers may be occurring
partly because the proportion of the population composed of children under 15 is
decreasing. There are significant implications for the school sector as it faces a period
of contraction if the school roll decline in 2000 becomes established as a trend.
The tertiary education sector is likely to face continuing growth pressures, and a shift
in the mix of its student population. The demands of the workforce in the hture are
likely to require adults already in the work force to undertake hrther retraining and
upskilling.
Social, economic and community needs
There is a strong relationship between student achievement and factors outside the
school, although the links between these are complex and difficult to influence.
Education policy needs to take account of wider factors that influence a student's
ability to succeed. Different approaches are likely to be needed in different parts of
the country.
Socio-economic factors are known to have a major influence on school achievement.
Health status, the quality of housing, and parental income levels are also known to
affect children's performance in school. A broad and comprehensive approach that
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14
sole focus on education may not bring about the desirable social improvements that
the Government is seeking.
There is still much to be done to ensure that all students gain benefit from the
education that is available, irrespective of their background. Ways to achieve this goal
may depend on the dynamics of each local community. For instance, only about 20%
of children aged 3-5 gain access to pre-school education, and 16% of children aged 6-
13 do not attend school. Important initiatives to deal with these facts will include
improving access to early childhood education and care and fostering parent
education. It will be important to address the special needs of specified individuals or
groups who are "at risk". This can be done by establishing closer links between
education providers, social welfare and counselling agencies, disability services and
health service providers.
Economic imperatives also drive the demand for fbrther education. Parents and
employers expect the school system to prepare school leavers for the changing
employment market. The labour market is demanding higher levels of generic skills
(such as problem solving skills, critical thinking or confidence with modern
technology) and well-developed specialist skills that relate to particular industries.
The demand for lifelong learning is likely to intensify, and there are consequent
implications in this trend for tertiary education providers. There will be a need, for
instance, to offer more retraining programmes for those currently in the work force,
and more programmes that focus on on-job training.
One of the effective ways in which social, economic and community needs could be
integrated through education is through carefblly nurturing the process of devolution
through the Community Based Governance System (CBGS). It will be important that
the Ministry of Education take a leadership role in advocating the benefits of local
communities taking responsibility for the education of their children, and in providing
support for those communities that evince an interest in participating in an expanded
Community Based Governance Scheme. For this reason, the appointment of a CBGS
liaison officer needs to be made within the Ministry of Education as part of the
proposed restructuring programme. This person could assist with training, and would
provide liaison with existing and any emerging new Community Based Governance
Schemes.
Diverse needs of the population of the Marshall Islands
The education system must recognise that there is an increasing diversity of needs in
the population of the Marshall Islands, including the Outer Islands.
The patterns of population growth have led to an increase in the number of young
people as a total proportion of the population. This factor has brought a consequent
need to provide education for more young people if the goal of providing education
for all is to be met. There has been considerable urban migration from the outer atolls
of the Marshall Islands occurring over the last decade, partly as a result of parents
wishing to provide better opportunities for their children, with a consequence that the
larger metropolitan centres such as Majuro and Ebeye have experienced considerable
pressure on their educational facilities.
There is a unique background in the Outer Islands, and the education challenges are
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associated with land rights, geography, isolation, climate, and travel make continuing
access to education, and consistent attendance of children at school, a real challenge.
Sustaining the quality of children's learning and maintaining the standard of
educational facilities in these remote communities is difficult, since direct
communication with the central Ministry of Education in Majuro is relatively
infrequent, transport to and from these atolls is sporadic, and teachers feel
professionally isolated and lack development opportunities.
The world of the twenty-first century is demanding a higher level of skill from those
graduating from primary and secondary schools, and from those currently in the work
force or looking for work. A high quality teaching profession is essential in order to
improve education outcomes. Meeting the demands of the fbture will require a highly
trained and well-educated teaching work force (preferably with good quality teaching
degrees) to teach in schools. Principals will need to combine both staff management
and curriculum leadership roles to improve and maintain the quality of education in
their schools.
Many people in the Marshall Islands who are not in the formal education system need
access to continuing education to develop their skills. Adult education offers a means
of upskilling the population as a whole to meet the country's needs in the new
century. Providing education to the adult population will require techniques and
approaches that are different from those adopted in the formal education system. It
may be necessary to consider diverting funding to community groups or other
agencies outside the "traditional" education system in order to foster objectives such
as adult literacy, parent education, or improved productivity in the workforce. The
family, the neighbourhood, the churches, local authorities, the workplace, sports
organisations, libraries, the media, and cultural and scientific bodies all have a part to
play in the education of the whole community, young and old.
Global influences
Global influences, including new technology, and will continue to have major
implications for the provision of education in the Marshall Islands.
New technology and more efficient transport mean that international influences will
increasingly have a marked impact upon the Marshall Islands in the twenty-first
century. The traditional geographical isolation of the North Pacific is rapidly
disappearing as the 'global village' becomes a reality. The impact of satellite
technology means that international media, particularly television programmes, are
now accessible to Marshallese. The use of the internet is revolutionising
communications and economies, both nationally and internationally. International
providers are able to offer education in the Marshall Islands through sophisticated
distance education methodologies. Technology such as computers and CD-ROMs and
its use in the classroom is affecting how education is delivered. Advances in
technology will continue to affect people's lives and employment options, and
inevitably people will need to develop skills through education to take advantage of
the benefits of these new developments.
Education is also becoming more internationally focused, as more Marshallese travel
nw=mwac: tn ~ t l d v
Glohal market trends and labour mobility are having a growing

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Of particular significance is the question of language. There is a strong imperative for
all Marshallese to be bilingual, and achievement of that goal can only be attained
through education.
Marshallese is the first language of most families in the Marshall Islands, and will
continue to be used and spoken both as a primary means of communication and as a
cultural dimension that is unique to these islands. For these reasons, the school
curriculum rightly places a strong emphasis on the development of a sound grounding
in both the spoken and written forms of the Marshallese language in the early years of
schooling.
But learning only Marshallese will not be sufficient in the future. The global
influences that will shape the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the twenty-first
century will be dominated by the English language as an international currency,
through the mechanism of international trade and tourism, through the pervasiveness
of the mass media, and through the influence of the United States of America as a
military and economic presence in the North Pacific. It will therefore be essential for
all Marshallese to develop fluency in the English language (both in oral and written
forms) through the school system, in order to equip the population with the linguistic
skills that will be essential for the country to meet the global challenges that it will
face in the future.

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Key Issues
The following key issues have emerged from an analysis of the environment in which
the Ministry of Education is operating:
Development of a long-term strategic policy
Linkage between policy and implementation
Capability of the Ministry of Education
Improving educational standards
Language
Teacher education
Management of risk
Quality of information management
Relationships with stakeholders
Communication
Development of a long-term strategic policy
The Strategic Plan should establish a clear sense of those longer-term education issues
that should be the centre of a strategic focus for education policy. Once these longer-
term education issues are defined, the management and leadership of the Ministry of
Education can be aligned with the direction of change that is required to achieve
resolution of the issues.
There is a need for a clear set of linkages between the policy development and policy
direction that occurs at Cabinet level, in which the Minister of Education is a key
player, and the implementation of that policy by officials in the Ministry of Education.
An effective mechanism needs to be operating to ensure that the Secretary of
Education is briefed on the Government's policies, and that officials reporting to the
Secretary receive adequate communication about the Government's policy direction,
so that the poIicies of the day can be successfidly implemented.
Linkage between policy and implementation
The key risks for the Secretary of Education in the delivery of policy advice and
implementation are:
Establishing a clear mutual understanding of roles with the Minister
Improving the quality of the Ministry's policy advice
Effective management of implementation of policy change in the sector

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Defining a clear role for the Ministry of Education implies agreement on the
requirements on it to deliver policy advice for the Minister, and on its
leadership role as the Government's principal source of policy advice on
education issues
Developing a widely shared strategic view of policy issues in the sector, a
longer-term view of the required responses, and ensuring that decisions and
interventions all support this strategy
Creating a clear analytical framework that is based on efficient use of
resources
Developing a culture of sound analysis, supported by good systems and
procedures for quality control
Recruiting, developing and retaining top-quality policy analysts
Ensuring a strategic approach to research
Developing effective working relationships with other agencies and
stakeholders in the management of policy development processes
Ensuring effective communication between policy advice and implementation
concerns throughout the policy development and implementation process
Equipping the local staff of the Ministry for effective communication (both
ways) with the education sector and key education stakeholders
Capability of the Ministry of Education
The analysis undertaken of the Ministry of Education to date has identified the need to
develop a clear sense of strategy, the need to develop robust policy frameworks, and
the need to be more effective in implementing policy.
The task of implementing these priorities raises issues about the Ministry's capability
to meet its policy and property management responsibilities. There are also issues
related to the Ministry's capability to provide strategic leadership, and its need to
manage effectively the risks associated with its operational responsibilities.
Improving the capability of the Ministry of Education is therefore a key priority in
this strategic plan. Capacity building may be achieved through a number of strategies.
First, the whole Ministry needs to establish a clear long-term strategic context. This
context will serve to integrate the outputs of an organisation whose efforts in the past
may have been fragmentary and unco-ordinated. Everyone in the Ministry needs to
understand what the Ministry is trying to do, and how it should be done. This
Strategic Plan provides a good basis for that shared understanding. When overall
objectives are shared and transparent, issues can be placed in their wider context, and
linkages can be identified between shorter and longer-term perspectives. The
relationships of day-to-day decisions to longer-term education priorities can be
identified.
Secondly, there needs to be a change of focus in the culture of the Ministry of
Education. This change of focus can be best achieved by a restructuring of the
Ministry of Education to reflect the changed emphasis that is required, and the key
roles that it will be required to undertake in the fbture.
Thirdly, the human resource capability of the Ministry needs to be improved
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19
resource strategy. Some progress has already been made in developing a performance
management system for the education sector in the Marshall Islands. The progress
made to date needs to be built on and further extended. A more strategic focus is
required on the skills the Ministry will need in future. A clearer view is needed of the
standards of performance the Ministry expects of its officers. Supporting performance
management, remuneration, training and recruitment strategies will need to be
developed.
Fourthly, the Ministry needs to improve its internal processes and its communication.
Better systems and communication will ensure connections between different issues
and different parts of the Ministry are recognised and taken account of It is
particularly important that effective links between policy and implementation exist.
Finally, the question of adequate resourcing of the Ministry of Education will have to
be critically examined. While devolution of some functions previously undertaken by
the Ministry of Education will free up some existing additional specialised staff
resources, the strengthening of its policy and property capability will require an
investment in training, and possibly an investment in additional specialised staff
The Government of the Marshall Islands is encouraged to prepare a proposal for
consideration for funding by external donor agencies, in order to fund a programme of
professional staff development and capacity building within the Ministry of
Education.
Improving educational standards
Improving the standard of educational achievement is central to the Ministry of
Education's strategic plan.
The level of literacy demonstrated by students at all levels (both in the Marshallese
language and in English) is not adequate. Similar concerns exist with respect to
performance in numeracy skills. The results of the Pacific Islands Literacy Levels
(PILL) data for the Marshall Islands in 1998 show that at Grade 4 69% of students are
categorised as "at risk" in respect of literacy in English, and 76% are "at risk" in
respect of literacy in Marshallese. 66% are "at risk " in numeracy skills.
The results of the PILL data give an independent assessment of the "health" of the
Marshall Islands education system in respect of key education performance indicators.
Major problems with literacy and numeracy are revealed by this data. These results
show that active steps urgently need to be taken to deal with the fundamental issue of
children's language development in the Marshall Islands. If these problems remain
uncorrected, they will adversely affect future social and economic outcomes in
Marshallese society. It is therefore important that the Ministry of Education continue
to monitor the literacy levels of the student population.
The major initiative that must be taken to deal with the problem is to improve the
standard of teaching. This issue is discussed in more detail in a subsequent section.
The Ministry of Education is to be commended on its initiative and educational
leadership in establishing the Marshall Islands Standardised Achievement Tests.
These tests will evaluate performance of Marshall Islands children at Grades 4 and 6
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provided as a result of using an external assessment instrument, gives usefiil
information whereby the performance of Marshall Island children in Grade 4 in
literacy and numeracy can be measured against objective benchmarks derived from
other Pacific Island nations. The Ministry of Education is encouraged to continue the
development of assessment programmes that measure and monitor student
achievement in a systematic and comprehensive way.
It is essential to establish standards, and to ensure these are being I'ollowed. The
Secretary of Education has a role specified in legislation that requires him or her to
conduct nationwide student testing, although for practical purposes at present that role
is restricted to the administration of the National High School Entrance Test. A
system of regularly evaluating performance is essential if standards are to be
maintained. Ideally, an evaluation system would assess student achievement and
progress objectively at the beginning and end of each school year, and students would
be required to demonstrate a minimum level of competence.
Teachers could then make decisions about how or whether students would progress to
the next grade on the basis of solid and reliable evidence. Diverse views have been
expressed in the consultation on this Strategic Plan about the desirability or otherwise
of "social promotion". One view, strongly expressed, is that students who do not
achieve to a satisfactory standard in a particular grade level (right fiom the earliest
years) should be held back to repeat that grade level, and should not progress to the
next level until they have demonstrated that they have achieved a specified level of
mastery. The contrary view is that holding students back reinforces failure, and is
counterproductive. Humiliation does not promote a positive attitude to learning.
Proponents of "social promotion" argue that students learn better with other students
of approximately the same age who have reached a similar physical stage of maturity.
Where students do not achieve to the appropriate standard, teachers will need to adapt
their professional teaching methods and materials to the level at which the individual
student can perform, and may need to use special intervention methods (methods such
as the New Zealand Reading Recovery programme, for instance) if a student is not
progressing satisfactorily.
Resourcing an extensive evaluation system on a national basis is probably
unachievable at present because of the cost implications. The responsibility for
monitoring standards will therefore largely fall on schools. It would be helpfd for
teachers and parents if agreed standards of performance across the school curriculum
were developed and promulgated, with benchmarks of adequate student performance
established and widely communicated. Training of teachers would be an essential part
of such a system.
It is clear that help will be needed from the Ministry of Education to create a national
school culture where students are expected to achieve to high standards.
To summarise, a comprehensive long-term plan is required to raise the
educational achievement of students in the Marshall Islands. This plan will need
to target particularly the fundamental areas of literacy and numeracy. The single
most important factor that will make a difference in raising the standard of

educational achievement will be improving the quality of teaching.

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Language
Language is at the heart of education. Language competence and development in first
and second languages is a central issue in the Marshall Islands.
Most people in the Republic of the Marshall Islands operate in a first (mother)
language other than English. A foundation is necessary in the mother language for the
cognitive development of the child. Yet people are expected to hnction in a second
language (English) as the language of education and business. There are inevitably
linguistic barriers for those people who are learning to use English as a second
language. There is a relationship between improving the first language of the child
(Marshallese) and developing competence in a second language (English). There is a
linguistic link between improving children's learning and improving the standards of
teaching.
Learning techniques based on English as a second language are critical. On average, it
takes up to seven years to acquire fluency in a second language. A solid base in the
first language is needed to develop competence in the second language. Without a
solid base in the first language, language conhsion is inevitable.
Over time, as children progress to a solid base in their first language (Marshallese),
competence in the second language (English) will also develop. Children in the
Marshall Islands need to develop an "academic" language in Marshallese, in addition
to the "common" everyday Marshallese they use in interaction with their peers and at
home.
While it is important that students do not lose their Marshallese language and culture,
they also need to take on a "literacy" culture, as print is a fbndamental medium for
education and the transmission of global culture. The issue of transfer to written
language forms is critical. Creating a school system that works in English is more than
simply teaching English language. Children in the Marshall Islands come from an
island culture that is based on oral language, and that does not have a strong historical
grounding in literacy. They have access to few books in Marshallese. Few
Marshallese homes are book oriented.
There is therefore a challenge for the teacher to introduce the culture of the book in
the classroom, and to promote the value of "book learning" and literacy if these values
are not reinforced in the home. The challenge is made even more difficult for the
teacher because of the paucity of suitable books for children written in Marshallese.
The books that are used in the classroom are mainly written in English. Students who
speak English as a second language will need considerable assistance from the teacher
in order to access what these books have to offer.
Literacy development in the Marshall Islands is a challenging and complex issue.
Children are expected to develop reading and writing skills. These literacy skills are
sophisticated, and will not develop adequately if the environment is not linguistically
rich and supportive. There must be a strong focus on literacy in the education system,
and on remedies for eliminating weaknesses in literacy.

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22
The education system in the Marshall Islands needs to place emphasis on
bilingualism. Both Marshallese and English contribute to the uniqueness of these
islands. There will be a problem if one language (either Marshallese or English) is
seen to dominate over the other. An emphasis needs to be placed on both languages.
Fluency in Marshallese will not hinder learning. There is similarly a key need for
competence in English. Developing competence in both English and Marshallese is
the key to improving achievement and raising standards.
The Government could consider promoting language development programmes in
schools by encouraging fluent native speakers of English to work alongside
Marshallese teachers in primary schools. Peace Corps volunteers fiom the United
States of America have been very helpkl in the past. Initiatives such as inviting in
volunteers from the USA or other English-speaking countries for limited periods of up
to a year could be considered. While such volunteers would not be likely to be
formally trained as teachers, their presence in Marshall Islands primary schools would
create a "widwin" situation. Their English language skills would bring benefits to
Marshall Islands students (and possibly also to some teachers), while the expatriate
volunteers would benefit fiom much improved cross-cultural understanding as a result
of their experience of living in the Marshall Islands.
Teacher education
If it is accepted that the major priority driving reform in education is the improvement
of educational standards, the single most important issue to be addressed to achieve
this goal is the improvement of teacher education and training. Nearly half of the
teachers currently working in primary schools in the Marshall Islands have a high
school diploma as their highest teaching qualification. This qualification is inadequate
for teachers in the twenty-first century. Those directly responsible for improvement of
educational standards in schools, the teachers, need, as an absolute minimum, a two-
year degree qualification. A four-year degree qualification would be preferable.
A key focus of the new Ministry of Education strategic plan must therefore be on
improving standards of teacher education and training. In the first instance, the quality
of teaching in the Marshall Islands schools must be improved, and improved as soon
as possible. There is 110 simple "quick fix" available to achieve this objective. A
variety of responses will be needed. Those who graduate as newly trained teachers in
the Marshall Islands must be fully equipped with appropriate professional skills to
locally relevant, but internationally comparable, standards. Those currently teaching
who do not meet minimum requirements must upgrade their skills and qualifications.
A teacher certification system (the Education Personnel Management System) has
been established in the Marshall Islands to ensure that members of the teaching
profession are adequately trained and qualified. Under this system, principals and
teachers were to be upgraded, tested for competency, and certified. The design of this
teacher certification system appears sound in principle, but it has not been
implemented in practice. The deadlines that were originally stipulated in this
documentation for teachers to upgrade their qualifications have not been met. No
sanctions have been invoked to enforce the standards for teacher certification that
have been set in the documentation. The deadlines need to be enforced by withdrawal
of authority to teach and removal of salary for those teachers who do not meet the
criteria by a specified date.

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In order to implement the teacher certification system, a comprehensive database is
needed. As a first step, the Ministry of Education needs to set up and maintain a
teacher certification register as part of its information management system. This
register of certified teachers must include accurate certification information about
individual teachers. This register could use the existing data fields from both the
College of the Marshall Islands and the Ministry of Education. Once the
comprehensive teacher register is in place, and the data has been entered, action needs
to be taken to ensure that all teachers meet the minimum certification requirements.
The current Education Personnel Management System needs to be revised by the
Ministry of Education. The deadlines in the current documentation that have now
passed need to be modified. It will be important in this revision by the Ministry of
Education that clear accountability guidelines for teachers are set out, and that
performance standards are clear and mandatory. Parents have every right to expect
that teachers turn up for work on time, and perform well. Sanctions such as dismissal
need to be invoked when teachers do not meet minimum standards of conduct.
All schools need to receive a copy of the documentation so that the teachers know
what the teacher certification requirements are, and know what the consequences are
if the requirement to upgrade skills is not met. New teachers should not be allowed to
have their names entered on the register until they have met the minimum
requirements. Entry on the register should be a prerequisite before a teacher is paid a
salary. Existing teachers who do not meet the minimum requirements may need to be
"grandparented" on the teacher payroll for a short period until they can either upgrade
their qualifications or demonstrate that they meet minimum standards. It is essential
that the teacher certification system is actually implemented if the present low
standards of teaching are to improve.
The minimum requirement for teacher certification for new teachers is completion of
a two-year Associate of Science degree in elementary education. A three-year teacher
certification programme was initiated at the College of the Marshall Islands in 1996,
but has not been successfbl to date in producing any graduates. This result is
disappointing. Better co-operation between the Ministry of Education and staff at the
College of the Marshall Islands may be helphl in encouraging some of the teachers
enrolled in the two-year teaching degree programme to complete the higher-level
three-year teaching degree programme.
There appear to be no effective incentives operating to encourage teachers to become
well qualified. In practical terms, an effective teacher certification programme needs
to be implemented, and prospective teachers need to be encouraged through clear
incentives to complete higher level teaching degree programmes (preferably a foul-
year teaching degree programme) before they begin teaching. The most effective
incentive to improve teaching standards would be a significant salary increase for
those teachers who achieve teaching qualifications and competence at a high level.
In order to raise the standard of teaching, the introduction of a four-year RMI teaching
degree programme is desirable. Such a proposal would affect the whole country, since
it would foster the training of local teachers imbued with Marshallese culture.. A
bachelor's degree for teaching needs to be developed in Majuro to reflect the
Marshallese context and the Marshallese curriculum. It is imperative not to delay the
process of having Marshallese with RMI degrees in a key role living in communities

