The Educational Priorities of the People of Bikini

As soon as the Bikinians began getting compensation from the United States government in the early 1980's, the leaders of the people of Bikini began to demand a better education for their children. In 1984, the local government began to hire professional, university trained teachers to go to Ejit and Kili Islands to teach in the elementary school and provide adult education in the evenings. In the early 1990's we expanded our educational assistance program to include scholarships for students wishing to travel abroad to the United States and other countries to seek an education. Currently we have over 700 students studying in the United States and other countries ranging in education levels from kindergarten through graduate school.

In addition to our staff of College of the Marshall Islands trained local teachers, we typically have two Dartmouth graduates working at Ejit Elementary School and two Dartmouth graduates working at Kili Elementary School, along with Japanese (JOCV) volunteers on Kili and Ejit islands.



In 2001 we instituted a program with Dartmouth College of the United States to bring in volunteer teachers who have graduated from college to work with our students on Ejit Island of Majuro Atoll (grades K-8). In 2002, this program expanded to include Kili Island. Each year, there are typically two teachers from Dartmouth on Kili, and two on Ejit.

This is the school on Ejit Island, which is part of Majuro Atoll. This is the island where the Bikinians live who were moved off of Bikini in the late 1970's by the United States.
Erik helps a student with his studies.
Happiness is a class on the beach. 
With three university trained teachers, students on Ejit Island receive individualized attention. Here, Cat helps a student with her classwork.
Though the Bikinians live in very small, crowded places, the children remain upbeat and happy.
Students enjoy working with their newfound American teachers. This is Mike with a pair of eager learners.
Iachiro is a Bikinian who was trained as a teacher and now works on Ejit Island. The local teachers greatly benefit from working with the young American teachers.
Another class on the beach.

Dartmouth volunteer Heather hangs out with her students outside of the Elementary School.

Ejit third graders write down observations about their island during an outdoors science lesson.

Principal Meljorik and Dartmouth volunteer Amanda have a discussion during a teacher development workshop.

Dartmouth volunteer Rachel reads with her first grade students.

Heather with her Grade 6/7 students on Graduation Day in May of 2006.

Julia, a Dartmouth undergraduate volunteer who came for 3 months to assist the English teachers at Ejit Elementary School, works with students on a class project.

Volunteers Zoe and Liz pause for a picture in the midst of a busy classroom activity.


Dartmouth College currently has two teachers on Kili Island teaching in the elementary school. Here Kristen Burdge teaches a class in English grammar.
Dartmouth College volunteer Sarah Wolf with her students on Kili Island.
Kili Island has two Japanese volunteers teaching in their school. At left is Kyoko Imai, a music teacher [2003-2004].
Students in front of the very modern Kili Elementary School. Kili has about 150 students.

Dartmouth Volunteer Sarah reads a big storybook to her 1st grade students.

Volunteer Dave helps a student with her math work during class.

Dartmouth Volunteer Marzuq leads his second grade class in a dance.

Kili Elementary School teacher Andreas poses for a picture with his second grade class.

Two 8th grade students, wreathed in candy, pose for a picture outside the school during the 2007 Graduation Ceremony.

Shoot for the Moon! K.E.S. students take the stage for the 8th Grade Graduation Ceremony

Volunteer Alyssa talks with a student during her second grade English class.

Dartmouth volunteer Erin explains directions during a 4th grade reading lesson.

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