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KIRIBATI EDUCATION POLICY

National Development Strategies 2000-2003

The primary national policy objective for education is to provide an education system that achieves high quality standards, broad coverage, relevant and cost-effectiveness in delivering service. The Ministry of Education Training and Technology (METT) is the lead Government agency responsible for development of the education sector.

PRIMARY EDUCATION

In Primary Education (Grades 1-6), the development focus has been mainly on upgrading teacher qualifications and capacity to teach improvements that have been made in the curriculum. The upgrading of teacher qualifications has been in the context of both curriculum based and school based education program content. It also helps that more teachers have come in with a background or experience in other areas, some with a masters degree in special education for young children. Improvements have also been made infrastructure with renovation of classrooms and provision of furniture, for example: updating some disabled students who need to sit at an adjustable height desk to do their work instead of a traditional desk, mainly in the outer island schools.

JUNIOR EDUCATION

The Junior Secondary School (JSS) program was one of the highest priority sectoral development initiatives undertaken during the review period. The program was a key element in the overall strategy for achieving the long term sectoral goal of providing ... relevant and quality Education and Training for all I-Kiribati through primary, secondary, and tertiary education, the goal contained in METT's mission statement.

The JSS program covering Grades 7-9, started in 1988 with the objective of providing universal access to basic secondary education for all I-Kiribati. The program entails converting the upper grades (Grades 7, 8 and 9) of primary schools into Forms 1-3 and incorporating them into Junior Secondary Schools. To date 18 JSS's have been built and are now operational. Almost all outer islands (except Teraina and Tabuaeran) and South Tarawa have junior secondary schools. It is anticipated that by the year 2001 there will be a JSS in every island community in Kiribati. In relation to the theme of the 1996-1999 NDS, to share in the responsibilities of development, universal access to education will contribute to raising the aspirations of young people. These aspirations must be met by bold and innovative initiatives to create the necessary employment opportunity to enable the aspirations to be realised.

SECONDARY EDUCATION

In the last four years, the number of secondary schools has increased from ten to thirteen. Out of this total, church mission schools are in the majority, operating ten schools (4 Catholic, 3 Protestant, 1 Seventh Day Adventist, 1 Mormon and 1 Church of God). The remaining three schools are operated by Government. During 1996-1999, both the Government and Churches were able to substantially increase enrolments (up by 36%) to Secondary Schools through the provision of more teachers and classroom facilities. 

     

Strategies for development of secondary education are focused on both improvements to curriculum and strengthening of teacher qualifications and skills. The CDRC (Curriculum Development Resource Centre) in METT has worked closely with both the Primary and Secondary education sub-sectors to review and upgrade curriculum. There has been an increase in opportunities for teachers to obtain higher qualifications, and the in-service training program has been expanded. In vocational and technical education, the curriculum has been expanded to Forms 5 and 6.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Higher education, including both university level programs and post-secondary vocational-technical training is provided by the government and the regional institution, University of the South Pacific (USP). The USP operates an extension Centre in Kiribati, while the government operates two tertiary institutions on South Tarawa, namely Tarawa Technical Institute (TTI) and Kiribati Teachers College (KTC).

Complete your undergraduate studies and masters degree at the UOP.

Tarawa Technical Institute offers a large number of courses in a wide range of vocational technical disciplines, including, building and carpentry, computer studies, business studies, adult general education subjects, and engineering. The TTI has experienced a significant increase in enrolment, as noted in Table 6. The Institute has also been very active in developing courses to meet the needs of both government and the private sector.

Full-time Enrolment and Staffing at Tarawa Technical Institutions

Year

Enrolment

Teachers

1995

195

8

1996

195

8

1997

1130

17

1998

1081

23

1999

1855

20

During the period under review, KTC upgraded its teaching program to Diploma level. This initiative is expected to contribute significantly toward raising the quality of education in Kiribati. The KTC also has expanded the training of teachers to staff junior secondary schools and to increase in-service teacher training opportunities. At the same time KTC has striven to maintain capacity for training pre-service primary school teachers. Between 1995-1999, there was an increase of 53% in enrolment at KTC, Table 7. The number of teaching staff increased from 12 in 1998 to 23 in 1999.