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24
who can convince parents of the importance of education. These teachers could foster
a culture of learning in the community. This culture will grow only slowly, and needs
to be nurtured. An effective teacher in a school who is influential beyond the
classroom could transform the whole community. The RMI system needs such
teachers who will be catalysts for change in society. Teachers with degrees are
needed. The two-year teaching degree is not sufficient to achieve this objective. To
achieve such an objective, the four-year bachelor's degree needs to be the basic
qualification for teaching. Reaching this point, however, will be a longer-term
objective.
Language issues are central in teacher education. Students will not become proficient
in reading and writing, in Marshallese or in English, if their teachers cannot
themselves demonstrate language proficiency, both in written and spoken forms. A
focus of teacher preparation programmes must therefore be on fostering the literacy
and oral language development skills of the teachers.
While the College of the Marshall Islands does a commendable job in training new
teachers to high standards, the numbers of new teachers each year who meet
graduation standards and can enter the teaching service are still not sufficient to meet
the country's needs. Additional responses will be required to produce more teachers
who meet an acceptable standard of quality.
The initiatives of new providers such as the University of the South Pacific (USP) in
developing teacher education programmes will assist in meeting this critical national
need. The USP Beginning Teachers Programme is preparing teachers to teach the
first three years of the elementary school curriculum. These teachers will be able to
work as substitute teachers, thus freeing up regular teachers to upgrade their skills and
qualifications.
The notion of raising standards needs to incorporate both improvement in student
achievement and improvement in teacher competence. The key may be to emphasise
the hndamental role of the teachers college and its teacher training role as part of the
provision of tertiary education. The teacher education programme at the College of
the Marshall Islands (CMI) may need to join forces with other teacher training
institutions through conjoint arrangements in order to strengthen its effectiveness.
Those in the current teaching work force whose qualifications and training do not
currently meet required criteria must be provided with incentives to improve their
skills and qualifications, both through additional study and through in-service
training. Again, multiple responses are needed to help solve a difficult problem. In-
service training needs to move teachers towards a degree qualification. There should
be some exploration of closer relations and co-operation between CMI and the
University of the South Pacific (USP). USP could introduce a four-year bachelor's
degree programme (for teachers) to the RMI. Representatives of the USP have
indicated informally they would be prepared to consider the development of such a
degree programme in association with the CMI.
A different model of teacher training may be needed in the context of a degree
programme. The Master teachedapprentice concept is worth considering as a
fbndamentally different model of teacher education. The idea of a Master teacher
working with an apprentice on a one-to-one basis works in the Marshall Islands,
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2 5
Current initiatives such as summer schools that help existing teachers to upgrade their
qualifications and teaching expertise are helpful, but do not provide a sufficiently
comprehensive or swift remedy. The release of teachers through scholarship
programmes for extended year-long study leave abroad is helpful, but only a limited
number of teachers can access such programmes. Release of a teacher for such an
extended period can sometimes present isolated communities with a problem in
arranging suitable replacement teaching staff, and, where a suitable replacement
cannot be found, the education of the students suffers.
Distance education programmes for teachers have their place, but completing such
programmes requires considerable tenacity and application from teachers (often
unsupported in isolated environments) if they are to gain maximum benefit from
them.
One useful strategy for improving the standard of teaching is to identify the "leading
edge" exponents of good teaching practice, and then disseminate their techniques.
Successfd teachers can adapt readily to new curricula and apply teaching methods
that will tap the abilities and interest of a wide range of students. New methods of
training teachers - and of training the trainers of teachers - may be required to foster
such approaches. The imaginative "pathfinders" in some schools and institutions of
teacher training, who are experimenting with new methods and turning theory into
practice, need to be identified, so that their methods can be observed, and possibly
copied and disseminated. It is equally true, of course, that good teachers can use tried
and tested methods. It would be helpful to find the good teachers in the Marshall
Islands, observe their methods, and replicate their approach. For example, the
approaches to teaching and learning used by the Maryknoll sisters on Likiep and
Aiiinglaplap have been commended as effective by a number of commentators. The
consistently good results of their students on the High School Entrance Test certainly
demonstrate their approach is effective.
Over time, a combination of improved standards of entry by new graduates to
teaching, and an improvement in the teaching standards of those currently in the
Marshall Islands teaching work force, should eventually lead to improved standards of
teaching and therefore to an improvement in educational achievement.
If population growth continues to exceed the capacity of the Marshall Islands
education system to supply enough appropriately trained teachers, it may be necessary
to consider complementing the supply of trained teachers by bringing in expatriate
teachers. Volunteers from overseas may be willing to assist for short-term
assignments. If recruitment of expatriate teachers is affected by lower salary levels
than they might expect in their home countries, some expatriate teachers may be
willing to trade off lower salaries in exchange for other benefits of the unique
Marshall Islands lifestyle and environment.
Teachers will need to be trained adequately to implement the new Marshallese
primary school curriculum if standards are to be improved. Considerable effort over
the last few years, with the support of the Asian Development Bank through the Basic
Education Development Project, has gone into developing the new curriculum, and
into producing supporting resources to implement it. This momentum must be
maintained. Appropriate teaching resources and in-service training will need to
continue to be developed and delivered to assist teachers to implement the school
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Marshallese have been trained in the past as teachers. There is a problem, however, of
leakage of trained teachers out of the education system. Currently, teachers' salaries
are too low to be competitive. As a result, competent trained teachers shiR to other
jobs. People use the education sector as a springboard to increase their salary by
transferring to other positions elsewhere (i.e. outside the education sector). The
question of appropriate salaries for teachers is a significant issue that affects
recruitment and retention of quality people in the teaching work force. A labour
market strategy (essentially higher pay) is needed in order to attract, recruit and retain
people of high calibre into teaching as a career. There need to be incentives for people
to study for a teaching degree, and then to stay in teaching and gain financial rewards,
as well as gain the non-financial rewards that teaching as a care& provides. In
summary, the Marshall Islands needs to provide better pay incentives for teachers
with high level qualifications if it wishes to recruit and retain the best quality teachers
in its education system.
Management of risk
A more conscious emphasis needs to be placed by the Ministry of Education on the
identification and management of risk. A more proactive approach to risk
management would reduce the amount of time spent in reacting to and rectifying
problems. It would be helphl if the Ministry of Education were to develop a risk
management strategy that could be incorporated into the culture of the organization.
Learning to identify risks at an early stage, and take precautions in a proactive way,
would be a good first step that could avoid many potential downstream problems, and
save time in the long run.
For instance, there are risks in continuing to rely on manual systems for managing
information. A decision could be taken to integrate the Ministry's handling of all its
information using new forms of technology, as such an information management
system would deliver efficiency gains. It would be sensible, before making the
decision to proceed with such an approach, to assess the risks, costs, benefits, and
downstream implications before implementing any new system. It would be
worthwhile to run a trial of any new system to test how (and whether) it would work
effectively. If, for instance, one of the functions of the proposed new information
management system were to deliver teachers' pay electronically to each teacher's
bank account, a risk management approach would ensure the technology was
thoroughly tested before it was implemented. It would also be necessary to identify
those teachers who might not have a bank account and make suitable arrangements for
their pay to be delivered, and so on. A risk management approach might also ensure
that the current payroll system was available for a defined period as a fall-back
mechanism to deliver the teachers' pay cheques if a proposed new electronic payroll
system failed.
Quality of information management
There is a problem in relation to data management and analysis. It appears to be
difficult for staff of the Ministry of Education to locate and provide basic information
about education. This observation applies to both quantitative and qualitative
information. The types of information referred to include statistical, financial, and
staffing information. While it is true that previous consultants' reports include plenty
of data, Ministry staff does not seem to have assumed responsibility for analysing or
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disempowered by what seems to have been the past practice of transferring the
hnction of analysis of data to external consultants or other agencies.
There is a need to develop an information management strategy that Ministry of
Education staff can understand and use, and a corresponding need to strengthen,
improve and enhance the existing information management systems. This process will
involve consideration of what information is needed in order to manage and evaluate
education policy. It should include consideration of how the data will be collected,
stored, and managed, what skills and capabilities staff will need to manipulate,
analyse and interpret the data collected, and what information technologies, such as
databases or data warehouses, may be necessary to enhance the management and
interpretation of information. The policy methodology that has already been proposed
would be enhanced if it included an effective information management strategy. In
addition, the information management strategy should be an integral part of the
proposed strategic plan. Since the integrity of the data obtained needs to be
guaranteed, training of staff will be necessary to ensure that the information collection
process is understood and well managed. This training should also ensure that the
information gathered is analysed and interpreted effectively, so that the development
of education policy is underpinned by robust information.
It will be important to invest in better management systems in order to improve the
quality of information available for decision-making and policy formation. Planning
and reporting systems need to improve in order to enable better control of financial
resources, and to develop a better internal review capability. An initial priority will be
to review and put in place improved internal planning and budgeting processes.
Relationships with stakeholders
Improved effectiveness needs to be supported by a greater emphasis on developing
and managing relationships with the education sector and with other Government
agencies.
More resources should be applied to gaining community support and endorsement for
education. The support of the community will assist the achievement of higher
educational standards through improved motivation of the students. This objective of
greater community support for education can only be achieved if the schools
themselves take the lead and involve the parent community in the life of the schools.
The Ministry of Education is in a powe&l position to exercise leadership in this field,
although it will require the active support of the Government, and of Ministers in
particular, if any of its initiatives are to make a difference.
One option for the Ministry of Education to consider in order to foster an objective of
community involvement in education is the establishment of community forums to get
c'buy-in" from the community. Such an approach could be successfhl if a "task force"
approach was adopted, whereby a small group of key educators and community
leaders with high national credibility was established. This group over a period of,
say, twelve months, could visit most parts of the Marshall Islands in order to gain
engagement of parents in the process of supporting this Strategic Plan, identifying
educational goals, and thus fostering improved community involvement in schools.
This campaign would have a primary objective of persuading parents that education is
the key to their children's (and the country's) future. Parents need to be convinced
- . .
. . . .
. . ." , .
,
7 . .
1

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Communication
The Ministry of Education's communication with schools, and responsiveness to
schools and their communities, needs to improve. It was clear from the interviews
with Principals and teachers that the Ministry of Education is not perceived as having
communicated effectively with schools. It is acknowledged that the geography of the
Marshall Islands, and the distance of many isolated schools on remote atolls from the
central Ministry operations on Majuro make personal communication and visits
difficult. While the efforts of the school supervisors to make regular radio contact
with the public primary schools on remote atolls are acknowledged, much more needs
to be done.
The Ministry of Education should communicate clearly in a written newsletter with all
schools on a regular basis. Private schools, for instance, are expected to provide
statistical and other information to the Ministry in order to receive Government
fimding, or to apply for grant assistance through United States federal programmes. A
regular newsletter could ensure that adequate clear instructions are provided in
advance about what is required, and when the required information is expected within
the Ministry of Education.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
29
The Strategic Planning Process: Making It Work
The effectiveness of the Strategic Plan and its implementation-will depend on much
more than formal acceptance of the objectives and activities that they identify. All too
often, thoughtful and comprehensive plans lead to disappointing results because the
necessary conditions for their success are absent.
Through discussions with the Ministerial Consultative Group, members of the sectoral
discussion groups convened in August 2000, and other key informants, it was possible
to identify various matters that will need to be addressed to ensure that the Strategic
Plan and Implementing Guidelines do not "gather dust on the shelf," but become a
pivotal influence in strengthening education in the RMI in the years ahead. This
section of the revised Strategic Plan discusses some of these issues.
Building Public Awareness
There are valuable lessons to be learned from the fate of the earlier Ten-Year
Education Master P l a ~
(Master Plan) developed for the RMI in 1989 by the Academy
for Educational Development in Washington, D.C. Although adopted by the Nitzjela
(Parliament) as the vision and blueprint for educational development and
improvement during the first Compact period, the Ten-Year Education Master Plan
lacked ownership by the Marshallese people, particularly its leadership.
In the rush to implement the 1989 Master Plan, little time and resources were devoted
to raising community awareness and building consensus around the new directions
recommended in the Master Plan. Consequently, just as soon as the Master Plan was
adopted and implementation was under way, efforts were already in the making that
were contradictory to provisions of the Master Plan. This lack of ownership of the
Master Plan was also evidenced in limited hnding earmarked by the Nitijela to
implement goals of the Master Plan. Frequent changes in leadership of the Ministry
also contributed to limited Master Plan implementation.
To avoid a similar fate for this Strategic Plan, it will be important for the Ministry of
Education to design and implement an aggressive public awareness campaign to
inform and gain support for the major provisions of the Strategic Plan from all
relevant stakeholder groups including the Nitijeb, parents, educators, employers, and
government leaders. The more widely known and supported these provisions are, the
more likely it is that the general public will hold government accountable for making
decisions and establishing priorities that assist in achieving the aims of the Strategic
Plan.
Nurturing Self-Reliance
The 1981 Marshall Islands Task Force on Education report, Education for Self-
Reliance, proposes a philosophy and goal for the Ministry of Education to follow in
establishing an educational system for a nation aiming at "self-reliance." That report
focuses on "what" the system should offer (e.g., attitudes, basic skills, and advanced
studies) as well as "how" the system should function (e.g., administration, community
1
1
r . P . _ r - _ .\\

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
3 0
In essence, the 1981 Task Force report aims to strengthen traditional Marshallese
culture through specific emphasis in the curriculum on promoting the traditional spirit
of cooperative sharing among individuals. It stresses not only the "ability" to be self-
reliant, but also the '%illn to be self-reliant. The report provides a sensible basis for
building an education system in the RMI, but most of its ideas were not translated into
specific plans or action.
The 1989 Task Force on Education report also endorsed the ideas of the 198 1 report
and delved further into many problems within the educational system and critical
concerns that have not yet been resolved. Although the 1989 Task Force report and
subsequent Ten-Year Education Master Plan were submitted to the Cabinet and
gained approval, the follow-through was short-lived. As mentioned earlier, the
Master Plan was more or less abandoned before midpoint.
Regardless of past unsuccessful attempts in moving the vision of self-reliance
forward, it is important that the current Strategic Plan continue to espouse and build
upon this vision for the Marshallese people. The "ability" and "will" to be self-reliant
must continue to be the guiding vision for the new Strategic Plan. The people are the
most fundamental and valuable resource of the country. It is only when they are able
and have the will to be self-reliant that the country will move forward.
The vision must also embody characteristics of Marshallese people. Among these is
the fundamental resiliency of the Marshallese people.
This resiliency has evolved
over many years of living on small, isolated, and resource-limited islands that are
spread over a vast ocean area. The Marshallese conquered their harsh environment
and managed to establish an intricate system of governance that served the people and
their environment well. Because of their relative isolation, the people relied on their
own ingenuity to survive and thrive on these islands.
This resiliency, as well as their great sense of self-reliance, was undermined by
colonial power and the people's own fascination with western goods and inventions.
The resiliency was replaced by a sense of dependency, fostered over 40 years of
colonial administration by the United States and other foreign powers. The
Marshallese people need to reclaim that resiliency and sense of self-reliance. If
communities could thrive in traditional times, they can do even better in modern days.
Unnare peim is a Marshallese saying which literally means "ask of your hands" to
provide for your needs. This implies a belief in the ability of a person, or a
community, to provide for its own needs.
Fostering Community Responsibility
While the education process plays a critical role in fostering self-reliance,
governmental actions and policy directions also contribute toward self-reliance. In
the management of schools, for example, self-reliance is practiced in the way the
responsibility for the well-being of the students and schools is devolved to
communities. This policy direction carries a message that the school belongs to the
community and the community is accountable for its performance. In the last ten
years, attempts were made to devolve this school management responsibility through
the Community-Based Governance Scheme (CBGS). However, much more needs to
be done to sustain and strengthen efforts in this direction.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
3 1
can provide is a strong partner with major responsibility for training and technical
assistance to communities in management skills and teacher professionalism.
Creating a sense of community ownership of schools is another principle which must
guide the Ministry's action and thinking. The Ministry must create a sense of school
ownership on the part of communities, and communities must be willing to take on
that responsibility understanding that with ownership comes certain responsibilities.
These responsibilities include taking care of school facilities and making sure schools
are conducting the business of education in keeping with the Ministry of Education's
school calendar and established standards of performance and expectation. It may
also mean raising necessary k n d s to support building toilet facilities or ensuring that
water is available for the children.
Improving education in the Marshall Islands is contingent on Marshallese people's
understanding of the critical role they play in the improvement process. Only when
Marshallese take responsibility for the problems at. the successes will they
endeavour to do something about them. Improving th ~hools,
including ensuring
that enough attention is given to the needs of the school., by the central government,
are individual communities7 challenges. We have seen other community-owned
projects and programs thrive in the Marshall Islands. The successfbl implementation
of church ownership in the RMI is one example. The same can be accomplished for
schools and the educational process as a whole.
Restructuring the Ministry of Education
During the past decade, a considerable amount of resources and staff energy have
been devoted to structural improvements that are a necessary foundation for a sound
educational organization. Structural improvements that were fully or partially
implemented in this period include the refinement of the curriculum framework,
development of the Ministry of Education Personnel Management System,
establishment of an MOE financial management system (which reverted back to the
Ministry of Finance two years later), and piloting of the Community-Based
Governance System (CBGS).
While necessary, the emphasis on these structural improvements took away resources
and energy from the "bottom line" of all educational systems (i.e., classroom
instruction and student achievement). Consequently, student achievement spiralled
downward as shown by results from both the Pacific Islands Literacy Levels (PILL)
test and the High School Entrance Test (HSET).
The current Strategic Plan suggests that ccrestructuring the organization and
management of the Ministry'' should be an important order of business. Following
this line of thinking, time and resources would again be spent on building and refining
the structural pieces of the RMI educational system. But placing emphasis on
redrawing organizational lines will mean that the focus on teaching and learning will
once again become secondary. A massive overhaul of the system would take a
minimum of two years before people would be ready to focus on the important
business of student learning. Furthermore, research has shown that simply re-drawing
the table of an organization or coming up with new budget allocation schemes has
little affect on achieving better student outcomes. -

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
32
and capabilities of MOE staff through a rigorous professional development program
that focuses, among other areas, on how to improve internal and external
communication skills of staff. A part of the professional development program should
focus on clarifying staff roles, ensuring staff understanding of both their own roles as
well as those of their colleagues. This is essential for internal efficiency of the
organization as well as for minimizing duplication of work within the Ministry.
Without clear roles and a skilled and capable staff, it is unlikely that any proposed
restructuring of the Ministry would lead to significantly improved outcomes.
'Thus, many of the Strategic Plan's organizational analysis and development priorities
can and should be delayed while the system focuses its energy on improving family
participation in the education process and on strengthening classroom practices.
Experimenting with alternative organizational models and their relative abilities to
promote an important classroom priority (e.g., literacy improvement) would be one
way of determining the most effective type of organizational structure for the MOE,
how best to allocate resources, and effective means of devolving decision-making and
authority to local communities and schools.
Focus on Literacy Improvement
The Strategic Plan for Education is ambitious. The assumption that each and every
objective identified in the Strategic Plan can be immediately and klly implemented is
almost certainly unrealistic. The sheer number of objectives and activities that must
be carried out suggest a need for a logical progression and a timeframe established for
a smooth implementation process. No system, no matter what the level of resources,
can attempt to implement so many initiatives at once while keeping a central focus on
improving student learning.
Implementing Guidelines strongly recommended that "impacting family and
classroom practice to improve readiness for learning and levels of student literacy at
the primary and intermediate levels" should be the superordinate focus of the
Strategic Plan in its early years. Literacy in both English and Marshallese must be
made a priority of the RMI educational system.
There were several reasons for this recommendation. First, literacy is at the very core
of preparing people for self-sufficiency in the 21* century. It is, thus, the "highest
leverage" activity in achieving the Republic's goals. Second, abundant expertise and
resources exist to support such an effort. Third, the Strategic Plan itself indicates that
there has already been significant investment in developing a formal literacy
curriculum and assessment system. Fourth, there are numerous comments in the
Strategic Plan that reinforce the notion that literacy improvement is key to achieving
acher certification requirements
0
PAGEREF -Toc532748123 \\h 0
0 7 0 0 0
The strategy to best achieve improved readiness for learning and enhanced primary
and intermediate literacy levels is also indicated in the Strategic Plan. It strongly
suggests that improving teacher preparation is the highest leverage activity to
achieving improved literacy.
The College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) and University of the South Pacific-
Majuro (USP-M), as the major teacher preparation institutions in the RMI, could
contribute to and benefit from actively participating in improving classroom practice
. ,
. .
t
P
1
,

P
..
*
.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
33
classroom practice and learn much regarding necessary revisions that need to be made
in teacher preparation and certification.
Based on their experience, recommendations for longer-term efforts at reforming
teacher preparation will be more meaningfbl and more likely to succeed.

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34
Implementing Actions
As noted earlier in this document, the objectives cited in the 2000 Strategic Plan for
the Ministry of Education were ofien quite broad and did not provide detailed
guidance to educators about how to achieve them. Implementing Guidelines was
developed to fill this gap by identifying the specific tasks and activities that must be
carried out to accomplish the Strategic Plan's objectives. In this sense, Implementing
Guidelines was intended to serve as a practical "road map" for those RMI educators
who will be responsible for making changes in the nation's education system
consistent with the priorities set forth in the Strategic Plan. The objectives specified
in Implementing Guidelines have now been incorporated into this Strategic Plan
The central purpose of the PREL Consulting team's efforts was not to revise the
original Strategic Plan objectives, but to determine the steps needed to accomplish
them.
However, in the course of discussions with RMI educators, numerous
individuals pointed out that since the Strategic Plan is a living document, ongoing
revision of its objectives represents a natural and healthy outcome of dialogue about
educational priorities and needs in the RMI.

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3 5
Mission of the Ministrv of Education
The mission for the Ministry of Education, in the context if Vision 201 8, is:

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
36
Goal for the Education System of the Marshall Islands
Government's existing policy on education is formalised in the Education Act
1991 and in the Rules and Remlations o f the Ministry o f Education 1992. The
Education Act 1991 provides a sound basis on which the Ministry of Education's
strategic plan can be developed. Its preliminary statement sets out a
commendably clear statement of policy, as enunciated by the Nitijela. This
statement from the Education Act 1991 is reproduced below.
The Nitijela of the Marshall Islands declares and recognises the following
The right of the people to education and the obligation of the Government
to take every step reasonable and necessary to provide these services,
consistent with Article 11, Section17 of the Constitution
* The Cabinet's responsibility for establishing and maintaining such schools
and for making such other provision as may be reasonable and necessary
to provide educational opportunities for the people of the Marshall islands,
consistent with Article V, Section 1 (3)(b) of the Constitution
The need to encourage citizen involvement in educational matters by
providing for schools that guarantee and support local participation
consistent with the goal of a thorough and efficient system of education
serving all the children of the Republic
That the goal of education in the Republic shall be to foster self-reliance,
and that all educational progress and curricula be structured to firther this
goal
This statement of policy forms a sound basis for proceeding to develop a Strategic
Plan.
On the basis of this statement in legislation, Vision 2018 sets out Goal 3:
Establishing a knowledge-based economy by equipping Marshallese
citizens with internationally competitive skills, qualities and positive
attitudes to work and society.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
3 7
Obiectives for the Education Svstem in the Marshall Islands
The five stated objectives for the education sector, as set out in Vision 2018, are:
Objective 1 : Aggressively strengthen and enhance the quality of education at all levels
of schools starting fiom kindergarten to college throughout the nation.
Obiective 2: Instill awareness among all strata of Marshallese society to make each
and every citizen of the Marshall Islands appreciate "education" as the top priority in
achieving our Vision 201 8.
Objective 3: Cultivate a reformed "mind set" among all Marshallese with special
focus on the young generation to take pride and dignity in themselves by fostering a
change of attitude to life, where one has to have a sense of purpose and lead a
productive and self-reliant life.
Ob-iective 4: Provide hrther education through formal and non-formal training
opportunities for high school graduates, civil servants, and any other Marshallese
qualified citizen.
Objective 5: Make the teaching profession a dignified, respected and attractive
occupation in order to maintain high quality and dedicated teaching staff
The Vision 2018 Matrix proposes a total of 27 strategies that should be implemented
as a means of achieving these five objectives, and proposes 66 indicators to be used to
measure their achievement.

