VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CREATES SOUND "SAFETY NET" FOR STUDENTS IN

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MARSHALL ISLANDS

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (November 17, 2000 – Marshall Islands)---The government’s move to revamp its vocational training system by establishing a National Vocational Training Institute separate from local public high schools was unveiled at the Chamber of Commerce meeting last Thursday by Education Minister Wilfred Kendall.

He indicated that the other part of the plan that has been approved by the Cabinet involves reducing the current vocational education programs provided at the government’s three high schools.

High school vocational opportunities will instead be shifted to a small number of "academics" that focus on specific occupations, such as nursing or teaching.

"A third of Marshallese students don’t get into high school," Kendal told the Chamber. "We need a safety net for those who are unable to get to high school or college."

Kendall said that an Asian Development Bank loan of about $9 million will be assisting this reorganization of Education’s vocational training programs.

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail: journal@ntamar.com  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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