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The Education System, operated by the Ministry of Education, embraces the Overseas Scholarship Programme, three local tertiary institutions (Tarawa Teachers College in Bikenibeu and Tarawa Technical Institute and Marine Training School in Betio), the Secondary and Primary schools, the School Broadcasting Service, the Curriculum Development Unit and the National Library and Archives.


The broad aim of the Government is to develop an educational system which provides for the needs of the community as a whole in both quality and quantity. Each division of the Ministry has its own specific objectives that contribute to this overall aim.

The Republic of Kiribati, according to the 1998 census, had an estimated population of 78,000. The school population in 1998 was 25,283, with attendance at 203 Primary schools, five academic Secondary schools, three post-Primary church schools, and four tertiary institutions. In all 692 teachers are involved in training students. Of these, 65 are expatriates who are engaged mainly in Secondary and tertiary schools. The rest are of Kiribati origin, with 484 in Primary education and 98 in either Secondary or tertiary schools.

The posting of teachers, particularly in Primary schools, is organised and controlled by the headquarters office of the Ministry of Education in Bikenibeu, South Tarawa. Usually, teachers are posted to their home islands, but wherever the need exists for them to serve in schools in other islands the headquarters officer will make the required assignments.

Stationery, equipment and other school maintenance are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. These are all provided free to the local communities. Except in South Tarawa and the Line Islands, education is free in the Primary schools. However, in the Secondary and mission operated, the parents are expected to pay school fees for their children.

E-mail: (jane@janeresture.com -- Rev. 10 January 2011) 

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