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3 8
Values
The values set out below are principles that everyone in the Ministry of Education is
encouraged to apply.
Seek innovation and excellence
Ask questions
Bring solutions
Engage constructively
Support and help each other
See the bigger picture
Focus on students
Foster responsiveness in providers
Improve quality
e Learn fiom experience

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39
Business Strategy
The Ministry's mission will be achieved through:
Working in partnership with providers and government agencies to meet the
needs of students
* Open collaborative relationships with providers
Understanding and monitoring the dynamics of the education sector
Creating and facilitating an operational environment which enables schools
and providers to respond to the needs of students
* Making all relevant information available and easily accessible
Developing systems and processes that are eficient and responsive, and
facilitate ongoing improvement in educational standards
Using clear and certain business rules and processes

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40
Pre-School Education
Provision of pre-school (early childhood) education is an important output of the
education system.
The Head Start programme (fbnded by a Federal Grant fiom the United States of
America) has been instrumental in providing pre-school education for a number of
Marshallese children. Currently, 1200 children are enrolled each year in 48 centres
throughout the country. The Head Start programme reaches only about 20% of the
children aged 3-5 years in the Marshall Islands.
US Federal grants, however, are "enhancement" grants and are not designed to
provide hnds for the basic administration of the education system. The basic
administration of the education system is the responsibility of the RMI Government.
For this reason, it is imperative that the RMI Government recognises the importance,
from a planning perspective, of committing hnds towards pre-school education on a
regular basis. At present no hnds fiom either the General Grant or the Compact-Tied
Funds are devoted to pre-school education. This situation appears to have occurred as
a result of the recommendation in the 1989 Ten-Year Master Plan for Education to
postpone for a few years the development of pre-school and kindergarten
programmes. It is now timely to revisit that recommendation. If the Government is
willing to provide a small subsidy for early childhood education, each community
could be expected to share some of the burden of providing pre-school opportunities
for its children.
Because of the importance of the formative early years of a child's life, particularly in
relation to language development, the recommended Budget that accompanies this
Strategic Plan makes provision for limited amounts of hnding either fiom the General
Grant or from Compact-Designated Funds to build capacity in the field of early
childhood education. These hnds would supplement any hnding from US Federal
Grants for the Head Start programme.
There are overseas developments, such as the New Zealand Te Kohanga Reo
movement that fosters the development of the Maori language in pre-school language
"nests", that may provide usehl pre-school language development models for the
Marshall Islands.
Participation levels in early childhood education appear to vary quite widely. There is
considerable potential for expansion of early childhood education opportunities in the
Marshall Islands, in order to ensure that all children have equal access to education
and opportunities for success.
Set out below are the recommended objectives and performance indicators for early
childhood education.

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Objective 1
Expand enrolments in early childhood education centres
To expand incrementally enrolments in early childhood education centres
Indicator
Collect data to establish a baseline of enrolments in Year 1
Increase numbers of pre-school enrolments (including Head Start,
kindergartens, other early childhood centres) by 5% a year from Year 2
PRESCHOOL EDUCl I O N
Objective 1. Expand incrementally enrolment in
Outcome. Increase pre-school
early childhood education centers.
enrolment (including Head Start,
kindergartens, and other early
childhood education centers) by
5% a year from 2002 through
2005.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencyIStaff
Resources
(#I) Collect enrolment data from Head Start (HS)
Head Start;
program and other preschool and kindergarten
MOE Bureau
programs to determine number of 5 year olds
of
currently enrolled and number that need services.
Administration
and Logistics
(#2) Submit an amendment to the education law to Minister and
require kindergarten at every public and private
Secretary of
school and change school age attendance to age 5
Education
in the RMI by 2001.
(#3) Beginning in school year 2001-02, add
MOE Bureau
Additional
kindergarten classes to 10 new school sites
of Curriculum
$150,000 for
each year giving priority to communities where HS and
staff time to
centers do not exist so that by 2005, all 5 year-olds Instruction;
put in place
are enrolled in an education program, either
Head Start
new program
through the public schools or Head Start program.
staff
(#4) Identify additional h n d s required to add
MOE Bureau
kindergarten to communities where HS centers do of
not presently exist.
Administration
and Logistics
(#5) Adopt Head Start pre-school program
MOE Bureau
curriculum to use in RMI kindergarten
of Curriculum
Classes as an interim measure.
and Instruction

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42
(#6) Establish a task force comprised of Head Start MOE Bureau
curriculum staff and MOE School Improvement
of Curriculum
staff to develop a curriculum for kindergarten and
and
to ensure it is aligned with MOE national
Instruction;
standards.
Head Start
staff
(#7) Refocus priority for Head Start program to 3
Head Start
and 4 year-olds from needy families using RMI
Policy Council;
economic and social standards.
Minister of
Education
Objective 2
Provide funding for early childhood education on a regular basis
To provide knding from the Marshall Islands Government General Grant or
Compact-Designated Funds for early childhood education on a regular basis
Indicator
To establish a baseline of $250,000 from the RWIl General Grant or Compact-
Designated Funds for early childhood education as fiom Year 1
* To increase the fbnding for early childhood education by $250,000 a year in
Year 2 to Year 4 to reach a minimum baseline of $1 million annually
PRESCHOOL EDUCATIC i (cont.)
Objective 2. Provide fbnding from the Marshall
Outconle. The number of
Islands Government General Grant or Compact-
students entering school ready to
Designated Funds for early childhood on a regular
learn (based upon vocabulary or
basis.
early language assessments) will
increase each year from 2002 -
2005.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
( Required
(#I) Develop a plan with accompanying budget
requirements needed to enable all 5-year olds to
Director;
annually for
enrol either in Head Start programs where they
Secretary of
personnel,
exist, or in kindergarten classes at public schools
Education,
training, and
where HS centers do not exist. The plan should
MOE
classroom
include additional costs for personnel, instructional
materials.
materials, and training of new and assigned
kindergarten staff
(#2) Establish a student teacher ratio not to exceed
Ministry of
20 students for all kindergarten classes.
Education
(#3) Submit budget requirements as a new line
Minister of
item in the MOE budget, in order to increase the
Education
funding for early childhood education h.c7 Q7Kn nnn
. -

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Objective 3
Develop pre-school pre-service teacher training programmes
To develop teacher training programmes so that well-qualified pre-school
teachers will be available as early childhood opportunities expand
Indicator
A pre-school teacher training programme established by Year 2
PRESCHOOL EDUCATIC 1 (cont.)
Objective 3 . Develop teacher training programs so
Ktcome. The number of
that well-qualified preschool teachers will be
teachers prepared to teach
available as early childhood opportunities expand.
preschool and kindergarten will
increase each year from 2002
through 2005.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencyIStaff
Resources
(#I) As an interim measure, recruit for and begin a
USP and CMI
6-month intensive early childhood teacher-
education program for kindergarten and preschool
education teachers in early 2001. Contractual
obligations for hiring program graduates should
include a provision to complete teacher
certification requirements including an AS degree
in education.
MOE Bureau of
(#2) Hire 10 new kindergarten teachers
Administration
incrementally each year beginning in 200 1.
and Logistics;
Head Start
Program
(#3) Contract retired certified Marshallese teachers MOE Bureau of
to assist as master teachers in the program.
Administration
(#4) Recruit parents from community to serve as
School
volunteer teacher aides.
principals/head
teachers
( # 5 ) Develop an early childhood education
MOE; Head
program based on the RMI teacher certification
Start; USP;
standards by 2002.
CMT
( # 5 ) Begin enrolment of early childhood education USP; CMI
$30,000
teachers in the teacher certification program by
salary and
2003; courses can continue year-round through
other support
distance learning.
for the
program

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Objective 4
Establish a support programme for kindergarten teachers
To establish a support programme for newly-hired kindergarten teachers
Indicators
Co-ordinator and mentor designated and in place by 30 June Year 1
Support programme and networks in place by 3 1 December Year 1
PRESCHOOL EDUCATlON (cont.)
Objective 4. Establish a support program for
Outcome. Support system and
newly hired kindergarten teachers.
required staffwill be hired by
i
school vear 2002.
A
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencyIS taff
Resources
(#l) Designate a coordinator for the
MOE Bureau of $20,000
kindergarten program to monitor program
Curriculum and
development and provide support to new
Instruction
teachers and school principals.
(#2) Designate a mentor teacher for new
School
kindergarten teachers.
Principal
(#3) Convene regular "sharing" sessions for
Coordinator
newly hired teachers, either in person or
through distance-learning mode whenever
possible.
(#4) Create a kindergarten program newsletter
Coordinator
as a means of communicating
program accomplishments and challenges to
the community and as a tool for information
sharing among schools.
Objective 5
Create Marshallese early childhood curriculum materials
* To create Marshallese curriculum materials for use in kindergartens based on
standards and benchmarks developed by the Ministry of Education
Indicators
Hold workshop and identify materials for adaptation by June 30 Year 1
Engage consultant to facilitate teacher input and development of kindergarten
curriculum support materials
'-
and learnin-

"Jepilpiiin Ke Ejukaan"
4 5
PRESCHOOL EDUCATION (cont.)
Outcome. Marshallese materials for
materials for use in kindergarten classes based
early childhood education,
on standards and benchmarks developed by the especially in language arts and
Ministry of Education.
math, will increase by 2003.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
Agency
--
Resources
(#I) Convene an annual two-week workshop
MOE Bureau
$3,000 annually
For kindergarten teachers to develop language-
of Curriculum
For consultant
arts and math materials in Marshallese.
and
Instruction;
Teacher
Training ofice
(#2) Identify suitable materials to adapt for use MOE Bureau
in Marshallese classrooms.
of Curriculum
and Instruction
(#3) Engage assistance from a consultant to
MOE;
$30,000 for
facilitate and help teachers through the process Consultant
materials
of creating instructional aides for kindergarten
classes using local materials.
(#4) Identify suitable materials from workshop MOE
and print them for wider dissemination to all
schools.

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46
Elementary Education
Provision of elementary (primary) education is the key output of the education
system.
The elementary education system must be the prime focus of efforts to improve
student achievement in the Marshall Islands. The objectives set out earlier in this
Strategic Plan include establishing a quality primary education as the national
standard for all citizens and promoting school attendance by all children between the
ages of six and fourteen. Primary schools should undertake responsibility for building
self-reliance in individuals, along with pride in their cultural heritage and appreciation
of their natural environment. There is also a need to expand community responsibility
for schools and build a sense of community ownership and pride in schools. Parents
should be involved as partners in children's learning.
The strategy for education must be broad, and must have an impact directly upon the
classroom. The objectives and measures of performance adopted in this Strategic Plan
must all be designed to make a difference to the learning that goes on in classrooms.
This Strategic Plan is designed to reflect this classroom emphasis.
The objectives in this Plan are therefore student-oriented. The focus is on the student
as a learner. The Marshallese model of teaching and learning is based upon parents as
first teachers, interacting with their children. The focus of the work of everybody in
education must be to improve student achievement. All practice must be evaluated in
the light of this aim.
Because of the important role of private schools in the education system of the
Marshall Islands, the role and performance of private primary schools needs to be
recognised, and fbnding needs to be provided to ensure these schools remain viable.
Objective 1
Improve the language development of students
To develop measures to improve the language development of students
Indicators
Language learning programmes1 resources developed and sent to all primary
schools by the following timetable
o Programmeslresources for Grades 1-3 distributed by 3 1 December
Year 1
o Programmeslresources for Grades 4-6 distributed by 3 1 December
Year 2
o Programmes/resources for Grades 7-8 distributed by 3 1 December
Year 3
Professional development programmes for teachers focusing on literacy
learning delivered to 20% of practising primary school teachers each year in
.
.
,. -- - --

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
4 7
Make arrangements for the annual placement each year of volunteers from the
United States of America or other English speaking nations, at suitable schools
in the Marshall Islands, by 3 1 December Year 1
ELEMENTARY ED1 :ATION
Objective 1. Develop measures to improve the
3utcome. 1) Reading scores will
language development of students.
ncrease at all grade levels assessed
Jetween Year 2 and Year 5;
2) An increasing number of
:eachers will report (as measured by
z teacher questionnaire) that they
u e adequately prepared to teach
reading, from Ye 1 -Year 5.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencyIStaff
Resources
(#I) Establish baseline data for minimum level
MOE Bureau of $208,000
for English and Marshallese reading
Administration
(To include
achievement at all grade levels (1 through 8) or
and Logistics
$15,000 for
for each cluster level (end of grade 3, end of
MISAT annual
grade 6, and end of grade 8) in 2001.
testing program;
$30,000 for
(#2) Share and discuss meaning of test results
MOE Bureau of Literacy
with teachers at planned summer workshops or
Curriculum and
Specialist;
during school site visits.
Instruction
$13,000 for
travel of literacy
(#3) Reprint, adapt, and develop language-
MOE Bureau of trainers to outer
learninglresource materials for MLA and ELA
Curriculum and
island schools;
and distribute to all primary schools by the
Instruction
$150,000 for
following timetable:
purchase,
Programslresources for Grades 1-3
printing, and
distributed by December 3 1, Year 1
adaptation of
rn
Programslresources for Grades 4-6
MLA and ELA
distributed by December 3 1, Year 2
classroom
rn
Programslresources for Grades 7-8
materials.)
distributed by December 3 1, Year 3
(#4) Deliver intensive professional-
MOE with
development programs for teachers focusing on assistance from
MLA and ELA standards and benchmarks.
CMI, USP, or
Other areas of emphasis should be phonemic
PREL
awareness in both languages and ensuring
teachers ability to teach such skills to students.
( # 5 ) Organize teacher groups, in grade clusters, MOE Bureau of
to develop standards-based units for ELA and
Curriculum and
MLA reading as a way to increase practical
Instruction
understanding of standards-based classrooms,
and to develop model unit lessons to assist
classroom teachers.
(#6) As part of Implementing Action #4, plan
MOE with

'"epilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
48
Training should be organized in grade clusters
PREL
(1-3,4-6, 7-8). Include demonstration and
hands-on training that gets teachers to practice
effective teaching strategies and conduct at
school site where possible.
(#7) Build in visitations to "model" schools in
CMI
Majuro as part of the CMI teacher training
program to allow in-service and pre-service
teachers to observe effective literacy teaching.
(#S) Develop and model effective literacy
CMI
teaching on an ongoing basis at the proposed
CMI Lab School. Explore uses of such
programs as Parents as Teachers (PAT) and
Compact for Reading.
(#9) Make arrangements for the annual
Minister and
placement each year of volunteers from the
Secretary of
United States of America or other English-
Education
speaking nations at suitable schools in the
Marshall Islands by December 3 1, Year 1.
Objective 2
Develop agreed standards of performance
Develop agreed standards of performance for selected Grade levels, including
benchmarks of adequate and superior student performance
Indicators
s Marshall Islands Standardised Achievement Tests for Grades 4 & 6
administered and results promulgated to all primary schools by 3 1 December
Year 1 (Grade 4) and 3 1 December Year 2 (Grade 6)
Additional Marshall Islands Standardised Achievement Tests for two fkrther
selected primary school grades developed and administered, and results
promulgated to all schools, by 3 1 December Year 3 and 3 1 December Year 4
respectively
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (cont.)
Objective 2. Develop standards of
Outcome: An increasing number of
performance for selected grade levels,
students will meet the standards as
including benchmarks of adequate and
determined by performance on
superior student performance.
teacher- administered assessments
and the MISAT at grade levels
assessed between Year 1 and Year 5.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
I Required
I ~ ~ e n c ~ / ~ t a f( f
~esources
. .. .
(#I) By December Year 1, conduct
I h K n E R..~,,.. - r
T T

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
49
2nd gather input for final draft.
:#2) Print and disseminate standards
MOE, Bureau of
jocument by March Year 1.
Curriculum and
Instruction
(#3) Provide training to teachers about
MOE Bureau of
standards. Training should be organized by
Curriculum and
cluster area (1 -3,4-6, 7-8) beginning in
Instruction
summer of Year 1 and continue throughout
the plan period. In year one, heavy emphasis
should be placed on improving teachers'
skills to teach language arts and math
standards in the lower grades.
(#4) Monitoring standards implementation in
MOE Bureau of
schools should be a regular task of subject
Curriculum and
area specialists and school principals. Efforts
Instruction
should be made to get specialists to visit each
school twice a year to model effective
teaching practices and to determine level of
progress made by teachers in each grade by
subject area, based on standards.
( # 5 ) Beginning in Year 1, develop a teacher-
MQE Bureaux of
administered grade level assessment program, Curriculum and
based on standards, to gather ongoing data on Instruction and
student progress.
Administration
and Logistics;
outside consultants
(#6) In the first two years of the plan, place
MOE Bureaux of
priority on professional development for
Curriculum and
teachers in assessment and how to use
Instruction and
assessment data to strengthen classroom
Administration
instruction.
and Logistics;
CMI
(#7) Administer Marshall Islands
MQE Bureau of
Standardized Achievement Tests for grades 3 Administration
and 6 and disseminate results to all primary
and Logistics;
schools by December 3 1, Year 1 (grade 3)
outside consultants
and December 3 1, Year 2 (grade 6).
Objective 3
Undertake a national public relations campaign
Undertake a national public relations campaign targeted at parents to ensure all
pupils of school age attend school regularly
Indicator

"Jepilpiiin Ke Ejukaan"
50
/ ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (cant.)
Objective 3 . Undertake a national public
Outcome. Parents will report
relations campaign targeted at parents to
increased knowledge and skills in
ensure all pupils of school age attend school
ways to ensure attendance (as
regularly.
measured by a parent questionnaire).
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencyIS taff
Resources
(#I) During Year 1, conduct a study to find
MOE Bureau of
$10,000 for
out how many and why children are not
Elementary and
radio and print
enrolled in school and provide
Secondary
material
recommendations for action. Assistance from Education (CBGS
development
local governments should be sought for this
Liaison and Area
and possible
study.
Supervisors)
outside
consultant to
(#2) Beginning January Year 1, establish a
Task force
conduct study.
student attendance task force of key educators members and
and community leaders to spearhead a
representatives
national campaign to persuade and train
fiom communities
parents to take the lead role in ensuring that
and other agencies
their children attend school regularly.
(#3) As part of Implementing Action #2,
MOE - possible
develop radio, TV, and print materials as part outside assistance
of the public relations campaign for parents
and communities. Development should be
complete by June 30 Yearl.
(#4) Develop necessary policies, or enforce
MOE and Local
existing policies, to ensure all school-age
Governments
children are in school.
Objective 4
--
Develop a policy to minimise truancy
To develop a strategy to combat truancy
Indicator
Truancy minimisation strategy developed& in place by 30 September Year 1
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (cont .)
Objective 4. Develop a strategy to combat
Outcome. 1) Attendance records will
truancy.
indicate decreased truancy between
Year 1 and Year 5;
2) The number of students who drop
out of school during the school year

" Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
5 1
Agency
Resources
(#I) Establish baseline data on number of
MOE - Bureau of
No additional
truant children by asking schools to compile
Elementary and
resources
daily reports of student attendance.
Secondary
required
Education (CBGS
Liaison Officer
and Area
Supervisors)
(#2) Assign responsibility to a student-
MOE and Ministry
attendance task force for assessing issues
of Justice
relating to truancy, and recommending
policies and strategies on possible action to
take regarding truant children and parents of
truant children.
(#3) Conduct parent-education workshops in
MOE Bureau of
communities and in schools, and seek church
Elementary and
collaboration and assistance in stressing the
Secondary
message about importance of school
Education
attendance.
!#4) Develop comprehensive truancy strategy MOE Bureau of
and put in place by September 30, Year I.
Elementary and
Secondary
Education
Objective 5
Foster parental and community involvement in schools
To foster parental community participation and involvement in schools and
education decision-making
Indicators
Undertake and complete a national campaign to foster parental and community
awareness and involvement in education by 30 September Year 1
Establish two Education Development Initiatives in selected localities by 3 1
December Year 1 in order to determine the best way to meet education
objectives in that community, including possible consolidation of schools,
given limited resources

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
5 2
ELEkIENTARY EDUCATION (cont .) 7
Objective 5. Foster parentaVcommunlty
3utcome. 1) Parents will report an
participation and involvement in schools and
ncreased awareness of the
education decision-making.
I mportance of involvement in their
2hildren's education (on a parent
questionnaire) by 3 1 December Year
2;
2)
School records will show increased
I levels of parent participation in
jch001 events by 3 1 becember Yr 2.
1 Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
Agency& taff
Resources
(#I) In Year 1, gather information about
MOE Bureau of
$15,000 to
I student achievement levels as compared to
I
Administration
conduct
other children in-country and out-of-country.
rind PREL
community
education
(#2) Based on information gathered, create
MOE Bureau of
campaign in
videotapes and radio programs to share
Elementary and
outer islands
information about the goals and purpose of
Secondary
education, what makes a good school, and
Education; PREL
other relevant information designed to raise
the level of community awareness about
education. Radio programs could be in both
English and JMarshallese and should
commence early in Year 2.
(#3) By February Year 2, design an
MOE Bureau of
implementation plan for a public relations
Elementary and
campaign that ensures involvement and
Secondary
commitment of traditional and community
Education; PREL
leaders in school and education decision-
making.
(#4) Undertake and complete a national
MOE Bureau of
campaign to foster parental and community
Elementary and
awareness and involvement in education by
Secondary
September 30, Year 2.
Education; PREL
( # 5 ) Beginning in Year 2, require schools to
Individual Schools
establish and maintain regular
communication between home and school,
either through individual classroom letters
from teachers to parents, monthly meetings,
or school-home newsletters.
(#6) In Year 2, create a parent-involvement
MOE Bureau of
week where parents are invited to observe or
Elementary and
take over class for a day, shadow school
Secondary
officials in the performance of their school
Education; Local
roles, or perform other tasks to W h e r their
Gout.; Schools
understanding about school.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
53
friendly to parents by August 3 1 Year 2.
Secondary
Education;
consultants
(#8) Establish two Education Development
MOE - Bureau of
Initiatives in selected localities by December
Elementary &
3 1, Year 1, in order to determine the best way Secondary
to meet education objectives in that
Education
community. Use a community-planning
process that engages all stakeholders in the
community.
Objective 6
Improve the Community Based Governance Scheme
To improve the effectiveness of the Community Based Governance Scheme
Indicators
Provide upskilling training programmes for key personnel involved in the
administration of education through the Community Based Governance
Schemes in Majuro and Ebeye, by 3 1 December Year 1
Appoint a CBGS liaison officer to the staff of the Ministry of Education as
part of the restructuring programme, by 30 June Year 1
Undertake consultation with other comnlunities in the Marshall Islands that
may wish to be included in an expanded Community Based Governance
Scheme, and begin a programme of training if interest is evident and such a
programme is warranted, by 30 September Year 2
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (cont .)
Objective 6. Improve the effectiveness of the Outcome. 1) An increasing number
Community-Based Governance System
of CBGS personnel will participate in
(CBGS).
training programs fiom 2002 to 2005;
2) An increasing number of CBGS
personnel will report increased
knowledge and skills in post-training
evaluation forms.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencyBtaff
Resources
(#I) Establish a community relations office
MOE Bureau of
$100,000 to
within the MOE School Improvement Bureau Elementary and
fund the office
by June 2001 and appoifit a CBGS liaison
Secondary
and related
ofiicer to staff the community relations
Education
activities
oflice.
(#2) Conduct a review of CBGS legislation
MOE Secretary of
and recommend revisions and
Education; outside
itnnlrmrntatinn efforts hnserl nn the reviced
cnnmrknntr:

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
54
(#3) Task the CBGS liaison officer to revise
MOE Bureau of
and reprint CBGS training modules by
Elementary and
September 2001 taking into consideration
Secondary
lessons learned from the past ten years of
Education (CBGS
CBGS implementation.
Liaison Ofice)
(#4) Clarify roles and responsibilities of
MOE Secretary of
parties involved in management of schools
Education
under the CBGS scheme and provide training
to all concerned including MOE staff.
(#5) Schedule regular monitoring meetings of MOE Secretary of
all CBGS schools and local governments with Education; CBGS
the MOE to share progress of project
Liaison Office
implementation, enhance communication,
and identie potential areas for improvement.
(#6) Conduct an analysis of issues and
MOE Bureau of
challenges for the CBGS program from the
Elementary and
perspectives of the Ministry of Education,
Secondary
local governments, and participating schools,
Education; outside
and make recommendations for improvement consultant
by June 200 1.
(#7) Provide skills training for key personnel
MOE Bureau of
involved in the administration of education
Elementary and
through the Community-Based Governance
Secondary
Schemes in Majuro and Ebeye by December
Education; outside
31, 2001.
consultants
(#8) Undertake consultation with other
MOE Bureau of
communities in the Marshall Islands that may Elementary and
wish to be included in an expanded
S econdasy
Community-Based Governance Scheme, and
Education
begin a program of training if interest is
evident and such a program is warranted by
September 30,2002.
(#9) Request additional funds from the
Minister of
government for CBGS implementation on a
Education
wider scale.
Objective 7
Increase hours of instruction per student
To increase instructional hours per student per year in crowded urban schools
and in two-teacher schools in urban areas
Indicator

