MAHI International has the privilege of helping improve the education system in the public schools of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. We have adopted four public elementary schools with the central goal to improve reading proficiency for students in grades 6, 7 and 8.
The MAHI International education team this last year was composed of Senior Educator Miller Benjamin, Education Specialist Drew Robinson, and John and Kat Schroer. As a team, we conducted workshops with the Department of Education staff and all the principals and teachers in the Pohnpei public schools. These workshops focused on leadership training, classroom management, and lesson planning. In addition, we spent over 250 hours in the classroom, teaching English and assessing student reading levels. In total, over 500 students have benefited from our program.
Our program is addressing the English and reading deficiencies of the students and teachers in our adopted schools. Without the proper English and reading skills, not only will the teachers struggle to instruct in English, but these students will have limited opportunities to further their education.
Our program involves weekly visits at our adopted schools with English and reading lessons. We recently received a grant from AusAID to purchase 40 iPad computers which will supplement and enhance our English as a Second Language (ESL) program. We are excited to introduce this new technology into the classrooms as they have proved to produce significant results in schools across the world. We believe the use of the iPads will engage the students, be a fantastic educational tool, and will therefore make significant improvements in their reading proficiency.
After reassessing our 500+ students’ reading levels, we learned that our program was working in a significant way! On average, every student rose one grade level in reading, while many students rose from two to five grades in their reading level! It’s worth mentioning that the graph shows a small sample of the progress that our students made throughout the school year. A 6th grader who was reading at a 1st grade level at the start of the year improved two grade levels! Although this student is still below his reading level, he is an example of how successful our program has been in its first year!
MAHI International is committed to continue this pilot program for at least the next two school years. We are very excited to bring more volunteers to teach English and to introduce iPad programs to classrooms in Micronesia. With our Education Program, we are certain to make a positive impact on the students, administrators and teachers we work with, striving together towards the goal of preparing these students to be successful community members.