Education in Kiribati

Joined Commonwealth: 1979 

Population: 98,000 (2009)

GDP p.c. growth: 1.8% p.a. 1990-2009

There are nine years of compulsory education starting at age six. Gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined is 73% with a primary female-male ratio of 1.04:1 and secondary female-male ratio of 1.11:1 (2008). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 25:1 and secondary 17:1 (2008). The school year starts in January.

Tarawa Technical Institute offers courses in technical and vocational subjects. The Marine Training Centre runs 18-month courses in deck, engine-room and catering work on merchant-shipping lines; it trains about 200 students each year. There is a training college for primary teachers, and an extra-mural centre of the University of the South Pacific at Tarawa. Kiribati is a partner in the regional University of the South Pacific, which has its main campus in Suva, Fiji Islands, and a campus in Tarawa, Kiribati, with some 3,000 students, enrolled for a wide range of courses using the university’s distance learning facilities.

The government collaborates with civil society, and particularly the churches, towards delivering universal basic education. It has identified some key areas for improvement: early childhood development and non-formal education; primary teacher education; upgrading schools and classroom resources; and literacy and numeracy.