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (cont .)
3bjective 7. Increase instructional hours per
3utcome. By end of Year 5,
student per year in crowded urban schools
ninimum instructional hours as
md in two-teacher schools in rural areas.
gictated by MOE Rules and
0
Regulations will be attained.
implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencylStaff
Resources
:#I) Increase classroom space in urban areas
WOE Bureaux of
$500,000 -
~y 20% beginning in Year 1 in order to phase
Administration
Laura Middle
3ut double sessions, particularly in lower
and Logistics,
School
grades. Possible strategies to accomplish this
Elementary and
$500,000 -
should include:
Secondary
Ebeye Middle
a
Majuro Middle Schools to take all 6&, Education
School
7 ~ ,
and 8* grade students from Rita,
$200,000 -
New
Uliga, Delap, and Rairo);
teachers
Establish a Middle School in Laura to
take in 6 ~ ,
7th, and 8& grader students
from Ajeltake, Woja, and Laura;
Establish a Middle School on Ebeye
to relieve enrolment pressure at the
Ebeye Public Elementary School;
Each primary school in urban centers
offers K-5 classes.
(#2) Recruit and train additional teachers to
MOE Bureau of
accommodate expansion of public schools in
Administration
urban areas and reduce span of multi-grade
and Logistics;
teaching in rural areas.
CMI
(#3) Establish a policy that limits span of
Minister and
multi-grade teaching to not more than three
Secretary of
grade levels in one classroom, and allow this
Education
practice only in extreme situations.
(#4) Review feasibility of consolidation of
MOE Bureaux of
small schools having less than three teachers. Administration
Extensive discussion with communities
and Logistics,
should be part of the review.
Elementary and
Secondary
Education; Local
Governments
Objective 8
Improve classroom instruction

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Indicators
Establish cadre of "Master Teachers" and develop in-service training
programme by December 3 1 Year 1
In-service training programme implemented in each of Years 2 to 5 inclusive
I ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (cont .)
1
Objective 8. Increase esciency and
Outcome. Effective use of classroom
effectiveness of classroom instruction.
instruction will increase by Year 4 (as
I
I measured by a principal and master (
teacher questionnaire).
Implementing Actions
Responsible
1 Required
I AgencyIStaff
1 Resources
1

"Jepilpilin K e Ejukaan"
5 7
MOE Bureau of
No additional
for what constitutes an eficiently run
Curriculum and
resources
classroom and distribute criteria to teachers
[nstruction
required
and school principals.
(#2) Beginning in Year 2, provide training to
MOE Bureau of
cadre of "master teachers" from each school
Curriculum and
and put in place strategies, including
Instruction;
proposed PREL Toolkit, to mnlitor
Teacher Training
classroom instruction to ensure teachers are
institutions
effectively teaching to the standards.
(#3) S e t aside half a day each month for in-
Individual
service teacher training, particularly in large
Schools
urban schools. Teacher in-servicing can
utilize master teachers from school, or bring
in outside assistance as needed.
(#4) Assist principals in establishing dass
School Principals
schedules that ensure that maximum
classroom time is spent on instruction.
I (#5) Provide training to teachers on how to MOE Bureau of
more efficiently use class time.
Curriculum and
Instruction
(#6) Create a simple teacher observation
MOE Bureau of
protocol for principals to use in classrwm
Curriculum and
observation. Provide training on use of
Instruction
protocoi ensuring that principals use
observation as a means of assisting in the
improvement of their teachers.
(#7) Establish a teacher substitute program,
MOE Bureau of
beginning with voluntary parentfcommunity
Administration
I members, until such time as funds are
and Logistics;
allocated for substitute teachers.
schools and locaf
governments
where applicable
(#8) Discontinue practice of sending children
Schools; local
home when teachers are absent. Institute a
governments
buddy system in schools whereby teacher-
where applicable
buddies cover classes for their counterparts.
(This creates peer pressure on chronically
absent teachers to improve attendance).

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Objective 9
Stengthen management of primary schools
To strengthen management and operation of primary schools by establishing
clear roles a d
placing accountability on school principals
Indicator
Criteria for ccexcellenf"' "good", and
schools developed and published
by December 3 1 Year 1
Roles and responsibilities of Principals specified and published by December
3IYear I
Roles and responsibilities of Principals implemented in Years 2 to 5 inclusive
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (cont .)
Objective 9. Strengthen managemeni and
OutcomeA Lmprovements in school
operation of primary schools by establishing
management will be exhibited by
clear roles and placing accountabiMy on
2003 (as shown by a parent and
school ~ r i n c i ~ a l s .
/
teacher questionn re).
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
Agency/StaE
Resources
hlOE Bureau of
Eiementary and
schools and inform the public of these
Secondary
criteria.
Education
I (#2) Require principals to conduct monthly MOE Bureau of
classroom observations as part of their
Elementary and
instructional role, and require that the results
Secondary
of these observations be included as part of
Education
the teacher-evaluation process. Both teacher
and principal need to sign off on the results as
an accurate record of what occurred in the
classroom.
(#3) Improve teacher morale by establishing
MOE Bureaux
$1 50,000 for merit
and enforcing a teacher-attendance policy by
of Elementary
pay program
Year 1. Part of the policy should include
and Secondary
provision for merit pay each year to
Education;
outstanding teachers based on their
Administration
attendance and performance. Teachers with
and Logistics
excessive absences should be dealt with
according to the provisions of the attendance
policy.

" Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
59
(#4) Establish principal certification program
411 MOE
by December Year 3.
Buream;CMI;
Lisp
( # 5 ) in the interim, provide practical training
USP; CMi
to school principals that focuses on their role
as instructional leaders. This could be done
througb distance-learning modules based on
immediate training needs.
(#6) Institute a formal principal training
MOE; USP;CMI $100,000 for
program at CMI or USP beginning in Year 2
principal training
and establishing
(#7) Strengthen existing communication
MOE Bureau of principal-
between schools and MOE administration
Elementary and
certification
through weekly single-side-band radio
Secondary
program
communication with school principals,
Education
weekly radio programs, & a monthly
(CBGS Liaison
newsletter that provides information about
O=cer and Area
activitiesfplans of the Ministry of Education.
Supervisors)
(#8) Evaluate system of distributing supplies
MOE (may
and school materials to schools. Explore
require
feasibility of an 'MOE Store" where
contracting
principals and head teachers ccshop" for
business person
annual school supplies based on school
to set up system)
allocations. (This will give more
responsibility to school principals to be
accountable for their own budgets without
really handling any money).
Objective 10
Revise the system of financing private schools
To develop a revised system of financing private schools based on a per capita
enrolment basis and performance standards
Indicator
Revision completed, decisions made, and system operative by 3 1 December
Year I

"Jepilpilin K e Ejukaan"
50
Outcome. A revised private school
of financing private schools based on per
financing plan will be in effect by Year 2.
capita enrolment and performance
standards.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
Agency/Staff
Resources
(#I) Establish baseline data on student
MOE Bureau of
performance in private schools, using
Administration and
MOE national standards.
Logistics
(#2) Establish a system of financing
MOE Bureau of
$150,000 for
private schools that establishes a
Administration and
private school
minimum (70%) contribution to each
Logistics
incentive
private school based on student
awards
enrolment and additional subsidy f 30%)
based on performance.
MOE Bureaux
(#3) Performance-based subsidy will be
Administration/logistics;
based on percentages of students
Curriculum and
performing at or above minimum
Instruction
expectations on MISAT.
( # 5 ) Request additional funds fiom the
Minister of Education
Nitijela for the private school incentive
awards.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
6 1
Secondary Education
Provision of secondary education is an important output of the education system if the
skill level of the population as a whole is to be raised.
The secondary education system has a particularly important role to play in
developing the skill level of the population. Secondary schooling also has a significant
role to play in preparing young people for employment or for hrther study. Current
legislation makes attendance at school compulsory for students aged from 6 to 14.
Many young people in the 14-year-old age group are of secondary school age.
The economic and social development of the nation depends upon an effective human
resource strategy. A key priority in such a human resource strategy will be increasing
the number of secondary education places available to Marshallese young people.
This increase is a prerequisite to achieving an increased level of skill in the population
at large. While resource constraints make addressing this matter immediately a
dif£icult issue, it is now appropriate for Government to consider what priority should
be given to working towards universal access to secondary schooling, once students
graduate from primary school.
One cost-efficient way of improving access to secondary education in the short-term
may be to provide an incentive to private schools to cater for more secondary students
by increasing the subsidy payable to private schools. Over time, consideration should
be given to increasing the number of secondary education places available at the three
existing public secondary schools.
Et out below are the objectives for secondary education.
Objective 1
Revise the secondary education curriculum
To revise the secondary education curriculum, with special emphasis on
students' acquisition of language arts and higher order thinking skills
Indicator
New secondary curricula developed and promulgated, as follows:
language arts curricula, by 3 1 March Year 2
mathematics curriculum, by 3 1 March Year 2
arts curriculum, by 3 1 March Year 3
science curriculum, by 3 1 March Year 3
social studies curriculum, by 3 1 March Year 3
technology curriculum, by 3 1 March Year 3
health and physical education curriculum, by 3 1 March Year 3

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
62
SECONDARY EDUCATION
Obiective 1. Revise the secondary education
Outcome. All secondary-level
cumculum with special emphasis-on students'
curricula will be revised by 30
acquisition of language arts and higher order
March Year 3
thinking skills.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencylStaff
Resources
(#I) By the end of Year 1, adopt procedures
MOE Bureau of
for eliminating vocational education courses
Elementary and
from the public high school curriculum in
Secondary
accordance with the following schedule:
Education
Grade 9-Year
1
5
Grade 10-Year 2
Grade 1 I-Year
3
5
Grade 12-Year
4
(#2) By March 3 1, Year 1, establish an
MOE Bureau of
advisory committee of high school
Elementary and
administrators and teachers to recommend
Secondary
courses that should remain in the secondary
Education
curriculum at each grade level, and the
number of class periods that should be allotted
to each.
(#3) By March 3 1, Year 1, disseminate the
MOE Bureau of
findings and recommendations of the advisory Elementary and
committee for comment by MOE staff and
Secondary
approval of the Minister of Education.
Education
(#4) Subject to approval of the advisory
MOE Bureau of
committee's recommendations, design and
Elementary and
implement a public information campaign no
Secondary
later than April 30, Year 1, to explain the
Education
reasons for and philosophy behind the new
secondary school curriculum.
(#5) By June 30, Year 1, contract with
MOE Bureau of
qualified subject matter specialists to review
Curriculum and
and assess the appropriateness of existing
Instruction
secondary curricula in subjects that have been
recommended for inclusion in the public high
school cumculum under Implementing Action
#10

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
63
(#6) During Year 1, conduct classroom
MOE Bureau of
observations in all three public high schools to Curriculum and
identifl the obstacles that teachers face in
[nstruction;
implementing the existing secondary
Consultants
curriculum (e.g., lack of instructional
resources) and the extent to which these
obstacles, rather than inherent weaknesses in
the curriculum, have been responsible for the
low achievement levels of students.
(#7) Collect and examine curricula that have
MOE Bureau of
been developed to implement the
Curriculum and
recommendations of the Secretary's
[nstruction
Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills
(SCANS) to determine how higher order
thinking skills can be emphasized within the
secondary curriculum.
MOE Bureau of
(#8) Identify opportunities for the
Curriculum and
development of "integrated" curricula that
[nstruction
emphasize acquisition of English language
skills.
(#9) Select appropriate standardized tests and
MOE Bureau of
conduct annual testing of all high school
Administration and
students in language arts and mathematics to
Logistics
facilitate comparison of basic skills
proficiency on a year-to-year basis.
(#lo) By September 1, Year 1, contract with
MOE Bureau of
qualified subject matter specialists to develop
Curriculum and
new secondary curricula in language arts,
Instruction;
mathematics, and other subjects according to
Consultants
the following schedule:
Language Arts-Completed
by
March 3 1, Year 2
Mathematics-Completed
by
March 3 1, Year 2
All Others-Completed by
March 3 1, Year 3
(#I 1) During June-July Year 2, provide
Consultants
training to teachers in implementing the new
language arts and mathematics curricula for
Year 3 .
(# 12) During June-July Year 3, provide
Consultants
training to teachers in implementing
- all other
revised curricula for year 4.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Objective 2
Increase secondary school enrolments
To increase the percentage of grade 8 students who enrol in private or public
secondary schools
Indicators
.Baseline data on student performance and retention collected by end of Year 1
Revision of financing system for private schools completed, decisions made,
and system operative by 3 1 December Year 1
I SECONDARY EDUCATlON (cont.)
Objective 2. Increase the percentage of grade
Outcome. By Year 5,85% of 8&
8 students who enrol in private or public
grade graduates will enroll in public
secondary schools.
or private high schools-up
from
70% in Year 1 .
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
A ~ & c ~ / s
taff
Resources
, (#I) By March 31, Year 1, convene a meeting MOE
of private secondary school principals and
administrators to identify constraints, both
financial and non-financial, on the expansion
of private secondary school enrolment.
(#2) During Year 1, collect baseline data on
MOE Bureau of
the performance of students enrolled in
Administration and
private elementary schools including, but not
Logistics
limited to, information on students'
retentionlgraduation rates and scores on the
High School Entrance Test (HSET).
(#3) Calculate the average
MOE Bureau of
retentionlgraduation rate and HSET score for
Administration and
all private elementary schools.
Logistics
(#4) Develop a formula for rewarding private
MOE Bureau of
elementary schools that equal or exceed the
Administration and
averages calculated under Implementing
Logistics
Action 3 for improving on their existing
retentiodgraduation rates and HSET results.
( # 5 ) Beginning Year 2, increase the per-pupil
MOE
$109,150
subsidy for students attending private
(based on
secondary schools from $75 to $100.
private school
enrolment in
SY 1999-2000)

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
65
from $100 to $1 50.
(#7) Beginning Year 4, increase the per-pupil
subsidy for students attending private schools
from $150 to $200.
Objective 3
Improve high school retention rates
.To improve the retention rate of students in private and public high schools
Indicators
.Establish baseline secondary school drop-out, graduation and retention rates
for the previous year by 3 1 March Year 1
Establish baseline data on secondary school college admission rates and
progression to employment rates, for the previous year, by 3 1 March Year 1
Monitor data for secondary school drop-out rates, graduation rates, college
admission rates, and progression to employment rates for Years 1 to 5, with a
target of 5% improvement in school retention rates, school graduation rates,
college admission rates and progression to employment rates each year
SECONDARY EDUCATION (cant.)
Objective 3. Improve the retention rate of
Outcome: By Year 5, 75% of each
students in private and public high schools.
cohort of students entering the gfh
I grade will graduate from high
school-up
from %
53 I in Year 1
T
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
~ ~ e n c ~ l ~ t a f f
Resources
(#I) Provide explicit policy direction to all
Minister of
MOE and high school staff that a top priority
Education
of the Ministry of Education during Years 1 to
5 shall be to increase the retentionrate of
secondary students.
(#2) Beginning with Year 1, collect data on
MOE Bureau of
each grade 9 cohort to provide information on Administration and
the exact number and percentage of students
Logistics
who drop out of school on a semester-to-
semester basis or who are chronic "no-shows"
during any given semester (Note: This data
should distinguish between students who are
"real" dropouts and those who, for example,
transfer to a private school).

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
66
3 3 ) Conduct group interview sessions with a
vIOE Bureau of
.epresentative sample of truants and dropouts
9dminktration and
.o gain increased understanding of the factors,
,ogistics
loth academic and non-academic, that lead to
;hronic absenteeism and withdrawal from
;chool.
34) Convene an inter-disciplinary task force
Minister of
ncluding representatives of health, social
Education
;emice, housing, and education agencies to
:onsider and recommend improved methods
>f referring at-risk students with multiple
xoblems to appropriate agencies and
;oordinating the provision of services to such
Aients.
:#5) By the end of Year 1, review the enabling MOE Bureau of
egislation for all U.S. federal grants received
Elementary and
3y the public high schools to identify funds
Secondary
:hat can be used to augment services to at-risk
Education
students and dropouts.
:#6) Using funds from appropriate federal
MOE Bureau of
$45,000-
grants (e.g., Title I, Improving America's
Administration and $60,000
Schools Act) or local sources, in Year 1 hire
Logistics
.
(3 positions)
at least two new counselors for MMS and one
€or JHS to develop and implement a
counseling, guidance, referral, and retrieval
program for truants and potential dropouts.
(#7) During Year 1, develop an early warning
MOE Bureau of
system to identifjr likely dropouts before they
Elementary and
leave school on the basis of unexcused
Secondary
absences, grades, and other relevant factors.
Education
(#8) In Year 2, establish a task force of key
MOE Bureau of
educators and community leaders to spearhead Elementary and
a national campaign to persuade and train
Secondary
parents to take the lead role in ensuring that
Education
their children attend school on a daily basis.
(#9) At the beginning of Year 4, establish
MOE Bureau of
$25,000
outreach centers in the two Mqjuro
Elementary and
(2 Outreach
communities with the highest
Secondary
Coordinators)
-
numbers of
truants and dropouts to provide on-site
Education
services to at-risk youth.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
67
(#lo) Establish a new career education and
MOE Bureau of
$30,000
guidance program at the public high schools
Curriculum and
(2 new
that places increased emphasis on services
Instruction
counselor
that will assist students gain access to external
positions at
job markets and training resources after
MlHS and
graduating from high school.
JHS)
$1 5,000
(materials and
supplies)
Objective 4
Establish a National Vocational Training Institute
. To establish a National Vocational Training Institute to provide technical
vocational training instruction for youth who are not admitted to or drop out of
high school
Indicator
.Institute established, staff appointed and students enrolled
SECONDARY EDUCATION (cont.1
Objective 4. Establish a National Vocational
Outcome. The National Vocational
Training Institute to provide technical-
Training Institute will begin
vocational education instruction for youth
admitting students in Year 3 .
who are not admitted to or drop out of high
school.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
Agenc y/S t aff
Resources
(#I) By March 3 1, Year 1, develop draft
MOE, ADB
Any new
specifications for the proposed National
Secretariat
resources
Vocational Training Institute (NVTI)
needed to carry
including information on: (1) target group(s);
out the
(2) instructional programs; (3) governance;
implementing
(4) roles and responsibilities of cooperating
actions for
agencies and programs; (5) organizational
Objective 4
structure; (6) fbnding; and (7) location(s)
should be
and facilities.
derived from
the pending
(#2) During Year 1, seek formal legislative
Minister of
Asian
approval for the establishment of the NVTI
Education
Development
which shall serve as a secondary-level option
Bank (ADB)
for youth who are not admitted to or drop out
loan to
of the regular public high schools.
restructure the
RMI
(#3) Conduct an inventory of all current
MOE, Bureau of
vocational
vocational providers and programs operating
Elementary and
education
in the RMI including community-based
Secondary
system.
enterprises such as Waan Aelon in Maiel.
Education

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
68
(#4) Organize and convene a conference of
MOE, ADB
vocational education providers no later than
Secretariat
March 3 1, Year 1, to review draft
specifications for the proposed NVTI and
solicit comments and input from participants.
(#5) By April 30, Year 1, appoint an interim
Minister of
Governing Board, modeled on the existing
Education
RMI Workforce Investment Board, to develop
operational plans for the Institute that address
the specifications developed under
Implementing Action # l . Detailed
operational plans shall be completed by
October 1, Year 1.
(#6) Conduct a labor market survey to identify Nationa .1 Training
trades and occupations for which demand is
Council
high due to replacement or expansion needs
and which contribute to the nation's economic
development objectives.
(#7) By October 3 1, Year 1, contract with a
NVTI Governing
suitably qualified firm to develop elementary,
Board
intermediate, and advanced training curricula
in each of the high demand trades or
occupations identified through Implementing
Action #6.
(#8) In conjunction with Implementing Action National Training
#7, identify the skill standards and
Council
competencies that students will need to
achieve before promotion from one level of
trade training to the next.
(#9) Beginning in Year 2 and continuing
NVTI
through Year 5, admit a cohort of 100 grade 8 Administration
completers and/or high school dropouts each
year to trade-training programs at the
elementary level.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
69
Post-Secondary Education
Provision of post-secondary (tertiary) education is an ou.tput of the education system
that potentially affects everyone over the age of 14 in the Marshall Islands. The
development of a high-wage high-skill economy depends upon delivery of effective
tertiary education and training.
The College of the Marshall Islands (CMI) has a critical role to play in the provision
of post-secondary education. CMI has a well-developed and comprehensive Strategic
Plan which explores in depth its general mission, objectives for fulfilling and
developing that mission, and the challenges that confiont that institution. Long-range
planning is a dynamic process at the College, and it is currently focusing on how to
implement its plan and make the plan reflect changing realities.
The University of the South Pacific at its Centre in Majuro is also making a valuable
contribution to provision of tertiary education in the Marshall Islands.
The National Training Council currently has a legislative role to provide for
vocational and other training and human resource development for the Republic. It
has developed a four-year Strategic Plan as a framework to guide its work.
All these agencies need to work co-operatively together to improve the delivery of the
broad range of post-secondary education and training that is required in future. In
order to perform well, the economy of the Marshall Islands needs educated people,
including highly-trained apprentices, technicians and skilled workers. Better co-
ordination and integration of initiatives in vocational education and training would
bring about improved results. The provision of tertiary education and training,
including the integration of initiatives to deliver vocational education and training, is a
wider issue that requires more in-depth analysis. It would be helpful if the
Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands was to initiate a review of tertiary
education and training in order to improve the effectiveness of programme delivery
and outcomes as part of a wider human resource development strategy.
The key focus of this Strategic Plan in the post-secondary (tertiary) sector of
education is on teacher education. The purpose of this focus is to improve the quality
of teaching as a means of raising standards of student achievement. It is a goal of this
Strategic Plan to increase the attractiveness of the teaching profession and expand the
cadre of trained teacher professionals, through elevating the importance of their role,
strengthening recruitment and motivation efforts, and increasing salaries.
Objective 1
Review post-secondary education and training
To review post-secondary technical and academic education and training
Indicator
.The Government will put in place arrangements to evaluate

" Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
70
o the articulation between all post-secondary institutions and agencies in
the RMI
o teacher education programmes in the RMI
o programmes, resources, administration and facilities at the College of
the Marshall Islands
o the implications of change on the College of the Marshall Islands
by 3 1 December Year 1
Develop a Strategic Plan for post-secondary education and training in the RMI
by 3 1 December Year 1
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION
Objective 1. Review post-secondary technical Dutcome. By December 3 1 ,Year 1,
and academic education and training.
arrangements will have been put in
place to evaluate (1) articulation
petween the CMI and RMI high
gchools; (2) articulation between all
post-secondary institutions and
agencies in the RMI; (3) teacher
education programs in the RMI; and
(4) programs, resources,
administration, and facilities at the
CMI.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
~ ~ e n c
taff ~ l ~
Resources
(#I) Establish a permanent Academic
College of the
$20,000
Planning Committee (APC) which shall report Marshall Islands
to the President of the College of the Marshall ( C W
Islands at least annually on progress in
implementing the College's Academic
Deselopment Plan, 1999-2008.
(#2) In keeping with the 1997 WASC
CMI
Accreditation Report, develop an effective
institutional research and analysis capability
that provides data for use in long-range
planning and allocation decisions.
(#3) Involve the APC in the preparation of the CMI
CMI Annual Plan in order that the Annual
Plan can serve as a regular update to and
revision of the long-range Academic
Development Plan.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
7 1
(#4) Identify quantifiable measures that will
enable CMI to assess its progress in achieving
the goals and objectives of its long-range
Development Plax
(#5) Establish quarterly meetings of
CMI
representatives of all post-secondary
University of the
education and training providers in the RMI
South Pacific-
(e.g., CMI, USP, PREL, and NTC) to share
Majuro
information about program effectiveness and
PREL
long-range plans; encourage all participating
National Training
institutions to prepare strategic development
Council
documents similar in scope and content to the
Ch4I Academic De~~elopment
Plan.
Objective 2
Implement the official teacher certification requirements
To implement the teacher certification requirements set out in the lk%cation
Personnel Management Svstem
Indicator
.Education Personnel Management Svstem revised, and copies of the updated
version sent to all schools and tertiary institutions, with Ministry of Education
guidance and timeline for implementation, by 3 1 December Year 1
Teacher Certification Register developed and operational by 3 1 December
Year 1
I POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION (cont.)
I
Objective 2. Implement the teacher
Outcome. By Year 5, increase the
certification requirements set out in the
percentage of teachers who meet
Education Personnel Management System.
current RMl certification
requirements to 70% for elementary
teachers and 90% for secondary
teachers.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
I Required
A ~ & C ~ / S
aff ~
Resources
(#I) Design and establish a teacher
MOE Bureau of
I certification database that provides
Elementary and
information on the certification status of all
Secondary
teachers in the RMI.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
72
(#2) Among teachers whose highest
I MOE Bureau of
educational qualification is a high school
I Elementary and
diploma, calculate the number who have
3econdary
earned 0- 15 credits towards an associate's
Education
degree, 16-30 credits, 3 1-45 credits, and 46+
credits.
(#3) At the beginning of each school year,
MOE Rureau of
provide schools with a summary of the
Elementary and
certification status of their teachers and
Secondary
current MOE rules and regulations on teacher
Education
certification.
(#4) Encourage all school principals to advise
MOE Rureau of
teachers of their certification status and assist
Elementary and
those who have not met minimum
Secondary
requirements for the Professional Certificate I
Education
in developing individualized education plans.
(#5) By the beginning of the 2nd semester of
MOE Bureau of
each school year, require all schools to submit Elementary and
the individualized education plan prepared by
Secondary
each provisionally certificated teacher along
Education
with evidence of enrollment in at least two
courses leading to permanent certification.
(#6) Examine current teacher certification
MOE Bureau of
rules and regulations for advancement (e.g.,
Elementary and
Section 14.35.6~)
to clarify the circumstances
Secondary
under which the Provisional Certificate will
Education
be revoked.
(#7) In collaboration with Pacific Resources
MOE; CMI; PREL
for Education and Learning (PREL),
implement the Building Teaching Capacity
(BTC) program on a pilot basis to provide
improved access to in-service instructional
programs for outer island teachers.
Objective 3
Improve in-service teacher training programs
To increase the quality and effectiveness of in-service teacher training
programs
Indicator
Initiate and implement a Masterlapyrentice model of teacher training by
September 30 Year 2
e A programme incorporating appropriate teaching resources and in-service

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
73
implement the new Marshallese primary school curriculum, for 20% of the
teaching work force each year, from Year 1 to Year 5
I POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION (cont.)
Objective 3 . Increase the quality and
( 3utcome. By Year 2, establish
effectiveness of in-service teacher training
I xocedures to evaluate and document
programs.
I he impact of in-service training
I wograms on classroom activities and
r student achievement; by Year 3,
I ~egin
implementing program
1 !mprovement measures consistent
1 with the findings and
1 recommendations of these evaluation
I
studies.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
Agenc yIStaff
Resources
(#I) Conduct a survey of all school principals
MOE Bureau of
and other key informants to identify and
Curriculum and
prioritize the in-service training needs of
[nstruction
elementary and secondary teachers in the
RMI .
MOE Bureau of
(#2) Prepare annually a master calendar of in-
Curriculum and
service training activities supported under
Instruction
U.S. federal grant programs and other sources
of financial assistance for distribution to all
public schools and teachers at the beginning
of each school year.
MOE Bureau of
(#3) Establish a permanent committee of
Curriculum and
MOE and CMI staff responsible for managing Instruction
U.S. federal grant programs to ensure that
professional development activities supported
under these grants reflect the training
priorities of the Ministry.
MOE Bureau of
(#4) Ensure that all in-service training
Curriculum and
providers, both internal and external, are
Instruction
aware of and adhere to the Ministry's in-
service training priorities.
MOE Bureau of
$60,000 per
(#5) Provide release time and travel funds for
Curriculum and
Year
a small corps of itinerant Master teachers who Instruction
(assumes 3
will provide training to outer island teachers
Master
through demonstration, modeling, team
teachers each
teaching, and similar in-class methods.
serving for 1
semester +
travel funds)

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
74
(#6) Emphasize the recruitment of overseas
teacher-volunteers who are able and willing to Curriculum and
devote at least 25 percent of their time to the
Instruction
in-service training of Marshallese teachers.
(#7) Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of
MOE Bureau of
all existing in-service training programs in the Administration and
RMI to determine their impact on classroom
Logistics
activities and student achievement.
Objective 4
Increase numbers entering pre-service teacher education from high school.
To increase the number of Marshallese high school graduates opting to pursue
a career in teaching.
Indicator
Number of Marshallese high school graduates enrolling in pre-service teacher
education courses increases by 20% each year from Year 1 to Year 5
* Number of Marshallese high school graduates completing pre-service teacher
education courses increases by 10% each year from Year 1 to Year 5
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION (cont.)
3bjective 4. Increase the number of
Outcome. By Year 5, ensure that the
~&shallese
high school graduates opting to
number of Marshallese high school
-
pursue a career in teaching.
graduates opting for a career in
teaching is equal to the annual
demand for new teachers due to
either expansion or replacement
needs.
--
Implementing Actions
Responsible
I Required
AnencdStaff
I Resources
--
(#l) On the basis of 1999 RMI Census data,
MOE Bureau of
1
estimate enrollment in public elementary and
Elementary and
secondary schools from Year 1 through Year
Secondary
5 .
Education
(#2) On the basis of mandated student-teacher MOE Bureau of
ratios and estimates of the number of current
Elementary and
teachers who will retire or leave the
Secondary
profession during Year 1 - Year 5, calculate
Education
annual demand for new teachers over the next
five years.
-

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
75
(#3) Continue the MIHS Teacher Academy
Marshall Islands
Pacific
using alternative sources of fbnding once
High School; MOE Vocational
existing School-to-Work Opportunities Act
Bureau of
Education
support ends; expand Academy enrollment
Elementary and
[mprovement
until the number of participants equals or
Secondary
Program
exceeds annual demand for new teachers.
Education
(PVEIP) hnds
(#4) Initiate discussions between
CMI; USP; MOE
representatives of the College of the Marshall
Bureau of
[slands and the University of the South Pacific Elementary and
on the design of a collaborative baccalaureate- Secondary
level program in education; finalize
Education
specifications for the new program by June
30, 2001.
(#5) Request the RMI Scholarship Board to
Minister of
award scholarships for post-secondary studies
Education
in education in a number equal to half the
projected annual demand for teachers during
2000-5.
(#6) Conduct "talent searches" on the outer
MOE Bureau of
islands to identify and recruit prospective
Elementary and
teachers among new high school graduates.
Secondary
Education
(#7) Design and implement a residential
program at CMI to prepare these recruits to
serve as teachers upon their return to the outer
islands.
Objective 5
Improve pre-service teacher education
To improve the quality of pre-service teacher education programs in the RMI
Indicator
All pre-service and in-service teacher training programmes at the College of
the Marshall Islands will incorporate techniques to assist teachers to manage
multi-grade classrooms, by 3 0 September Year 1

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
76
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION (cont.)
Objective 5. Improve the quality of pre-
I Outcome. By Year 2, establish
service teacher education programs in the
1 procedures to evaluate and document
the quality of pre-service teacher
education programs in the RMI;
by Year 3, begin implementing
program improvement measures
consistent with the findings and
recommendations of these evaluation
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Xequired
Agency/S taff
Xesources
(#I) Prepare a separate long-range
CMI Department
development plan for the CMI Department of
of Education
Education with special emphasis on strategies
to alleviate the critical shortage of
Marshallese education faculty at the College.
(#2) Recruit new CMI faculty among the
CMI Department
increasing number of RMI secondary teachers of Education
who are earning advanced degrees in
education.
(#3) Offer the University of the South
USP-Majuro; CMI; $30,000 per
Pacific's Graduate Certificate in Tertiary
MOE Bureau of
semester
Teaching (GCTT) on an in-service basis to
Curriculum and
qualified secondary teachers interested in
Instruction
pursuing careers at the college level.
(#4) Conduct negotiations with off-shore
Minister of
institutions such as the University of the South Education
Pacific and Guam Community College to
determine their interest in and capability of
establishing Majuro-based associate-level
teacher education programs.
(#5) Identify institutions, such as San Diego
MOE, Bureau of
State University, that provide opportunities to
Curriculum and
earn degrees in education via the internet and
Instruction
examine the feasibility of offering such
programs to Marshallese pre-service students.
(#6) On the basis of activities and progress
MOE, CMI
during Years 1 to 3, develop a policy
statement on whether the urgent need for more
teachers in the RMI shall be met primarily by
internal or external pre-service providers.

"Jepilpiiin Ke Ejukaan"
Objective 6
Allocate scholarships as preparation for a teaching career
To allocate tagged scholarships as preparation for a teaching career on an
annual basis (these may be taken up at the College of the Marshall Islands)
Indicator
Allocate the first 5 scholarships for tertiary study leading to preparation for a
teaching career by 30 September Year 1, and make an allocation of at least 5
scholarships for teaching annually thereafter
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION (cant.)
Objective 6 . Allocate tagged scholarships as
Outcome. In Year 1, the
preparation for a teaching career on an annual
Scholarships Board has established
basis (these may be taken up at the College of teacher education as a key priority
the Marshall Islands)
and has made a policy decision to
allocate a designated number of
scholarships each year (tenable at the
College of the Marshall Islands) for
pre-service teacher education. In
Years 2 to 5, these scholarships are
taken ut, annuallv.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
I Required
AgencvlStaff
1 Resources
(#I) 10 <check> scholarships allocated for
Scholarships Board ( $50,000
tertiary study leading to preparation for a
teaching career, by 30 September Year 1
(#2) At least 10 additional <check>
Scholarships Board $50,000 Year1
scholarships for tertiary study leading to
$100,000 Yr 2
preparation for a teaching career allocated
$1 50,000 Yr 3
annually in Years 2 to 5, and programme
$200,000 Yr 4
maintained thereafter (funds to be structured
$250,000 Yr 5
as a loan ;
fees payable directly to CMI;
$250,000
remainder allocated to recipients in 3 phases -
annually
113 at Phase 1 upon award; 113 at Phase 2
thereafter
upon completion of qualification; 1/3 at Phase
3 upon completion of 2 years teaching)

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
7 8
Making the Education System More Effective
The report Developing a Strategic Plan-for the minis^ of Education that
accompanies this Strategic Plan includes a number of recommendations that apply
across the various sectors of the education system. These recommendations apply
across two or more education sectors, and have therefore been grouped in this section
of the Strategic Plan for convenience. Proposed objectives and indicators to give
effect to these cross-sector recommendations are set out below.
Objective 1
Implement a management information system
To design and implement a management information system
(This system will assist MOE staff in (1) monitoring progress in achieving the
objectives of the Strategic Plan; (2) preparing annual performance reports on U.S.
federal education grants; (3) identifying emerging issues in education; and (4)
developing or revising education policies at the ministerial level.)
Indicators
Management Information System established by December 3 1 Year 1
Progress of Education Strategic Plan monitored annually
Annual performance reports on U.S. federal education grants completed by
March 3 1 in each of Years 2 to 6
Report on policies and issues in education submitted annually to Minister of
Education by December 3 1 of each year (Years 1 to 5)
SYSTEM EFFECTIVENESS
- - - -
Objective 1. Design and implement a
I Outcome. Implement the new MOE
management information system that can
management information system by
assist MOE staff in (1) monitoring progress in December 3 1, Year 1.
achieving the objectives of the Strategic Plan;
(2) preparing annual performance reports on
U. S. federal education grants; (3) identifling
emerging issues in education; and (4)
developing or revising education policies at
the ministerial level.
-
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
-
Agency/Staff
Resources

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79
:#I) Establish, within the MOE Bureau of
MOE Bureau of
625-30,000 per
4dministration and Logistics, the position of
Administration and
fear
Senior Management Information Specialist to
Logistics
ake the lead role in carrying out
[mplementing Actions 3-9 below.
:#2) Recruit for and fill the position of Senior
MOE Bureau of
Management Information Specialist no later
Administration and
:han December 3 1, Year 1.
Logistics
:#3) Identify all data collection activities
MOE Bureau of
zurrently underway in the Ministry of
Administration and
Education and compile a master list of the
Logistics
cinds of data that are available, regularly or
~ntermittently,
through these efforts.
[#4) Compile a master list of the kinds of data MOE Bureau of
needed to construct a statistical profile of
Administration and
=ducation in the RMI and monitor progress in
Logistics
schieving the objectives of the Strategic Plan.
(#5) Review the enabling legislation for all
MOE Elementary
U.S. federal education grants, identify the
and Secondary
mandated performance indicators for these
Education
grants, and determine the kinds of data that
sre needed to report on the MOE's success in
addressing these indicators.
(#6) Identify gaps in existing data collection
MOE Bureau of
activities by comparing the master list
Administration and
developed through Implementing Action 3
Logistics
with the data requirements compiled under
Implementing Actions 4 and 5.
(#7) Establish strategies and timelines for
MOE Bureau of
filling these gaps during June Year 1 - June
Administration and
Year 2.
Logistics
(#8) Review procedures for collecting all
MOE Bureau of
currently available education data to ensure
Administration and
their accuracy and reliability.
Logistics
(#9) Clarify the roles and responsibilities of
MOE Bureau of
all educated-related agencies (e.g., MOE,
Administration and
CMI, the Scholarship Board, and individual
Logistics
schools) in collecting the data needed to create
a comprehensive management information
system.

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80
(#lo) In light of the unexpected decrease in
MOE Bureau of
elementary student enrollment inyear 1, place Administration and
special emphasis on reviewing the process for Logistics
collecting school enrollment data to ensure
that such data is accurate.
(#11) Beginning October Year 1, conduct an
MOE Bureau of
analysis of school enrollment data in October
Administration and
of each school year with information on
Logistics
increases or decreases in student enrollment
for each school and grade level, prevailing
student-teacher ratios, and other factors.
(#12) Using the capabilities of the new
MOE Bureau of
management information system, establish an
Administration and
annual program of policy analyses that targets Logistics
3-6 key issues per year for in-depth review
and consideration by the Ministry.
(# 13) InYear 2, conduct research andlor
MOE Bureau of
policy analysis on the following topics:
Administration and
Logistics
B
Policy implications of declining school
enrollment on the continued employment or
transfer of teachers in such schools;
Barriers to the recruitment and
retention of teachers in the Marshall Islands;
Effectiveness of the Education
Performance Management System;
Impact of permitting tertiary
institutions to charge tuition fees while
providing government loans to students to
cover these costs.
Objective 2
Improve communication between the MOE and stakeholders
To improve communication between the MOE and stakeholders, including
schools, parents, local school boards, employers, and other constituencies that
are critical to the operation and improvement of the public education system.)
Indicators

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8 1
Annual survey results report 90% of customers "very satisfied or "satisfied"
with MOE communication on a 4-point rating scale from "very satisfied" to
"very dissatisfied"
Outcome. By June 30, Year 2,
between the MOE and schools, parents, local
schools, parents, employers, local
school boards, employers, and other
school boards, and other education
constituencies that are critical to the operation
stakeholders will report substantially
and improvement of the public education
improved communication with the
system.
Ministry of Education and its senior
officers.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
I Required
A~rencvIStaff
I Resources
(#I) Establish, within the MOE Bureau of
MOE Bureau of
1 $25-30,000 per
Administration and Logistics, the position of
Senior Public Information Officer to organize
and conduct activities that will improve
communication between the MOE and its
major constituencies.
(#2) Under the leadership of the Public
MOE Bureau of
Information Officer, begin publishing a
Administration and
quarterly newsletter on MOE activities for
Logistics
distribution to all schools by March 3 1,2001,
and every three months thereafter.
Objective 3
Improve budget management.
To strengthen the Ministry of Education's ability to manage, monitor, and
increase the effectiveness of its operating and capital budgets.
Indicators
Integrated planning and budgeting system in place by December 3 1 Year 1

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8 2
SYSTEM EFFECTIVENESS (cont.)
Objective 3. Strengthen the Ministry of
( 3utcome. By the end of the plan
Education's ability-to manage, monitor, and
)eriod, the MOE will have
increase the effectiveness of its operating and
:stablished an integrated planning
capital budgets.
~ n d
budgeting system to govern and
lirect its allocation of financial
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
4gencylS taff
Resources
(#I) Implement the recommendations of the
MOE Bureau of
ADB Civil Service Reform Project by
4dministration and
developing annual MOE budgets that link
Logistics
projected expenditures to relevant sub-sectors
of the education system (i.e., elementary,
secondary, tertiary, and central
administration) and provide detailed
information on the cost elements that make up
total expenditures in each sub-sector.
(#2) Consider adopting U. S . ED guidelines for MOE Bureau of
the development of discretionary grant
Administration and
budgets and budget narratives in the
Logistics
preparation of fbture MOE budget
submissions to the Nitijela.
(#3) Establish, within the MOE Bureau of
MOE Bureau of
$25-30,000 per
Elementary and Secondary Education, the
Elementary and
year
position of Federal Programs Manager to
Secondary
provide leadership and guidance in the
Education
preparationlmonitoring of work plans and
budgets for U.S. ED grant applications.
(#4) Review the enabling legislation for all
MOE Bureau of
U.S. ED grants and prepare a summary of the
Elementary and
purposes and allowable activities under each
Secondary
grant.
Education
(#5) Align these purposes and activities with
MOE Bureau of
the established objectives of the MOE
Elementary and
Strategic Plan noting any instances where
Secondary
U.S. grant funds cannot be used in a manner
Education
that is consistent with and supports the
Strategic Plan.
(#6) Develop a new MOE policy requiring
Minister of
grant-funded projects to place primary
Education
emphasis on activities and expenditures that
support achievement of the MOE's strategic
obiectives.

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83
(#7) In cooperation with the Ministry of
MOE Bureau of
Finance, examine current procedures for the
Administration and
drawdown of federal grant hnds to ensure
Finance; Ministry
that these hnds are available to project
of Finance
managers when and where the ED-approved
work plans require.
(#8) Organize and conduct an annual meeting
MOE Bureau of
of federal project directors to share
Elementary and
information about work plans and budgets and Secondary
identie any overlaps or inconsistencies
Education
among them.
Objective 4
Improve community responsibility for education.
To implement measures to increase the responsibility and authority of
individual communities and schools for strengthening the public education
system.
Indicator
50% of all public schools in the RMI will report in a survey that they have
undertaken community-based projects or activities to improve the academic
achievement of their students.
SYSTEM EFFECTIVENESS (cont .)
Objective 4. Implement measures to increase
Outcome. By the end of the plan
thi responsibility and authority of individual
period, at least 50% of all public
communities and schools for strengthening the schools in the RMI will report that
public education system.
they have undertaken community-
based projects or activities to
improve the academic achievement
of their students.
Implementing Actions
Responsible
Required
AgencyJStaff
Resources
(#I) Carry out the Implementing Actions cited MOE Bureau of
No additional
under Elementary Education-Objective 6 to
Elementary and
resources
revitalize the Community-Based Governance
Secondary
required
Scheme.
Education
(#2) Prepare and adopt a ministerial-level
Minister of
policy requiring that a fixed percentage of
Education
funds for any U.S. education grant be used to
support demonstration or pilot projects at
individual schools that are consistent with the
overall purposes of the grant.

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84
(#3) Issue credits to all schools for use in
MOE Bureau of
purchasing school supplies and materials at a
Administration and
centralized school shop organized and
Logistics
managed by the MOE.
(#4) Design and develop an RFP process for
MOE Bureau of
use in soliciting demonstration project
Elementary and
9
applications from interested schools.
Secondaq
Education
Objective 5
Monitor student and teacher numbers
e To develop an early warning monitoring system to detect and analyse trends
over time in student and teacher numbers
Indicator
Monitoring system in place within the Ministry of Education by 3 1 December
2000
Regular reports received at six monthly intervals from 3 1 March 2001
onwards by the Secretary of Education
Objective 6
Develop policy on falling rolls
To develop transparent policy on employment of teachers where school rolls
are rising or falling
Indicator
Policy developed and approved by Minister of Education, and implemented by
30 September 2000
Moratorium in place on hrther employment of teachers unless specifically
approved by Secretary of Education by June 30 2000
Objective 7
Review staffing policy of schools
e To conduct a staffing review of numbers of teachers employed at each school
in relation to school roll numbers, and to investigate the reasons for the sharp
decline in numbers of school enrolments in 2000
Indicator
Review completed, report made to Minister of Education, and
recommendations actioned by 3 1 March Year 1

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
Objective 8
Develop a formula-based system of school funding
To develop a formula-based system of funding for schools based on student
enrolments
Indicator
Formula-based system of hnding developed and approved by the Minister of
Education by 3 1 March 2001, and implemented as a trial in selected schools
for the 200112002 school year, with full implementation in the 200212003
school year
Objective 9
Investigate alternative policy for funding post-secondary education
a
To develop policy on providing tuition subsidies for tertiary education by
permitting tertiary education institutions to charge tuition fees to students to
provide the balance of funding, with a parallel policy developed on access to
student loans
Indicator
Policy developed and approved by Minister of Education, and implemented by
30 September 2002
Objective 10
Undertake research into teacher recruitment and retention
To undertake research into teacher recruitment and retention in the Marshall
Islands, including a systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of the
implementation of the Education Performance Management System
Indicators
Research contract let, or arrangements to undertake research programme in
place, by 31 December 2000
Research report, and evaluation of the Education Performance Management
System, completed by 30 June 2001

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86
Specific Strategies for Change
Nine specific strategies for change are:
Improving teacher qualifications
Implementing a system of teacher evaluation
Supporting the Curriculum
Improving the Effectiveness of the RMlI Scholarships Scheme
Restructuring of the Ministry of Education
Developing our people
Business systems and process improvement
Relationship management
Aligning resources with changing priorities
Improving Teacher Qualifications
The single most important issue to be addressed to achieve an improvement of
educational standards is improvement in the standard of teacher education and
training. Improving the quality of the teaching work force is the key to improving
future education performance.
Teacher capacity in the Republic of the Marshall Islands is inadequate. The standard
of teacher education and training in the Marshall Islands needs to be raised.
Improving the capacity of the teaching work force could effect an improvement in
standards of teaching. Most of the lack of teaching capacity can be traced back to lack
of formal, appropriate teaching qualifications. Lifting the standard of qualifications of
teachers across the board would have a dramatic impact on the quality of education
offered to students in the Marshall Islands, and would therefore raise standards of
achievement by students.
A "Circuit-breaker" program to improve teacher qualifications is needed
Quite simply, the effectiveness of education in the Marshall Islands is at risk because
too many of its primary school teachers are insufficiently qualified. The priority area
in the Marshall Islands for targeting resources for improving educational standards is
the elementary school, and the quality of teachers in the elementary schools is the key
factor in bringing about educational improvement.
It is desirable that all teachers hold a 4-year teaching qualification as a base minimum

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87
future is unrealistic in the Marshall Islands, as it will take some years to increase the
current low percentage (4%) of primary teachers with four-year degrees.
Realistically, however, the establishment of a four-year teaching degree at the CMI is
a longer-term goal. The College of the Marshall Islands does not currently offer a
four-year teaching degree. Such a programme could initially be established through a
conjoint arrangement between CMI and a university. The University of the South
Pacific, which already offers distance education programmes from its Majuro campus,
could be considered as a potential partner.
Efforts have been made in the past to upgrade the qualifications of teaching staff
through staff development exercises, through in-service training, and through
provision of scholarships to enable teachers to upgrade their qualifications to either
the Associate of Science (two-year) degree, or the Bachelor of Arts (four-year)
degree. While these efforts need to be continued, on their own they are taking too long
to make a substantial difference.
Those currently teaching who do not meet minimum requirements must upgrade their
skills and qualifications. Teachers cannot simply be terminated because they lack a
qualification, given that they were employed by the RMI knowing that they had
limited qualifications. However, given a reasonable time, the encouragement of their
employer and the availability of the needed course in the RMI, a policy needs to be
adopted that teachers who fail to attain or satisfactorily progress towards the
necessary qualification will be terminated.
The pragmatic position is that those directly responsible for improvement of
educational standards, the teachers, need, as an absolute minimum, a two-year degree
qualification. The minimum requirement for teacher certification for new teachers
must be completion of a two-year Associate of Science degree in elementary
education. This requirement must be enforced. To enforce it requires the urgent
production of more teachers with the necessary minimum qualification.
The numbers of new teachers each year at the College of the Marshall Islands who
meet graduation standards and can enter the teaching service are not sufficient to meet
the country's needs. Additional responses will be required to produce more teachers
who meet an acceptable standard of quality.
The initiatives of new providers such as the University of the South Pacific in
developing teacher education programmes will assist in meeting this critical national
need.
Standards of Teacher Education Programs
While considerable effort has been invested in the past in strategies for improving
teacher education, it is clear that improvement in teacher standards has been slow. The
problems appear to be systemic. The data already analysed indicates that too many
teachers are still inadequately trained and qualified, and the measures taken to date to
improve the situation seem not to have been effective enough to increase substantially
the numbers of well-qualified teachers in schools. The number of new graduates
qualified to begin teaching each year has not been large. The practical difficulties
faced by schools (particularly schools in remote atolls) in recruiting staff appear to
,
. ..- -
-.