  Full-time Enrolment and Staffing at Kiribati Teachers College

Year

Enrolment

Teachers

1995

110

12

1996

111

12

1997

138

15

1998

200

12

1999

236

23

SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES

Increasing national capacity to provide relevant, broad coverage and high quality education and training will remain a national priority during the 2000-2003 period. The Ministry of Education, Training and Technology (METT), the lead ministry for the sector, will concentrate mainly on consolidating development initiatives undertaken during the 1996-1999 period. This will include full implementation of the Junior Secondary School program and the strengthening of teacher qualifications and skills. Increased emphasis will be given to raising quality of education programs at all levels, particularly in KTC, which is the primary institution for both pre-service and in-service training of teachers. Priority will also be given to increasing the capacity of secondary education, and in strengthening post-secondary vocational-technical education and training.

The Ministry of Education will be giving more emphasis to qualitative factors in implementing its development strategies at each level of education. Pre-school facilities play an increasingly important role in preparing children for primary entry. Recognizing this METT will strengthen existing pre-schools in both urban and rural communities by providing appropriate training for teachers, relevant facilities and other essential services.

In Primary Education, ongoing programs for strengthening the curriculum will continue, with this effort being complemented by increased classroom resources and greater priority being given to upgrade the skills and qualifications of teachers.

The AUSaid funded Basic Education and Literacy Skills project commenced in the last NDS period. The project aims to assist in enhancing literacy levels in Kiribati. The initial project is due to be completed in year 2000. However the program will continue in the next NDS period with KTC taking over the project and incorporating it in its regular program.

The KTC has raised the pre-service teacher qualification to Diploma level, which will be fully implemented with new teachers coming into the schools in 2001.

Basic education includes Grades 1-6 (Primary Education) and Forms 1-3 (Junior Secondary Schools). The Ministry of Education started implementing the JSS program in 1998 and plans to have all 24 schools fully operational by the end of the year 2001. In meeting this milestone, universal education at little or no cost to parents will be accessible to all Kiribati communities including those in the outer islands.

Although all JSS schools are expected to be fully staffed by 2001, there will remain a need to continue strengthening teacher's skills and raising qualifications. This is needed particularly in disciplines such as the sciences and vocational-technical courses, including accounting, computer studies and commerce.

The JSS teacher upgrading program recently initiated in KTC will continue to operate but will be improved with additional staff and lecturing skills upgrading that has been programmed for the 2000-2003 period. For the sciences where the number of qualified teachers is very limited, METT will implement a new project, Science Education in Secondary Schools (SEPS). This will increase the number of teachers with advanced qualifications and skills in teaching science. The project will involve all science teachers at all education levels from primary through tertiary grades.

METT will work closely with mission schools to achieve a targeted minimum 25% increase in enrolments of students in government and missionary secondary schools (Forms 4-6). The targeted increase in capacity is to include all government and mission schools located on the outer islands schools. Increased capacity is needed to accommodate the large number of students completing basic education. Expanded capacity of secondary school also represents an important element toward achieving the strategic outcome of providing the workforce skills needed to support private sector development, i.e. raising the level of productivity and competitiveness, and enabling increased capital investment.

Another key element in the strategy is to upgrade vocational-technical education, both in secondary schools and at the post-secondary level. This will improve the occupational skills of the workforce and facilitate sustainable growth in employment. In the JSSs and secondary schools the vocational technical curriculum is to be strengthened together with teacher qualifications to teach the specialised discipline. The development approach being taken will also be entailed extending the vocation-technical training to Forms 5 and 6.

At the post-secondary level, TTI program, both regular certificate level and short-term training courses, will be expanded in terms of course offerings, enrolment capacity, and size of teaching staff. There will also be an increased emphasis on raising the quality of the post-secondary program, including teaching staff qualifications, standard of course content, and student entry qualifications for regular certificate level programs. TTI will also be required to extend its programs to cater for outer island needs.

