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Palau

Overview

Beluu er a Belau (The Republic of Palau) is a group of islands located in the North Pacific Ocean southeast of the Philippines. The population is 21,093 and the literacy rate is 92%. Palauan, Sonsoralese, Tobi, Anguar, and English are the official languages. English is the language of instruction.

Natives of Palau trace their ancestry to voyagers from Australia, Polynesia and Asia who arrived sometime between 2500 BC and 1000 BC. Many European explorers were in the area in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, but the islands were virtually unknown until some Palauans shipwrecked in the Philippines. Palau was part of the Spanish East Indies and was administered by the Philippines until the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898. In 1899, Spain sold the islands of Palau to Germany and they became part of German New Guinea. The Treaty of Versailles gave Palau to Japan following World War I. After World War II, Palau became part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands which was administered by the United States. Palau was granted independence in 1994 and is one of the world's youngest nations.

Education

As a former administrative area of the United States, Palau follows a U.S.-patterned educational system. Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 14 and most students complete at least 15 years of education.

Primary and Secondary Education

Elementary school (Grades 1-8) is 8 years beginning at age 6. There is only one secondary (high) school on Palau (Palau High School). Students must take the Palau Achievement Test after completion of Grade 8 for placement purposes in Palau High School. High school is 4 years and, upon successful completion, students are awarded a Diploma.

Post-Secondary Education

Palau Community College is the only post-secondary institution on Palau. It offers 2-year Associate of Arts and Associate of Science programs. A high school diploma and a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) are required for admission. Palau Community College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).


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