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8 8
teachers. Renewal, revitalisation and improvement of the teaching work force are
challenges that will take time to meet.
In order to ensure that appropriate standards of pre-service teacher education are
maintained, a mechanism for external moderation of teacher education programs in
the Marshall Islands is required. It is recommended that an external moderator with
expertise in teacher education and some in-depth knowledge of Marshallese
conditions be appointed, and that regular checks and visitations are made by the
moderator. The purpose of such an appointment would to provide constant regular
external monitoring of the curriculum and teaching procedures at those providers in
the RMI that offer teacher education programmes. This procedure would help to
ensure that the standards of RMI teacher education programs are internationally
comparable, transparent and credible.
Since appropriate entry standards to study for a teaching qualification are often not
achieved by Marshallese students by the end of high school, it will be necessary for
tertiary educational institutions to establish an appropriate academic benchmark for
entry to a course of teacher education and training. Those who do not meet this entry
standard will need to have additional tuition through bridging courses and the like,
such as may be provided through the proposed Skilling the Nation program, described
in detail elsewhere.
The Teacher Rotation Program.
To make a real difference, a circuit-breaker is required. The teacher rotation
programme that is outlined below has been developed as a practical way of bringing
about a dramatic improvement in teacher qualifications in the elementary school.
The Problem
There is a serious teacher-shortage problem in the RMI. The College of the Marshall
Islands is ready to do everything in its power to assist in alleviating this problem. CMI
routinely offers college-level coursework to the 43% of the public elementary school
teachers who lack even an associates' degree in education, in order to help them
continue their education. During the summer semester, CMI conducts a broad range
of degree courses designed especially for school teachers who require in-service
training. During the regular school year, CMI offers additional credit-level courses
for these in-service teachers. These courses are offered in the late afternoon and
evenings, after normal teaching hours, so that in-service teachers may take them.
Despite these efforts, most in-service teachers make slow progress on their degrees.
Even if in-service teachers take two evening courses each semester during the regular
academic term, followed by a full load during the summer, they can expect to get only
12 academic credits, at the most. Since the current CMI A.S.Ed. Program is 93
credits, completing a degree at that rate can easily take almost a decade.
The notion of introducing accelerated teacher education and training programmes
therefore has appeal, provided quality standards of teacher education are maintained.
The barrier to this proposal is that many of the prospective teacher trainees need
considerable additional academic help before they can achieve the standards required
for a practising teacher, and this upskilling cannot be easily accomplished in a short

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The proposed Skilling the Nation Program suggested as part of the Human Resources
Development Master Plan should provide assistance to those teachers who need
academic help before they will be ready to proceed to study for a two-year Associate
of Science degree qualification. Successful completion of the Skilling the Nation
programme would mean that inadequately qualified teachers would then meet the
required standard for entry into a two-year teaching degree qualification. Even under
this scenario, however, such teachers are likely to require three years of hll-time
study to achieve an Associate of Science two-year degree qualification.
Different models of teacher training which incorporate a mix of on-job and off-job
training, associated with a period of probationary teaching for trainee teachers, with
supervision and mentoring from experienced "Master Teachers", may also be worthy
of consideration as a strategy for improving over time the qualifications of the
teaching stock.
Project Design
The following "teacher rotation" program of dramatic action is proposed:
A "Marshallese Teacher Corps" should be established, perhaps building on the
Teacher Academy currently existing at Marshall Islands High School. High
school graduates who participate in the Teacher Academy and enroll in the
"Teacher Corps" would be promised public school teaching jobs upon
graduation from high school and successful completion of a summer-long
Emergency Teaching Certification Program at CMI.
The Emergency Teaching Certification Program would give students an
accelerated course in teaching methods, behavior management, and
educational psychology. This training program would be preparatory to, and
not a substitute for, college credit-level work. The training would lead to a
temporary, emergency certification for successful program graduates, which
would entitle them to teach in the public elementary schools for one academic
year.
"Teacher Corps" teachers would replace, for one year, a regular in-service
teacher who lacks at least an associate degree. "Teacher Corps" teachers
would be paid the regular salary of entry-level public elementary school
teachers in the RMI. Regular in-service teachers who are replaced by
"Teacher Corps" teachers would be required to attend CMI full-time during
the summer semester, the following academic year, and the summer semester
after that. These teachers should be paid their regular salary and benefits
during the time they are studying full-time at CMI. It should be a contractual
obligation that they make satisfactory progress toward their degree during this
period. They must take a full load of courses, at whatever level they are
placed, and they must pass all of the courses for which they are registered, as a
condition of their continued employment with MOE.
At the end of first academic year, in-service teachers who have been attending
CMI should be rotated back into their regular classroom for the second year,
while their "Teacher Corps" substitute rotates to CMT to work towards the
A.S.Ed. degree. "Teacher Corps" teachers should be maranteed fill1 n n v

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
90
At the end of the second year, "Teacher Corps" teachers who have been
studying at CMI would have their emergency teaching certification renewed
for another year. They would then rotate back to the public elementary school
classroom to substitute for the same, or other, in-service teachers who are
continuing their education at CMI. The system can continue indefinitely, with
in-service and "Teacher Corps" teachers alternating one year teaching and one
year at CMI, until such time as sufficient teachers have completed the
associate degree.
Resource Requirements
To accomplish this program, CMI would need additional finding.
Funding for additional instructors in Teacher Education and related
disciplines. The number of additional instructors depends upon the number of
teachers participating in the proposed program. This funding can be provided
by the tuition and fee payments of the students in this proposed program.
Each student taking a full load of courses at CMI pays roughly $1 140 in
tuition. If there were, for example, fifty students participating in the program,
over and above the regular CMI student population, that would generate
$57,000 in additional tuition at CMI, approximately enough to pay the salaries
and benefits of two additional full-time instructors at the College.
Funding for additional classroom and faculty office space. Classrooms and
faculty offices are already in short supply at CMI. During peak times, all
available classrooms are fully utilized. Two or more instructors commonly
share even very small faculty offices.
This means that CMI cannot
realistically plan to expand its programs unless funds are available to build
new classrooms and faculty offices. CMI estimates that it needs at least
twelve additional classrooms and ten additional faculty offices to meet
immediate needs and needs projected over the next five years. Plans are under
way for the Asian Development Bank to fund the construction of five
additional classrooms for use in the CMI GED and vocational programs. The
construction of seven more general-purpose classrooms, designed to
accommodate approximately thirty students each, and ten additional faculty
offices would allow CMI to continue meeting projected student demand for all
of its academic programs, including those designed for pre-service teachers, as
well as serving the additional needs of in-service teachers in this proposed
program.
To implement this program, the Ministry of Education would also need substantial
additional funds, as follows.
Salaries for in-service teachers taking courses at CMT. (since these teachers are
already on the payroll, their salaries would not be additional, but would need
to be maintained for the period of the upgrading course)
Salaries for the "Teacher Corps" substitutes;
Housing for in-service teachers from outer atolls who come to Maium tn

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
9 1
Housing for "Teacher Corps" teachers who are assigned to outer atolls and
who lack housing on those atolls.
Estimated Costs
The costs of this program have been provisionally assessed at $10,250,000 for capital
requirements and $5,000,000 for operational costs, as broadly outlined above.
Collaboration Between CMI and USP
Other providers of teacher education could be encouraged to establish alternative
teacher education programmes in the Marshall Islands. The University of the South
Pacific has already established a campus in Majuro, and could be encouraged to work
co-operatively with the College of Marshall Islands on delivery of teacher training
programmes.
The USP Beginning Teachers programme is a commendable initiative that is
preparing teachers to teach the first three years of the elementary school curriculum,
and in the Head Start program. These teachers will be able to work as substitute
teachers, thus freeing up regular teachers to upgrade their skills and qualifications.
Co-operation between the CMI and the USP should be encouraged in order to ensure
pathways to improve teaching qualifications for Marshallese students are easily
available, if possible on Majuro itself. Co-operation and collaboration in achieving
suitable articulation arrangements between the two tertiary institutions and their
respective teaching degree qualifications, rather than competition between competing
rival institutions, would serve the national interest.
Some collaboration in respect of recognition of prior learning does occur at present,
but it could be improved. The University of the South Pacific offers a three-year
teaching degree at its Fiji campus. Students who successfully complete the CMI two-
year Associate of Science teaching degree are currently given one year of credit if
they enrol in the more advanced USP teaching qualification. There have, however,
been only a handhl of students who have pursued this option.
If numbers enrolling were sufficient to make running this more advanced teaching
degree course economic, the USP might be able to offer this qualification on Majuro
at the RMVUSP campus. The preferable option for students to improve their two-year
degree teaching qualification would be for students who have achieved a two-year
Associate of Science degree at the College of the Marshall Islands to study for an
advanced three or four-year teaching degree either at the USPIRMI campus or abroad.
This arrangement would be more likely to retain qualified teachers in the Marshall
Islands, as there is always more risk that people educated abroad may not return.
Incentives
There appear to be no effective incentives operating to encourage teachers to become
well qualified. A combination of incentives and sanctions is required. One effective
incentive to improve teaching standards would be a significant salary boost for those
teachers who achieve teaching qualifications at a high level, who have demonstrated

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this objective. As well, other incentives to recruit and retain teachers may need to be
considered. The question of teacher certification and incentives to improve standards
of teaching is a matter that the Ministry of Education should examine as an urgent
priority. In practical terms, an effective teacher certification programme needs to be
implemented, and prospective teachers need to be encouraged through clear incentives
to complete a quality teaching degree programme (preferably a four-year teaching
degree programme) before they begin teaching.
Those in the current teaching work force who do not currently meet adequate criteria
must be provided with' incentives to improve their skills and qualifications, both
through additional study and through in-service training. Again, multiple responses
are needed to help solve a difficult problem. Current initiatives such as summer
schools that help existing teachers to upgrade their qualifications and teaching
expertise are helpful, but do not provide a sufficiently comprehensive or sufficiently
swift remedy. The release of teachers through scholarship programmes for extended
year-long study leave abroad is helpfkl, but only a limited number of teachers can
access such programmes. Release of a teacher for such an extended period can
sometimes present isolated communities with a problem in arranging suitable
replacement teaching staff, and where a suitable replacement cannot be found, the
education of the students suffers. Distance education programmes for teachers have
their place, but completing such programmes requires considerable tenacity and
application from teachers (often unsupported in isolated environments) if they are to
gain maximum benefit from them.
Over time, a combination of improved standards of entry by new graduates to
teaching, and an improvement in the teaching standards of those currently in the
Marshall Islands teaching work force, should eventually lead to better quality teachers
and therefore improved educational standards.
Teacher Salaries
Marshallese have been trained in the past as teachers. There is a problem, however, of
leakage of trained teachers out of the education system. Currently, teachers7 salaries
are too low to be competitive. As a result, competent trained teachers shift to other
jobs. People use the education sector as a springboard to increase their salary by
transferring to other positions elsewhere (i.e. outside the education sector). The
question of appropriate salaries for teachers is a significant issue that affects
recruitment and retention of quality people in the teaching work force. A labour
market strategy (essentially higher pay) is needed in order to attract, recruit and retain
people of high calibre into teaching as a career.
There need to be incentives for people to study for a teaching degree, and then to stay
in teaching and gain financial rewards, as well as gain the non-financial rewards that
teaching as a career provides. Higher salaries or merit pay should be available only to
teachers who meet the required high standards, including the minimum qualifications
required for teaching.
A review of teacher salaries may be appropriate, although the timing of this review
would need to depend upon the phased implementation of the Human Resources
Development Master Plan. In summary, the Marshall Islands needs to provide better
pay incentives for teachers with high level qualifications if it wishes to recruit and
.
.

