The education system in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consists of early childhood education, elementary and secondary education, non-formal education and other post-school components such as technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and other forms of vocational education. Students with special needs are included within the mainstream groupings.
Public education is free and attendance in grades 1–8 is compulsory for all students aged 6 to 14 years (including those with disabilities) or until the completion of grade 8. The government provides textbooks free of cost to all students. Secondary schooling (grades 9–12) is not compulsory.
A major issue for the education sector is the cultural and linguistic diversity across the four separate and semi-autonomous states that make up the country. Although English is the official language and is used as a medium of instruction, it is the second language for around 98% of students.
There is no single unifying language structure across all 607 islands of Micronesia. Many local spoken languages also do not have well-established writing systems or significant amounts of printed texts.
The country’s Education Sector Strategic Development Plan 2020-2024 (ESSDP), prepared with GPE’s support, is aligned with the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF) and the Sustainable Development Goals (specifically Goal 4 for education). It recognizes the importance for the country to work cooperatively within the Pacific region and to maintain a global focus on higher quality learning outcomes.
To address the low learning outcomes, the ESSDP aims to improve the quality of learning particularly in reading and numeracy at all levels in safe, climate-resistant learning environments.
To achieve this, the ESSDP specifies 5 sub-goals:
- Provide high quality relevant programs for learners at all levels of education
- Improve the quality of teachers and teaching at all levels
- Maintain consistent performance monitoring and data-based decision-making systems
- Strengthen the participation of communities in the management of schools
- Ensure that education is relevant to the life and aspirations of the people of FSM.
Learn more on GPE's support to the Pacific region and the PacREF