MIHS delays opening school

Marshall Islands Journal
August 19, 2011

Public schools throughout the republic were scheduled to start on Monday this week but delayed paper work to process teacher contracts and travel authorizations has delayed the opening of the nation’s largest high school. It is not clear when Marshall Islands High School will be able to open all four-grade levels for the 2011-2012 school year. According to MIHS Principal Evelyn Konou (pictured), there has been a set back at her school because she doesn’t have the staff on hand to handle the 1,200 students enrolled for this school year.

Konou told the Journal she has been trying to recruit new teachers since June and has eight teachers she’s trying to get in from overseas. “Waiting for the paper work to process is unreasonable,” said Konou. “I have been pushing since June. “I make daily calls to the Public Service Commission and the ministry to follow up and I keep going to their offices.” As of Tuesday this week Konou said she has seen the contracts for her new teachers with PSC and now it’s a matter of getting them to the teachers off islands and getting travel plans organized. “It would have been better if the government would allow MIHS to handle its own budget so we can hire staff as needed and not have to wait for this long process,” she said.

While the government sorts out the paper work for new teachers, Konou explained that MIHS seniors will start school on Monday next week. “We’ll start with our seniors first because we have to follow CMI’s schedule,” said Konou. “Hopefully we can get the rest of the classes to begin by the end of the month or early September.” But it’s not just MIHS that’s had to delay its start. According to discussions on the Nitijela floor this week nearly all outer islands and high schools were unable to start school on Monday because of a lack of transportation and funds to get teachers and students back to their schools.

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