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Teacher Evaluation
There is a need to evaluate the performance of all teachers in order to determine that
they are delivering quality education and training. The purpose of this evaluation is to
identify where there is a need for further in service training. Independent, external
evaluation is a requirement for all teachers regardless of their qualification or
experience in the job.
Teacher Appraisal System Required
An effective teacher appraisal system will need to be developed that fairly assesses
the performance and skills of teachers. Any appraisal system that is developed will
need to be based on clear and objective performance criteria, and will need to be
applied in a fair and professional manner. The performance criteria must state explicit
professional standards. The criteria should include a description of benchmarks
established specifically for teachers in the education system of the Marshall Islands.
These benchmarks should incorporate international standards of education in
dimensions such as literacy, numeracy and critical thinking.
The Principal of each school will be the lynchpin of the system of teacher appraisal. It
will be the Principal who conducts initial teacher evaluations. However, the Principals
themselves will need to be assisted first by a programme of management training,
including training in conducting performance appraisals.
The responsibility for developing the professional standards to be used as the basis of
teacher evaluation, and for developing the appropriate teacher appraisal methodology
to be used by the Principals, should lie with the Ministry of Education.
Any teacher appraisal system should have the professional growth of the teacher as a
prime objective. The appraisals will need to include visitation of the teachers in their
classroom by a competent professional, and should include observation, written
comment on and peer review of their teaching.
In addition, an external monitor or monitors will need to be engaged to moderate the
standards of the performance appraisal system, and to provide a verifiable check on
the accuracy and consistency of the application of benchmarks.
Objectivity could be verified by using evaluators or monitors who are external to the
RMI training and education system. The purpose of introducing external monitoring
is to provide an independent check on teaching standards against international criteria.
Use of external monitors would ensure that any teacher evaluations that are conducted
are based on standards that are objective, transparent, and verifiable. These external
evaluators could be independent contractors based at the College of the Marshall
Islands. They could also deliver any in-service training at CMI that might be
identified as necessary as part of the evaluation process.
Management Training for Principals
Good leadership in schools, particularly fiom the Principal, is essential if the school is
to become a top-performing institution. Successhl schools invariably have good
leaders. Priority therefore needs to be given to the recruitment, training and retention
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teacher evaluation and feedback, supervision and mentorship of teachers, working
with the community, developing effective school plans, and provision of educational
leadership. Strong leadership from the Principal will be translated into effective
student achievement in the classroom. To foster these leadership skills, Principals
need access to effective management training and professional development, both
prior to undertaking the Principal's role, and as a form of ongoing education and
training while in the job.
The concept of the Principal as an agent of cultural change both within the community
and within the school is a key idea. To make this idea work, effective training of
Principals is essential.
There are management training programmes offered at institutions outside the
Marshall Islands that could assist in upgrading the skills of middle and senior
management in schools. The difficulty with such programmes is the expense of travel
and accommodation costs in taking senior personnel overseas to these programmes. A
more cost effective and efficient approach would be to bring a well-designed
programme to the Marshall Islands, or to design an indigenous Marshall Islands
management training programme that is specially tailored for local needs.
The most cost effective option would be to design a summer school programme that
all Principals would attend. It may be possible for the College of the Marshall Islands
to assist in designing a suitable short staff development programmes for senior
management in schools, and to identify a small group of experienced Principals in the
Marshall Islands who could act as facilitators and mentors for the course. Incentives
should be provided for Principals to take part in the proposed summer school, in order
to assist them in upgrading their management skills.
A system of 'Trincipal Certification" should be implemented alongside the teacher
certification requirements. Such a system would ensure that professional leaders have
achieved a requisite level of competence to undertake their demanding roles as
Principals of schools. If implemented, such a system would have the effect of
improving the standards of administration and professional leadership in schools. The
Ministry of Education should consider the merits of such a proposal in its review of
the Education Management Personnel System.
In-Service Training of Teachers
An effective system of teacher evaluation will indicate areas for professional growth
and improvement of teacher standards. If professional standards are to be improved,
teachers will need to be trained adequately to implement the new Marshallese primary
school curriculum. Considerable effort over the last few years, with the support of the
Asian Development Bank through the Basic Education Development Project, has
gone into developing the new curriculum, and into producing supporting resources to
implement it. This momentum must be maintained. Appropriate teaching resources
and in-service training will need to continue to be developed and delivered to assist
teachers to implement the school curriculum.
Considerable investment has been made (particularly at the College of the Marshall
Islands) in teacher education and training in order to ensure that the calibre of teachers
employed in the Marshall Islands is of high quality. The Basic Education Project
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education. Several initiatives have been supported. The Project is fimding civil works,
hrniture and equipment for the expansion of the College of Marshall Islands teaching
facilities. Four additional classrooms have been built at the College. A dormitory has
been constructed to provide accommodation for trainee teachers, and basic housing
units have been renovated for staff. While the focus of this work has been primarily
on pre-service teacher education and training, support has also been provided for in-
service training.
Other steps can be taken immediately to help teachers improve their skills. For
instance, the Government could explore with authorities in the United States how
support could be provided for language development programmes in schools. The
Government could encourage initiatives that bring fluent native speakers of English as
volunteers to work alongside Marshallese teachers in schools. Initiatives such as
bringing in volunteers from the United States or other English-speaking countries for
limited periods of up to a year could be considered. While such volunteers would not
be likely to be formally trained as teachers, their presence in Marshall Islands primary
schools would create a 'tvidwin" situation. Their English language skills would bring
benefits to Marshall Islands students (and possibly also to some teachers), while the
expatriate volunteers would benefit f?om much improved cross-cultural understanding
as a result of their experience of living in the Marshall Islands.
The initiative by Dr Allison Rowe of the Education Faculty of Dartmouth College in
New Hampshire, USA, to bring graduate students to Majuro to achieve similar
objectives is to be commended. These graduates are offering their services as
volunteers by working alongside teachers in the Marshall Islands High School, and in
other schools in the Marshall Islands. Informal evaluation has suggested that this
approach has been beneficial, both for the graduate students and for the teachers and
students in the high school.
Using Effective Marshall Islands Models for In-Service Training
It is a sound principle of curriculum development that one way of developing good
models of teaching and learning is to find examples of innovative practice, describe
them and invite teachers to use similar approaches. Good practice, if it is copied and
disseminated, can have the effect of improving standards of teaching and learning.
One effective model is based upon the system of mentoring pioneered by the
Maryknoll sisters.
The Maryknoll Sisters took over the administration of the Likiep school in 1994. The
sisters signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education that
they would assume responsibility for operating Likiep Elementary School as a public
school. Up to that time, the school had an undistinguished record; teacher absenteeism
was high, classes were conducted only half a day, and very few of the eighth graders
were accepted for high school. The community was dissatisfied with its school and
enthusiastically agreed to having the sisters take over the running of the school The
people of Likiep had a happy experience with the Maryknoll Sisters in the 1950s
when they ran a top-quality school on the island for nearly a decade before the
dwindling population forced the closing of the school.
When the sisters took over, they did not bring a large broom to sweep away what had
gone before. The teachers, dedicated people but without direction, stayed on at the
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school was a sense of purpose, a detailed curriculum, and willingness to train the
teachers in how to use the curriculum guide. As one person remarked they also
insisted that the teachers come on time every day and that classes not be canceled at
the slightest excuse.
The community supported the changes that the sisters made in the school. Likiep had
long thought of itself as distinct from and perhaps more progressive than other
Marshallese atolls. Years ago when the island was purchased and settled by
foreigners, it was freed from chiefly authority and embarked on a long history of
&sing European pragmatism with island ways. Whatever problems their school may
have had through the years, the people on Likiep always had a sense of how important
education was. Today the Likiep community has taken ownership of their school as
they never did before the turn-about in the school. PTA meetings are very well
attended; most families have at least one member representing them at the meeting.
The school possesses a vitality today that is the envy of other schools in the area. The
children in the lower grades maintain a garden plot, with students not o d y tending
their plants but measuring them and graphing their growth over time to help them
learn the basic skills they will need in their science courses. Students engage in the
same type of hands-on learning through their work with tiny turtles in a shoreside tank
that is part of the school's conservation project. Students also walk around the school
grounds picking up trash each day, and there is no graffiti to be seen on any of the
school buildings. As we find in many of the other top-flight schools, the student body
and community have become protective of the appearance of their school.
Three years ago the Maryknoll Sisters turned over the administration of the school to
the principal and community leaders, but since then Likiep has maintained its high
standing among Marshalls public schools. Teachers continue to use the curriculum
guides that the sisters introduced, and the school policies presented in the handbook
are still embraced by the community and enforced by the faculty. Two Maryknoll
Sisters stiH visit the school two or three times a year to hold training sessions for the
teachers and to encourage the community to keep a vigilant eye on school operations.
Their visits are essential to the success of the school since the sisters act as kind of a
quality control; they make sure that the curriculum is being followed and make
revisions in the curriculum materials as needed. To date the transition appears to have
been successhl, at least to judge from test scores of the students, for Likiep's students
continue to pass the entrance test to the public high schools in very high numbers,
with some of the better students qualifying for some of the more exclusive private
schools in the region.
Supporting the Curriculum
School effectiveness appears to be low, and student performance is generally poor, as
a result of several factors: class sizes are disproportionate across the country (class
sizes are large in urban public primary schools, but are relatively small in remote rural
outer atolls), teacher performance generally is inadequate, and logistic support for
schools is poor.
Standards of education attained by both primary and secondary school students, in
general, are low by comparison with international and Pacific Island country norms,
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It is therefore important that the Ministry of Education continue to monitor the
literacy levels of the student population, in order to assess over time the effects of
measures taken to improve the basic literacy and numeracy of school pupils. It will
also be important that measures to improve language development (including
developing literacy skills) in all stages of primary schooling, but particularly in the
early years, are given the very highest priority. This high priority should be reflected
in the emphasis placed on children's language development in all teacher education
programmes, and in the allocation of resources devoted to curriculum development.
Marshall Islands Standardised Achievement Tests
The Ministry of Education, with the support of the Asian Development Bank, has
initiated work to develop new national tests (MISAT - the Marshall Islands
Standardised Achievement Tests) in Grade 4 and Grade 6. These tests will sample
achievement in English, Marshallese and mathematics at both these grades, and in
science as well in Grade 6. The tests will be tried out from March to May 2000 in
schools. The purpose of these tests is to assess student performance at these two grade
levels, based on the new primary school curriculum that has recently been introduced
in the Marshall Islands.
The Ministry of Education is to be commended on the development of this initial.
assessment programme, whereby student achievement will be measured and
monitored in a systematic and comprehensive way. Continued regular monitoring
against objective standards at key assessment points throughout both the primary and
secondary school is desirable. It will be helpfbl for teachers and parents if agreed
standards of performance for each grade level are developed and implemented, with
benchmarks of adequate and superior student performance promulgated. The Ministry
of Education is encouraged to demonstrate educational leadership by continuing to
implement and expand an assessment programme in schools that monitors student
achievement at key points.
Program Design
The Ministry of Education has been developing a national curriculum for elementary
schools for the Republic of the Marshall Islands over a period of years, and a suitable
national curriculum for the Marshall Islands has been developed and is in place. The
Strategic Plan for Education also includes a number of objectives that, if
implemented, would assist in raising the standard of educational achievement across
the country.
Nevertheless, the present generally weak level of competence of teachers means that
they need considerable help with implementing this new curriculum. More than the
proposed implementation of the Marshall Islands standardized tests is required. The
key need is to assist teachers to develop specific program planning guides (lesson
plans and work plans) that will enable them to implement the curriculum objectives.
These guides need to be carefblly structured, organized in a detailed way, and
supported with learning resources so that teachers can implement a program of work
with minimal guidance. The sample programs of work need to be simple and clear,
and should integrate all dimensions of the primary school curriculum (language,
mathematics, science, social studies, art and craft, physical education and music) into
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Because the elementary curriculum guidelines are quite broad in scope, many teachers
are unable to develop lesson plans that integrate all the dimensions of the curriculum.
Many teachers, too, have some difficulty with aspects such as effective time
management, sequencing of work flows, and aspects of classroom management such
as organising group work or meeting the needs of students of varying levels of ability
groups iin a single classroom.
To assist teachers in managing these challenges, a key focus of the Standards and
Quality Development Program of the Human Resources Development Master Plan
will be the production of Teacher Guides based on Lesson Plans. Effectively these
guides will be specific work plans, including lesson plans, for each level of education
in the elementary school, beginning at grade 1 and progressing up to grade 8, based on
the Marshall Islands national curriculum and sound educational principles. Each
teacher will be able to use these lesson plans on a week by week basis.
The responsibility for producing these lesson plans will rest with the Ministry of
Education. The objective is that the Ministry shall, at the end of each week, produce
and distribute lesson plans for teachers for use in the week or weeks ahead. These
weekly schemes of work, including the lesson plans, for elementary teachers at each
level of the elementary school will be a guide to the material to be covered in the next
week or weeks. The work plans will include suggested lesson plans, the materials to
be used, and the suggested assessment methods or tests to be held at the end of the
week.
Thought will need to be given to how this ambitious objective might be achieved.
Achievement of the immediate objective would be best achieved by purchasing texts
or programs that can be adopted to suit the Marshallese curriculum with very little
modification. This principle of adapting already developed materials will apply
particularly to the mathematics and science curricula. It should also be possible to
make use of existing resource materials, such as readers and other text books, that are
already available and in use in Marshallese schools.
The Ministry of Education will be required to plan to deliver the weekly schemes of
work and lesson plans in a timely way. Any failure to deliver the schemes of work
without a good reason will immediately trigger a public enquiry and a report to be
delivered to the Nitijela and the President.
While a curriculum for secondary schools in the Marshall Islands is being developed,
it has not yet been officially endorsed and approved for implementation. The low
completion rate of scholarship holders is an indication that the quality of training and
education in the secondary schools is well below the standard required.
Specific curriculum goals and clear standards of performance for students in
secondary schools are required immediately. One option is to consider adopting an
external curriculum such as the Hawaiian or the New Zealand secondary school
curriculum immediately. If this course of action was adopted, in practical terms,
consideration would also have to be given to also adopting the Hawaiian or New
Zealand elementary school curriculum. There are advantages and disadvantages to
this approach, which would need to be assessed carefblly by the Ministry of
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this option were to be followed, the examinations would be based on the Hawaiian or
New Zealand curriculum. The appropriate pass mark and the percentage passing
would need to correlate with the Hawaiian or New Zealand standard.
The expectation of this approach is that RMI students would be well served if there
were clear and demonstrable standards of achievement that were set and assessed
externally. In this way teachers would be able to establish clear expectations both for
their own teaching and for the standards required of their students.
The promotion or retention of teachers could be performance-based, in that there
would be a review of the numbers of their students who successfblly pass the external
examinations, and a teacher who consistently underperformed over time would be
terminated.
Improving the Effectiveness of the RMI Scholarship Programme
Vision 2018 is the first segment of the Strategic Development Plan for the Republic of
the Marshall Islands for the next 15 years. Vision 2018 states that a key issue is the
extensive training requirements for the whole of the country. The lack of locally
qualified people contributes to the low capacity of the Government to effectively
administer development programs. The Government intends to review the present
Scholarships Act in the light of a survey of the labour market, and any other training
needs assessment, with a view to ensuring the existence of a satisfactory procedure for
the selection and award of scholarships to the people of the Marshall Islands. This
review will examine the legislation that provides grants for the. fbrther education of
Marshallese at post-secondary educational institutions overseas. The aim will be to
develop a national policy on scholarships and training that outlines clearly the
procedures and entitlements to scholarships.
The development of the Human Resources Development Master Plan is part of the
second segment of the Strategic Development Plan of the Marshall Islands. The RMI
Scholarships Program is a key instrument to assist in achieving the HRD goal of
developing capacity within the Marshall Islands. The HRD Master Plan is examining
the issues raised by the RMI Scholarships Programme with the objective of improving
its effectiveness. The issues raised as a result of this preliminary review are set out
and analysed below.
Firstly, the present gross completion rate of scholarships, on the basis of the figures
for the last decade, is 16%. While some of these scholarship recipients will still be
studying and should eventually complete their studies, and therefore increase the
gross percentage, this completion rate is very low. The reason for the low completion
rate appears to be that many RMI post-compulsory students lack the academic skills
needed to succeed in college and drop out before graduating. This low completion rate
must be improved.
Secondly, the data about educational achievement for those on scholarships indicates,
even for those who complete their studies, that the level of achievement is modest at
best. Out of 245 persons who completed their courses of study during 1988-99, 91
attained certificates (usually one- or two-semester courses of study), 63 attained
associate degrees, 79 earned bachelor's degrees and only 12 completed advanced
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All this information indicates that a review of the policy on scholarships and their
allocation is overdue.
Proposed Policy Changes for Allocation of Scholarships
The scholarship completion rate must be improved so that a success rate of 50% or
more is achieved within 5 years. This goal can be achieved by a combination of
tightening access, strengthening criteria for the award of scholarships, assisting
students with pastoral care and support,
identifying those tertiary education
institutions overseas where Marshallese students do well and targeting them for
placement of hture scholarship recipients, and through regular and systematic
monitoring of the scholarships scheme.
Standards
The fkndamental reason for a low scholarship completion rate is that the academic
qualifying standard of recipients who are awarded scholarships is not high enough. If
the student is not able to perform at the adequate academic level, the chances of
failure are high. Students are being set up for failure because they are being awarded
scholarships to study for qualifications for which they are not ready or for which they
have not been well enough prepared. The solution to improve scholarship completion
results is for the Scholarships Board to raise the entry standard requirement for the
award of a scholarship, and not to award scholarships unless each student has
demonstrated the required level of academic competence.
The present policy appears to be to award scholarships in the initial year to students
who have demonstrated a grade point average of 2.0 at college. This standard appears
to be too low, given the high failure rate of Marshallese students who have been
awarded scholarships in the past, and should be revised upwards. Achievement of a
reasonably tough standard should be mandatory for students who are awarded
scholarships to study at tertiary education institutions overseas. This standard should
be introduced immediately, and could initially be based on a higher specified college
grade point average, such as a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0, or could
be based on a specified achievement on some verified external standard, such as
performance on the United States SAT college entrance test. It is possible (even
likely) that such a change in policy will lead to fewer scholarships being awarded, but
the pay-off should be that students who are actually awarded scholarships will have a
better chance of success.
It is also desirable that the entrance standard required in order to be awarded a
scholarship to study at the College of the Marshall Islands should be raised. A two-
phased approach is recommended. Initially a minimum grade point average of 2.5
should be set. Once it is established, completion of the proposed Skilling the Nation
program with a pass at a satisfactory standard should be set as a prior requirement
before a student is awarded an RMI scholarship.
There would be merit in setting an explicit external standard, specifically determined
for Marshall Islands students, for the award of scholarships. The proposal in the
Human Resources Development Master Plan is that all scholarship applicants must
demonstrate completion of the Skilling the Nation Program, and the attainment of a
pass, whether or not they have completed any course at CMI. Implementing such a
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can be set immediately while the necessary development work is done to set a new
Marshall Islands standard.
As part of the design of the Skilling the Nation program, an assessment instrument
which is a scientifically valid measure of academic achievement at the equivalent
point to high school graduation should be designed and developed. The work of
designing an appropriate assessment instrument should be undertaken externally on
contract by a body with the appropriate design and testing expertise, such as the
Australian or the New Zealand Council of Educational Research, or the United States
Educational Testing Service. All students wishing to undertake any course at CMI
must either complete and pass the Skilling the Nation Program course, or demonstrate
through performance on the objective assessment instrument that they have achieved
the required level of academic competence. This demonstration may be by simple
examination if the student is sufficiently advanced.
Setting the qualifying entrance standard that is required for the award of a scholarship
at a high level will give an important signal about standards, and will assist in raising
the level of academic achievement at the point of high school graduation.
The policy of requiring students to demonstrate success in their courses before a
scholarship for a second or third year of study is awarded should continue. Students
must be able produce independently verifiable evidence of satisfactory progress in
their first year's work (for instance, by producing documentary evidence of having
passed their courses or examinations) before being awarded a scholarship for the
second or third consecutive year of study.
Administration of the RMI Scholarships Scheme
The Scholarships Board needs to develop its capacity in order to administer the RMT
Scholarships scheme more effectively. It would be helphl if the personnel
administering the scheme were linked to the Public Service Commission through the
proposed Project Implementation Unit (suggested in the Human Resources
Development Master Plan). This linkage would assist in developing and extending the
range of skills (including financial skills) which the Scholarships Secretariat needs.
A public granting authority such as the Scholarships Board should produce an audited
Annual Report within three months of the end of each financial year. No such reports
are available. The annual report should include both financial and non-financial data.
The non-financial data should report on the performance of the Scholarships Scheme
and include relevant statistical and other performance data such as numbers of
scholarships awarded, locations and institutions where scholarships were taken up,
length of tenure of individual scholarships, student academic performance data,
number of successfd graduations (completions), and so on. The annual financial
report should account properly for the expenditure of the relatively large suns of
public money involved. The report should be audited according to the appropriate:
accountancy standards. This process of formal reporting on the allocation of RMl[
scholarships should start immediately, beginning with the 200012001 year. To achieve
these objectives immediately, responsibility for the financial management of and
financial reporting on the RMI Scholarships Scheme should be taken over either by
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(approximately $4000 or more in some cases) in one lump sum at the beginning of
each semester has some disadvantages. Students unused to having such large sums of
cash may not have the maturity to manage this money and use it effectively for the
purposes for which it was intended. The system of administering and paying the
grants should be changed to assist the students manage their own finances.
Scholarship payments should be staggered so that amounts are paid at monthly
intervals at most. A larger initial payment may be needed for payment of fees and
initial bond payments for accommodation (although it is desirable that tuition fee
payments should be made directly to the educational institution by the Scholarships
Board).
This change will have administrative implications for the Secretariat, as it will add to
the work load. Additional staff may need to be employed to deal with the extra work.
The granting authority should be authorised to make payments only afier having
received a written report from the scholarship holder which details the course of study
undertaken in the previous month, accompanied by a certification from the relevant
school administration which confirms attendance and satisfactory progress. Provision
of regular and timely reports would be a condition of payment. E-mail could be used
to provide these reports, so that there should be no unnecessary delay that would
interfere with the student's access to funds for necessary living costs.
Incentives appear to exist at present to encourage all money tagged for scholarships to
be awarded in any one financial year. The principle appears to be 'bse it or lose it". It
is not essential that all the money allocated for scholarships in any one year be
allocated, if enough students do not meet the standard required. The present policy of
allocating all scholarship knds on the basis of a low academic standard must be
discontinued. If not enough students qualify, the Scholarships Board could be given
authority to transfer and carry over any surplus f k d s in any one year into a future
year, until enough applicants do meet the required standard to justifjr the award of a
scholarship. If a change in legislation is required to enable the Scholarships Board to
transfer funds between years and to hold that money in trust until the new criteria are
met and scholarships can be awarded, this change could be examined as part of the
proposed review of scholarships allocation by the Government.
Use of Scholarships to Meet National Priorities
In order to meet the goals and objectives of Vision 2018, and in particular to meet the
capacity development requirements set out in the Human Resources Development
Master Plan, a significant proportion of scholarships should be "tagged" for award to
meet designated national priorities. These priorities are:
e
Courses that lead to preparation for a teaching career (for instance, the two-
year Associate of Science degree at the College of the Marshall Islands)
(Major priority - 50% of scholarships);
Courses that support priority health workforce needs;
Courses that develop capacity in the public service.
More flexibility should be built in to the legislation governing the allocation of
scholarships to enable the Scholarships Board to meet national priorities. To achieve
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performance (for instance, to fund the training of a doctor), sufficient funds have
been generated and will be available.
Recovery of Funds from Scholarship Recipients Who Abscond
It is Government policy that outstanding repayments due from non-completing
scholarship holders should be recovered. This policy must be enforced. No effort has
been made to trace those scholarship recipients who have not completed their studies
in the past, and to request the return of scholarship funds that were not used for the
proper purpose.
The return of h n d s should not be required from students who have completed the
course, but have failed their examinations. Such a policy would be unfair.
It would be necessary to ensure that the scholarships database accurately differentiates
between two categories: those students who completed the course, but failed; and
those students who simply dropped out soon after receipt of the money. Recovery of
funds should only be contemplated fiom those in the second category: those who did
not use the money for the purpose for which the award of scholarship money was
intended.
It may be prudent to seek a legal opinion on the validity of the documentation signed
by previous recipients prior to accepting an RMI scholarship, in order to verify that
the scholarship is in fact a loan (as is alleged) to be written off upon successfi 1
completion of a designated course of study, and subsequent graduation, or recovert.1
if the student does not pursue his or her studies. If the Government has a clear legal
right to recover the full amount of scholarship monies fiom "defaulters", .the recovey
of hnds should be pursued with vigour.
A mechanism for achieving this objective would be to establish the baseline data with
accuracy, and then contract a commercial debt recovery company (probably one in the
United States) to recover all funds outstanding. One estimate is that these funds may
currently exceed US$6 million, although it is unlikely that this amount could be
recovered. Recovered funds could be paid into a Trust Account, and the interest from
the h n d could be used to support the activities of the granting authority, or the hnds
could be used for additional scholarships.
Pastoral Care and Support
Isolation is a problem for some students who leave the Marshall Islands to study
overseas. It is a significant challenge for a young Marshallese man or woman to leave
the relatively sheltered environment of home in these islands and make the cultural
transition required to move to another country, while at the same time maintaining th
motivation and drive to succeed academically in a new and strange environmer;
Young people of character and determination have succeeded in the past, with t t i ~
support of home and family, but all too many fall by the wayside.
Better. interventions and support are required in future. Pastoral care and peer support
in the host institution are required to assist young people to make a successful
transition to successfid academic study in a foreign country. If more than one
Marshallese student attends a specified institution, peer support fiom other
Marshallese would be availshlc! Another c~rcrcr~ctinn tn arhicwp Q cl>nnnd:.irn

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under the Marshall Islands scholarship regime. These institutions could be chosen by
demonstration of a successful track record in assisting students to succeed. For
instance, there have been 9 or 10 Marshallese students in the past who have attended a
Catholic University, St Mary's College in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. All students
who have studied at this institution have been successful. This high success rate is
partly attributable to effective pastoral support and guidance offered by the institution.
It would be possible to negotiate with tertiary education institutions to offer courses to
Marshallese students, and to negotiate with the institutions for part payment on the
basis of successful outcomes. This arrangement is used in New Zealand to foster
successhl academic outcomes for Pasifika student nurses, and has been very
successhl. Institutions would then be motivated to provide effective guidance and
support for Marshallese students.
If a limited number of selected institutions was approved for study by scholarship
recipients on this basis, there would also be a critical mass of Marshallese students
enrolling at each institution, and thus additional peer support could be provided by
other Marshallese. For instance, all first degree scholarships could be awarded solely
to tertiary institutions in Hawaii or New Zealand. No person would receive a
scholarship unless he or she demonstrates that a pass (or equivalent) has been
achieved in the Hawaii or New Zealand final year high school examinations. No
scholarships will be awarded for first degree teaching qualifications. These initiatives
outlined above,
if adopted, would enhance the prospect of more successful
outcomes.
More careful monitoring of, and communication with, the scholarship recipients by
the RMI Scholarships Secretariat is also required. The granting authority should, as a
minimum, make monthly contact with the scholarship holder in order to monitor
progress and provide any necessary help and advice. Personal visitation of each
scholarship holder during the academic year by the Secretariat of the RMI
Scholarships Board for counselling and monitoring purposes could also be considered,
although cost considerations may rule out this option. If negotiations occurred on the
basis that a condition of sending RMI students to a tertiary education institution is that
counselling and pastoral care be provided on a regular basis, the monitoring/pastoral
care need could be met equally well by the host institution.
The Government has made it clear that it is willing to fund capacity building by the
increased amount that it has invested in the scholarship scheme. If some of these
additional funds were targeted at providing support to students, the prospect of more
successfUl outcomes would be enhanced. If a consequence is that the numbers of
scholarships offered each year need to be reduced in order to fund the necessary
support for these people, that trade-off is one that should be made.
Restructuring the Ministry of Education
The analysis of the central administration of the Ministry of Education set out in the
accompanying report Develovi
a Strategic Plan for the Minisby of Education (20
April 2000) outlined a number of problems with the central administration of
education in the Marshall Islands, and recommended restructuring the Ministry of
Education as a way of addressing these.

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105
for strong linkages between policy and implementation. The Ministry of Education
needs to undergo a change in culture, so that it focuses more strongly on its strategic
policy role as the leading advisor to Government on education in the Marshall Islands.
There is also a need to improve the management of capital investment and education
property in the Marshall Islands. The analysis set out in the accompanying Report
indicates property assets are deteriorating. The valuation of the property assets
managed by the Ministry of Education has not been computed with certainty, but it is
clear that a figure of $12.5 million is a conservative estimate of the net equity that is
invested in school buildings alone. The size and worth of this property portfolio mean
that definite steps should be taken to manage these assets actively for the benefit of
future generations.
The following section of this Strategic Plan outlines the nature of a proposed
restructuring of the Ministry of Education, and proposes objectives and indicators that
will enable the progress of the changes to be monitored. A programme of change
management with strong leadership will be required to implement the proposed
restructuring. The full restructuring programme, however, should be delayed at this
time as a higher priority is investment in the development of capacity, as set out in the
Human Resources Development Master Plan. Some limited restructuring changes
which aim to develop capacity, and which are consistent with the directions of Vision
2018, however, may be appropriate.
The benefits of the proposed restructuring for the Ministry of Education will be an
improved focus on strategic policy for education, less ad-hoc decision-making, and
more effective and efficient management of resources. Risk management will be
improved. There will be enhanced relationships with stakeholders and better
communication with schools. These changes will lead, in the longer term, to improved
performance in the education sector and raised standards of education in the
classroom.
Developing Our People
There is a need to develop a human resources strategy for the Marshall Islands as part
of a programme to improve the skill base of the population. The Ministry of
Education will play a central role in this strategy. In order to meet the demands
implied by the reformed Ministry of Education, the capability of the staff of the
Ministry will need to be improved. A recommendation of this Strategic Plan is that an
approach be made by the Government to external donor agencies for funding to assist
with a programme of capacity building for Ministry of Education staff This
recommendation is part of the wider policy to implement a Human Resources
Development Master Plan for the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Managers will need to become more effective in responding to workload pressures
and more able to empower staff to complete higher-level day-to-day business. This
will require a management development strategy that equips all Ministry managers
with the necessary skills and ongoing development opportunities for the effective
management of their particular division or unit, and of the Ministry as a whole.
Managers will have a key role in facilitating internal change. All staff have the right
to expect a commitment from the organisation to their professional development, and
to be valued as individuals irrespective of their background and the disciplines in
. . - -

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The programme of capacity building will focus initially on
Management development through a structured programme
Developing in all staff skills of information management, policy analysis and
policy implementation
Developing Ministry-wide competencies, and incorporating these into a
performance planning and appraisal process
The Ministry of Education will have succeeded in developing its people when all staff
have developed a high level of skill and expertise, when the education outputs
required by the Government are delivered to a high standard in a timely way, and the
staff are fairly rewarded, both financially and in other ways, for a job well done.
Capacity building is a higher priority at this time than the restructuring proposed
elsewhere.
Business Systems and Process Improvement
Quality policy advice and debate is important in establishing the Ministry's leadership
and credibility within the public and education sectors. The Ministry of Education
needs to concentrate on enhancing its policy role and ensuring that policy
development and implementation is working together.
The Ministry's effectiveness depends on its ability to access and disseminate good
information on student achievement. Better indicators of student outcomes will
provide a more accurate basis for discussion and decision-making between providers,
parents, and the local communities. Improved information will enable parents and
students to assess the effectiveness of education providers and to make confident and
informed choices on which provider best suits their needs. They will also help the
Ministry to evaluate how the education system is performing and what factors are
limiting its success.
The focus of this strategy will be on the Ministry's role in resourcing, monitoring,
administering regulations, and collecting and disseminating information. There will
be an emphasis on managing risk in relation to financial and asset performance. The
Ministry will need to provide an assurance of quality and of accountability for
spending of public money. The Ministry of Education must ensure that it is operating
to the correct priorities, that the infrastructure is effective and efficient, and that
operational activities are consistent with the overall strategic direction of the Ministry.
Initially the Ministry will
Assess what obtain internal management information is required, and ensure
robust systems are in place to obtain and use that information
Assess current procedures and requirements, and confirm the information
systems and technological support required
Develop an information management strategy that staff can understand and
use
Develop appropriate monitoring procedures
Consider the roles of the Ministry's main office and the Community Based
Governance System