In higher education, the overall KTC program will continue to be strengthened in terms of teaching staff qualifications and number, curriculum and student entry qualifications. Another development initiative started in 1996 was the planning for a consolidation of tertiary level education programs in a single College of Higher Education. Given the large number of higher priority development initiative under way or expected to commence in the near term, the consolidation will not commence before 2004, but the planning for this development will proceed.

In a potentially significant policy initiative, government has entered into negotiation with the USP to expand the USP Centre program in Kiribati to encompass a substantially larger resident undergraduate program. This will enable more Kiribati students to complete their undergraduate degrees at the local Centre. The proposed program would include selected undergraduate subject disciplines and would require an expansion in both the Centre faculty and classroom/lab infrastructure. As part of this policy initiative METT will need to look beyond USP and to develop links with other tertiary institutions. Eventually the aim will be to establish a locally based University level institution.

      PRESENT SITUATION IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS - 2001

School

ST JOSEPH'S

COLLEGE

 

IMMACULATE

HEART COLLEGE

ST LOUIS HIGH SCHOOL

 

SACRED HEART HIGH SCHOOL

  

CHRISTMAS ISLAND

 

TABWIROA

TABORIO

TEAORAEREKE

BIKENIBEU

Roll

450

250

670

350

30

Staff

 

 

13 Lay Teachers

8 Lay Teachers

5 OLSH Sisters

 

 

 

16 Lay Teachers

10 Lay Teachers

2 OLSH Sisters

1 SMSM Sister

 

 

 

3 Lay Teachers

2 OLSH Sisters

1 Office Staff

 

 

 

4 OLSH Sisters

6 FMS Brothers

1 MSC Brother

1 OLSH Sister

1 Nurse

1 SGS Sister

 

1 SMSM Sister

 

3 Office Staff

Volunteers

 

 

 

2 AVI

2 VICS

1 PALMS

1 AVI

1 VICS

1 PALMS

1 Private

1 PALMS

1 VICS

1 AVI

2 VICS

1 VSO

2 PALMS

1 Private

Curriculum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forms 1-5

Comprehensive

Academic

JSC Form 3

KNC Form 5

Agriculture

Music

Home Science

Cultural

 

 

 

Forms 1-5

Comprehensive

Academic

JSC Form 3

KNC Form 5

Typing

Music

Home Science

Cultural

 

 

 

 

Forms 1-7

Comprehensive

Academic

JSC Form 3

KNC Form 5

PSSC Form 6

Foundation -

Courses USP - F7

Typing

Music

Home Science

Cultural

Secretarial Skills

Computer Skills

 

Forms 1-4

Comprehensive

JSC Form 3

Music

Cultural

 

 

 

 

 

Form 4

Comprehensive

Academic

Music

Cultural

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Development

 

 

 

Science / Home Science block Additional staff Quarters Agriculture Project

 

 

Completion of Boys' dormitories, Form 6 classroom

 

 

 

Resource Development

 

 

 

 

New Classroom Block, Renovated Toilet Blocks, School, Maneaba

 

 

 

Renovated Classrooms, Staff Houses

 

 

 

Ongoing and Likely Development

 

 

 

Extension to Girls' Ablution Block, More Staff Quarters Resource Development

 

 

 

Extension to  ablution Block for Boys and Girls Resources Development

 

 

 

Extension of Home Science Room and facilities

 

 

 

 

Solar powered pump and water supply, Administration Block with Multi-purpose Classroom and Library

 

 

Purchase 5 acres of land for school, Forms 4-6

 

 

 

 

JSC Junior School Certificate

 

KNC Kiribati National Certificate

 

PSSC Pacific Senior School Certificate

 

USP University of the South Pacific

 

AVI Australian

Palms Australian

VICS Canadian

 

  

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(E-mail: jane@janeresture.com -- Rev. 26th May 2014)