Dartmouth Volunteer Teaching Program

  • MAJ

Address

PO Box 673
DVTP
All Over!
MAJ
96960
Marshall Islands

About Us

The DVTP in the Marshall Islands offers an exciting and challenging teaching experience for graduates of Dartmouth and other colleges. The volunteers teach for ten months in various locations around the Republic of the Marshall Islands at either the elementary or secondary level. This program brings 8 to 20 college graduates to teach on the islands and atolls of Majuro (capital), Ejit, Kili, Laura, Jaluit, and Wotje. Support is provided by an on-site field director who lives in Majuro and offers professional, cultural and personal encouragement and guidance.

The Dartmouth program has been sending volunteers to the Marshall Islands since 2000. The program also includes a Winter term teaching internship for undergraduates to come to Majuro to teach high school for three months while staging a Shakespearean production.

About DVTP

The DVTP in the Marshall Islands offers an exciting and challenging teaching experience for graduates of Dartmouth and other colleges. The volunteers teach in a year-long program in various locations around the Republic of the Marshall Islands at either the elementary or secondary level. This year-long program brings 8 to 20 graduates to teach on the islands of Majuro (capital), Ejit, Kili and Wotje. Support is provided by an on-site field director who lives in Majuro and offers professional, cultural and personal encouragement and guidance.

The Dartmouth program has been sending volunteers to the Marshall Islands since 2000. The program also includes a Winter term teaching internship for Dartmouth undergraduates to come to Majuro to teach high school for three months while staging a Shakespearean production.

Goals

  • To provide native English speakers who are college graduates as full-time, on-site teachers for selected public schools in the RMI for the academic year
  • To provide volunteers with the chance to grow personally and professionally through an extended experience teaching in a developing country
  • To assist with the implementation of the national policy of adopting English as the primary language of instruction in the RMI
  • To serve as resources and work collaboratively with school staffs, communities and the Ministry of Education to strengthen the school system and to improve education, specifically with regard to the development of English language training for local teachers

Affiliation with the MOE

The DVTP operates in the Marshalls Islands under the direction of the Ministry of Education of the Marshall Islands (MOE) thanks to funding from Supplemental Education Grant money that the RMI is elegible for according to the Compact of Free Association with the United States. The Ministry has placed a renewed emphasis on improving students' English skills beginning early in elementary school and decided to bring in native-English speaking teachers to assist with this effort. While opinions on when a second language should be introduced vary, the MOE finds that it has little choice but to adopt English (or some other non-Micronesian language) because there are few instructional materials or books written in Marshallese. The major texts used in the schools are in English, particularly in high school, so students whose English skills are weak are at a great disadvantage. Simply put, developing strong English language skills is the key for students here and without them, the children cannot move on to higher levels of education and face severely limited options for the future.

Although English has been taught in the schools for a half-century, current academic achievement levels fall far below expectations of parents, community leaders and government officials. Students leaving 8th grade generally have very poor command of English, not to mention generally weak math skills (partially due to poor English), and poor literacy skills in Marshallese or English. The DVTP is excited to have the opportunity to help the MOE on its mission to improve the education of Marshallese children, in English and other subjects as well.


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