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Relationship Management
The Ministry of Education has an inlportant role in communicating and
contributing to a wider understanding of education issues. Effective relationships
with stakeholders will be essential for the Ministry of Education in its change
management role. Good relationships can help to obtain information and to
influence changes in thinking.
There is scope for improvement in the way the Ministry of Education manages its
relationships. The predominant provider focus needs to shift to an emphasis on
students, parents and communities. The relationships with the Community Based
Governance Schemes (CBGS) need to be addressed specifically. The proposed
appointment of a person within the restructured Ministry of Education with the
role of liaison with the CBGS will assist in cementing better relationships. The
Ministry needs to be accessible to others and their ideas, particularly providers
with whom the Ministry can work in partnership to address common concerns.
There are implications for staff training, communication skills, and the
information bases needed to support stronger relationships. An emphasis on good
customer relations is important.
The Ministry of Education will examine:
How the Ministry manages relationships with providers and other
organizations
Standards for interactions with the public, and how client responsiveness
can be improved
How the Ministry manages information flows within itself and to the wider
community
Developing regular systems to review stakeholder satisfaction with the
Ministry
Aligning Resources with Changing Priorities
The success of the Ministry of Education in implementing this Strategic Plan will
depend upon the alignment of resources with changing business needs. The
resource management process needs to be flexible enough to respond to the
challenges of a changing environment. Planning processes need to assess the
future directions and priorities of the Ministry. Identification of long-range needs
well in advance will enable resources to be shifted to meet changing needs, or will
ensure that the capability needed can be developed in time.
The Ministry will
Improve its planning processes, so that medium-tenn strategic priorities
facing the education system are reviewed and likely priorities for each
coming vear are identified

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Establish the basis for any reviews of particular areas of priority
Recommendations
Recommendations for improving the system are inherently a part of objectives and
recommended activities that are contained in each sections of the plan. In addition,
this section highlights substantive policy recommendations for which attention is
needed to impact systemic change.
The policy recommendations center on four critical areas: 1) making preschool
education universal; 2) focusing the mission of secondary education; 3) generating
local revenue base for school facilities improvement and; 4) strengthening and
expanding the Community Based Governance School system model to all RMI
schools as a mean to empower and involve communities in the school improvement
process.
Recommendation 1 - Expand Pre-school Education
Strengthen and expand preschool education opportunities for three-, four- and five-
year-olds beyond that which is provided by the U.S federally knded Head Start
program, and institute legislation that would make kindergarten education for five-
year-olds compulsory, thereby lowering the beginning school attendance age from six
to five.
Rationale: Instead of giving children a smart start, the existing policy leaves
Marshallese children at a disadvantage starting at first grade. The children remain
largely disadvantaged throughout their elementary, secondary, and post-secondary
education careers in that they are always at least two or three grades behind their age
cohorts. Postponing the development of preschool and kindergarten programs goes
against what we know from the latest brain research which highly recommends
development of early learning opportunities for children. In the long run, the current
policy is also costly for the government. Resources allocation for remedial education
programs at secondary and post-secondary levels could be better spent providing
expanded preschool and kindergarten education at a much greater return for the
government.
Recommendation 2 -Establish a National Vocational Technical Institute
Refocus the mission of secondary education in the RMI from vocational to academic
preparation and establish a National Vocational Technical Institute to meet vocational
training needs of the RMI.
Rationale: The current mission of secondary education in the RMI does not provide
the necessary basic education and vocational skills to meet local market demands nor
does it provide graduates with basic skills for college. Duplicating vocational
programs in all three public high schools difises limited resources available to the
Ministry of Education for vocational education. Refocusing the high school mission
would allow the high school curriculum to focus resources and time to equip
graduates with skills needed to survive in the global economy including literacy,
numeracy, problem-solving, and technolocgical skills. The National Vocational

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109
high school dropouts, and high school graduates. In addition, the Institute would offer
training opportunities for adults interested in learning new skills.
Recommendation 3 - Provide for a School Maintenance Fund
Allocate 20 percent of all RMI revenue collected fiom taxes levied on cigarettes and
alcohol toward a school maintenance and construction f b d and other education
purposes as directed by the National Board of Education.
Rationale: Maintaining adequate school facilities and buildings throughout the nation
is one of the major challenges facing the RMI government. By all accounts, the
condition of school facilities is as pressing a problem now as at the beginning of the
Compact period. The MOE 1997 data categorized 54 out of 81 public school
buildings as fair or poor. This number has increased fiom 37 in 1988. The data mean
that very few schools have toilet facilities and drinking water. Many have leaking
roofs and none have school libraries. Most school buildings do not meet the Ministry
of Education's own school facilities requirements. External resources for school
building maintenance are dificult to obtain as external donors often consider it a basic
need for which the internal government must make provision out of domestic funds.
Creating a school maintenance and construction h n d would represent a beginning
step toward creating a revenue basis that is sorely needed to maintain basic education
services. At the same time, it represents a giant step toward hlfilling our vision of
self-reliance.
Recommendation 4 -Improve the Community-Based Governance System
Expand the concept of the Community-Based Governance System (CBGS) to all
communities and public schools in the RMI and create the necessary structure and
legal requirement to empower local governments and communities to take over and
own the responsibility for management and improvement of their schools.
Rationale: The effectiveness of the school does not depend simply on the competence
of the teachers or the quality of the curriculum. It depends, even more, on the support
system of the community that is being served. If the community does not serve as the
watchdog over the school, providing constant pressure on the teachers to perform and
challenging the school to improve its product, there can be little hope for genuine
long-term improvement in education. Primary education, grades K-8, is likely to
remain the only formal education provided in the majority of communities in the
Marshall Islands. Primary education should be targeted as the priority area for
investment of each community's limited resources. Community investment in the
schools will generate a genuine feeling of school ownership, a first step toward school
improvement. The national government must complement community investment ir
schools by providing adequate financing to allow individual schools to succeed. The
management of these combined resources must be vested in the school and its
community-based governance structure.

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Central Administration of the Ministrv of Education
The report Developing a Strategic Plan-for the Minishv o f Educatiotl(3 1 March
2000) analyses in detail the performance of the central administration of the Ministry
of Education. This report identifies a number of problems, and makes
recommendations for solutions that would improve the performance, not only of the
central administration of the Ministry of Education, but also of the entire education
sector. The proposals in this report need to be taken together as a total package in
order to generate the improvements that are needed to bring about raised standards of
education and better student achievement.
Purpose of the Ministry of Education
The proposed purpose of the Ministry of Education is to
Provide policy advice
Implement policy
Manage resources efficiently

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11 1
Roles of the Ministry of Education
The proposed core roles of the Ministry of Education are
Leadership and empowerment
Assisting those at risk
Enhancement and support of the infrastructure
Enhancement
Assisting
/ and su~~ort / those at risk
Leadership and
empowerment

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112
Structure
The accompanying report Develovina a Strategic Plan -for the Ministry o f
Education sets out an analysis of the central administration of the Ministry of
Education, with appropriate recommendations. In addition, the strategic directions
outlined earlier in this Strategic Plan chart the improvements required to make the
education system of the Marshall Islands more effective. To give effect to these
recommendations, the current structure of the Ministry of Education should be
changed, and a modified structure for the organisation should be put in place. The
objectives and indicators that follow are based on the assumption that the
Government wishes to proceed with the proposed direction of reform of the
central administration of education, outlined in this report. These objectives and
indicators below provide practical steps, and a realistic timeline, that could be
adopted to give effect to the proposals made.
There are downstream implications in adopting the proposed new structure.
Cabinet approval of the measures proposed will be essential. Strong leadership is
also essential in order to ensure that the benefits of the proposed reorganisation are
not lost during the change process. It is critical that the process of change be well
managed. Legislative change will also almost certainly be required, as some
current provisions in the Education Act 1991 (for instance, those establishing a
Department of Education within the Ministry of Education) will need to be
changed. A programme of change management (including staff training) will also
be required.
Objective 1
New structure
Implement a new structure for the cental administration of the Ministry of
Education, based on four new divisions (Policy Division, Implementation
Division, Property Division, Services Division) as outlined in more detail
in the report Developinp a Strategic Plan-for the Minisw ofEdmation
Indicator
New structure and change process approved by Government, change
process implemented, and appointments made to positions in new
structure, by 30 June 2001
Objective 2
Information Management Strategy
Develop an information management strategy within the Ministry of
Education
Indicator

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Objective 3
Monitor Targets in Strategic Plan
Develop a mechanism to monitor and report on the ongoing
implementation of policy, as set out in the performance targets in this
Strategic Plan
Indicator
Mechanism developed, approved by the Minister of Education, and
operative by 30 June 2000
Objective 4
Review Rules & Regulations
Review the Rules and Regulations of the Ministry of Education (October
1992) with a view. to reducing bureaucracy and developing guidelines that
are more enabling
Indicator
Rules and Regulations o f the Ministn, o f Education (October 1992) revised
and republished by 3 1 December 2002
Objective 5
Strengthen financial management in MOE
Strengthen financial management within the Ministry of Education
Indicator
Systems in place for forecasting expenditure, developing a proactive
approach to budgeting, and financial monitoring and reporting quarterly on
variances of expenditure against Education Budget, by 30 September 2000
Objective 6
Improve communication with schools
Improve the Ministry of Education's communication with schools
Indicator
First edition of a regular quarterly newsletter for schools published by the
central administration of the Ministry of Education to all schools by 30
September 2000, and editions of the newsletter published quarterly
t h p r e ~ f i e r
(hv 3 1 n e c e m h e r 3 1 March 3 0 hlne and 3 0 S e n t e m h ~ ri
t 1 ench

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Objective 7
Review vocational education and training
Develop policy for a more co-ordinated approach to vocational education
and training, by reviewing current arrangements (including the National
Training Council, the Job Training and Partnership Act, and vocational
training delivered through the College of the Marshall Islands)
Indicator
The Ministry of Education will complete a policy review of vocational
education and training in the Marshall Islands, and report with
recommendations to the Minister of Education, by 3 1 December 2001
Objective 8
Improve management of capital resources
Improve management of capital investment in education, and management
and maintenance of school buildings and property
Indicators
New Property Division in place within the reorganised central
administration of the Ministry of Education, with responsibilities clearly
defined (including setting priorities for capital investment, managing the
budget for capital investment and maintenance of property, setting
priorities for upgrading of facilities, and managing "catch-up" maintenance
in schools), by 30 June 2001
Programme of national priorities for school property development and
maintenance approved by Minister of Education, and published by 31
December 200 1
Objective 9
Prepare proposal to fund capacity development of MOE staff
* Preparation of a proposal for consideration of funding by external donor
agencies, in order to fund a programme of professional staff development
and capacity building within the Ministry of Education
Indicator
* Proposal documentation prepared and submitted to external donor agencies
for consideration by 30 June 2000

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115
Proposed Outputs and Indicators for the Ministry of
Education
The following outputs are proposed for the central administration of the Ministry of
Education. They cover the period of the Government's financial year. It is intended
that they will be documented in a formal Purchase Agreement between the Minister of
Education and the Secretary of Education (on behalf of the Ministry of Education).
This Purchase Agreement would be renegotiated each year.
Each output is described in general terms below. Each output will be accompanied by
specific performance indicators, specified by quality, quantity, timeliness and cost.
Quarterly reporting to the Minister of Education on progress achieved against these
indicators will be required.
Output 1:
Policy advice
This output involves the provision of timely and relevant policy advice through
briefings and policy papers to the Minister of Education and the Government on a
wide range of issues relating to various aspects of the Marshall Islands education
system. The policy advice provided will anticipate hture opportunities and pressures,
identifl priorities for improvement, develop options for improving the effectiveness
of the Marshall Islands education system, and recommend appropriate legislative
change (if required) to give effect to education policy.
In order to provide high quality policy advice, in both the short and the medium term,
this output includes:
0
The systematic collation of information covering various aspects of the
performance of the education system
0
Analysis of the impact of current and potential Government interventions on
education outcomes
0
Research on various elements of education
Monitoring national and international developments in education and related
areas
Policy advice will be provided on learning outcomes, including curriculum matters,
approaches to assessment and qualifications, resourcing arrangements for education
providers and individuals within the education system, and governance and
management arrangements for state-owned providers. This output includes advice on
the implementation of Government policy.
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
Aspects of Policy Advice - Qualitative Characteristics
All policy advice will be fit for the purpose of informing Government and/or
Ministerial decision-making. The advice will have regard to the political context
within which those decisions are made, incorporating the following two qualitative
characteristics:

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A
Policy Analysis and the Policy Development Process
Problem definition - the public policy problem, including the underlying causes, will
be identified and supported by data or other evidence, and the policy objectives will
be articulated.
Analysis incorporates the following aspects:
A range of options will be identified and assessed for benefits, costs, risks
(including strategic or long and medium-term risks, as well as operational or
immediate risks) and consequences to the Government and the community
Consistency - linkages will be drawn with prior advice provided through
cross-referencing or trade-offs, or explicit variations will be made to improve
prior advice
Cross-sector inter-relationships - linkages with Government policy directions
and interventions across sectors, particularly other social policy areas and
within the broad public education sector will be taken into account
Stakeholder impact - the impact of the proposals on relevant stakeholders will
be taken into account, including specifically the achievement or participation
of disadvantaged or "at risk" groups of students
Assumptions/Principles will be explicit and robust, with logical argument
supported by fact
Cost implications - costs will be identified, and methods and assumptions for
costings will be transparent and robust, with risks explicitly identified
Regulatory impact - the impact of the proposals on efficiency and compliance
costs for the sector will be identified
Implementation implicatioizs - the proposals will include approaches for
addressing any feasibility, timing and change management issues, and
associated legislative implications
Consultation - relevant Government agencies and other affected parties will be
provided with reasonable opportunities to influence policy advice, and any comments
on the analysis, options, or proposals will be taken into account
Timeliness - Policy advice will be provided to the Minister in sufficient time to
enable the Minister and/or the Government to make decisions in a timely fashion
All policy papers, briefings to the Minister, and initial promulgation of Government
policy will meet the following presentation standards:
W d e n policy advice - will be presented in accordance with the following
standards
o Purpose - the purpose of each policy paper and written briefing will be
clearly stated
o Argument - each policy paper will present the assumptions and
principles on which it is based, and the evidence on which conclusions
and recommendations are based
o Recommendations - all papers will include specific recommendations
fnr r l ~ r i c i n n
nr a r t i n n

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117
Initial Promulgation - notification will be consistent with the objectives of
those policies
B
Policy Projects
The Ministry will maintain a capability sufficient to enable it to advance policy
projects in accordance with milestones established in project specifications, which
will be set out in a Policy Work Programme. The Programme may be modified from
time to time during the year by agreement between the Minister of Education and the
Secretary of Education
Output 2:
Ministerial services
This output involves the provision of Ministerial services and support to assist the
Minister of Education to meet his obligations to the Nitijela that are associated with a
Minister. Ministerial services are provided primarily through drafiing replies to
questions and enquiries put to the Minister, or responding to inquiries directly, as
requested by the Minister. Questions and inquiries include questions arising from the
Nitijela, or requests to the Minister for information from other Government agencies
or as part of general correspondence. This output includes the provision of advisory
support to the Minister to assist his participation in Cabinet decision-making.
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
All responses and provision of information to the Minister of Education and the
Nitijela will be prepared within any timeframe specified by legislation, or within 20
working days.
The content of all Ministerial services provided will be factually accurate, and
appropriate in style and content for the Minister.
Ministerial services will be provided in the following ranges:
Requests from the Nitijela - an estimated 1 to 20
Provision of information - an estimated 10 - 100
General Ministerial correspondence - an estimated 10 - 200
Output 3:
Administration of education sector resourcing
This output involves the provision of services to administer the distribution of
resources to participants in the early childhood, schools and tertiary education sectors,
consumers (students, parents and other caregivers), providers, and employees in
public schools. The output involves determining the level of resources payable in
particular circumstances, delivery of those resources through a range of mechanisms,
and monitoring of ongoing eligibility for the resources. The resources include
provision of resources to schools, and payments to students, parents or other
caregivers to support access to education, such as scholarships.
This output includes the provision of an education payroll service for the public

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118
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
All resourcing payments (entitlements, subsidies, scholarships, programmes for
individual students, specific programmes and initiatives) will be determined,
calculated and delivered with no less than 98% accuracy in respect of
The returns and other information provided by public education service
providers, and relevant Government resourcing policies and guidelines, upon
which payments are based
The amounts of the payments
The schedules advised to public service providers, or the contracts agreed with
those providers, and the timeframes notified to payees to ensure that hnding is
delivered to the correct provider
Resource allocation audits will be completed for 5% of education service providers.
Payroll service payments will be made on advised pay dates
* An estimated average of 500 education sector employees will be paid two-
weekly
An estimated 550 individual employees will be on the payroll during the year
All changes to employees' pays each two weeks will be made correctly, with the right
employee paid the right amount, with no less than 98% accuracy.
Resourcing payments will be made to education service providers:
Public schools - 77 primary schools, 3 secondary schools
Private schools - 27 primary schools, 13 secondary schools
Tertiary providers - College of the Marshall Islands, RMVUSP campus
Output 4:
Administration of education regulations
This output includes the administration of the range of regulations in the education
system that are focused on protecting the rights of students, parents, and other
caregivers, and which are not administered by the Ministry in the course of delivering
other services.
The provision of this output involves exercising judgments over whether early
childhood services, private schools and home-based education providers are able to
commence operation in the first instance, and continue to operate. The output includes
actions to resolve situations of non-compliance by private education service providers
with their obligations under the regulatory framework for education. The output also
involves processing applications for variations provided for in legislation and
regulations.
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
Entry and exit decisions
All entry and exit decisions, approvals or recommendations (for instance, for early

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119
relevant regulatory provisions and good practice, as set out in Ministry Rules and
Regulations.
Entry and exit decisions will be made as follows:
Early childhood centres - range from 0 to 5
Schools - range from 0 to 5
Cancellation of charters - range from 0 to 5
Monitoring and Taking Action to Ensure Education Provider Compliance
Appropriate administrative action, with the education provider directly or as advice to
the Minister, will be taken to protect the interests of students where monitoring
identifies matters of material concern in terms of student safety andlor the quality of
educational opportunities offered
All actions taken will be consistent with Ministry of Education guidelines
Non-compliance investigations undertaken - range from 5 to 25
Amendments, Exemptions and Variations
All amendment, exemption and variation decisions, and recommendations to the
Minister, will be consistent with legislative requirements and good current practice, as
set out in Ministry of Education guidelines
Number of variation decisions, or recommendations to the Minister:
Range from 5 to 20
Output 5:
Curriculum development and implementation
This output includes the ongoing development and review of the national curriculum
for schools, and provision of support for its implementation in schools. Support of
curriculum implementation includes provision of programmes and materials to
support specific areas of the curriculum, as well as information and advice to assist
schools and early childhood services to provide and manage the learning environment.
The output also includes the development of assessment methodologies for assessing
and monitoring the educational achievement of students against national curriculum
objectives.
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
An annual Ministry publishing programme will set out the curriculum guidelines and
curriculum support publications to be published, and the date of distribution of each
publication. The programme will be published and circulated to all schools in the
regular Ministry newsletter by 31 December of each year, beginning with the first
programme by 3 1 December 2000.
All curriculum guidelines and curriculum support materials will meet specifications

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120
An estimated 1 to 5 curriculum guidelines will be published and distributed to
schools, by 30 September 200 1.
An estimated 5 to 10 curriculum support materials will be published and distributed to
schools to assist teachers in implementing the national curriculum, by 30 September
2002.
The curriculum support materials will meet Ministry of Education publication
standards appropriate to the purpose of each item.
80% of materials in the Ministry's publishing programme will be published within
planned timeframes. The balance of curriculum guidelines and support materials will
be published within six months of planned timeframes.
The National High Schools Entrance Test and the Pacific Islands Literacy Level
instruments will be administered annually by June 30, and results will be reported to
schools by September 30.
Output 6:
Provision of information
This output includes provision of information to both the consumers and providers of
education services, as a specific Government intervention to address information gaps
and to improve the quality of provision and decision-making. The information
provided is intended to increase awareness of educational options, to improve
educational decision-making by students, parents and other care-givers, and to better
inform expectations about students' learning and achievement. The information
provided to education service providers is intended to strengthen their capability and
lead to greater responsiveness to the needs of students.
The output involves collating and analysing and presenting information in the forms
most useful for the range of audiences and purposes, including print and electronic
publications and seminars that are not provided in the course of delivering other
services. All information provided under this output will be in areas of existing
Government policy, and will be information that is not provided by way of normal
communication and relationship management with the education sector in the course
of delivering other services.
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
Information will be provided in accordance with the documented terms of
referencehpecifications for each publication, campaign, seminar or other form of
information. Information will be provided as follows:
Information campaigns: an estimated 1 to 3
Editions of the regular Ministry of Education newsletter: 4
Output '7:
Provision of school sector property
This output involves the provision of the property portfolio (land, buildings, other
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"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
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upgrades and improvements to maintain the current capacity of the portfolio. The
purchase and construction of new property may be required to expand the portfolio's
capacity to meet the demands of demographic changes. The output includes
responsibility for administering arrangements for maintenance of school property.
The identification and disposal of any surplus public school assets is included in the
output.
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
A ten-year Property Work Plan for all public schools will be drawn up and approved
by the Minister of Education by 3 1 December 2000.
A Property Work Programme for 2001 will be approved by the Minister, by 30
September 2000, and implemented in accordance with specified timelines set out in
the programme. The Programme will include the type of work to be undertaken (such
as purchase and construction of new school property, disposal of surplus school
property, or property maintenance), the number of project items, the schools at which
the work is to be undertaken, specified timelines for start and completion of the work,
and the Budget for the Projects.
Output 8:
Provision of Teacher Housing
This output involves the provision of teacher housing and accommodation, generally
to expatriate teachers who take up teaching positions in the Outer Islands, and who
would not be able to take up the position unless accommodation were available.
Performance Dimensions - Quality, Quantity, Timeliness
An annual report will be provided, to the satisfaction of the Minister of Education,
setting out the numbers of teachers who have been assisted with teacher housing, the
locations of those teachers, and the cost of that assistance. The report will be
provided to the Minister of Education by 30 September 2000, and annually thereafter.

"Jepilpilin Ke Ejukaan"
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The Road Ahead
The road ahead would have an ultimate goal of achieving self-reliance for the
Marshall Islands education system. Under the regime proposed, the outcomes
envisaged are that:
Teacher qualifications would be improved, and teacher capacity would be
enhanced
A system of teacher evaluation would be instituted
Clear standards and support for the teaching the curriculum would be in place
The RMJ Scholarships system would be improved
Education policy would be developed by the Ministry of Education, approved
by the Minister of Education, and then implemented
There would be a continuing move towards establishing self-managing schools
with community support
Student achievement would be improved
Disparities in educational performance will be reduced
To achieve the goal of self reliance for the Marshall Islands education system,
changes to two aspects will be required: people and systems.
Improving the capability of the Ministry of Education relies upon improving the
skills of the people. These include the teachers who deliver the curriculum, and
the administrators who administer the education system.
Changes to the current system will not be easy, but if the outcome of a more
efficient and effective system is better student achievement, the effort will have
been worth it.
This document is not an end in itself, but a milestone in the development of the
Ministry of Education. It must be dynamic, and change to meet changing
circumstances.
The challenge is to bring Vision 2018 to life in order to hlfil the mission of the
Ministry of Education to educate the people.


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