PREL is hiring a consultant for Chuuk DOE…again?

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The education consultant who was hired in September to reside in Chuuk and guide the on-going implementation of the Chuuk Education Reform Plan (CERP) has quit. Unconfirmed reason: frustrations. His sudden departure is a setback in an already problematic and painfully slow implementation of the CERP. The stakeholders; namely, the Pacific Resources for Education & Learning (PREL), Department of Education (DOE), the Chuuk Board of Education (CBOE), the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA), and more … [Read more...]

Teach for Micronesia – Survey

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Teach for Micronesia (TFM) is being developed as an independent, non-profit organization with the mission of ending education inequity in the Pacific Island nation of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Modeled after the highly successful Teach for America program, TFM aims to recruit college graduates from Micronesia and the United States to serve as paid teachers for two years and placed in high need public schools throughout Micronesia. Please help us take the quick online … [Read more...]

NY Jesuit Provincial’s Response Leaves More Questions Than Answers

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Fr. David Ciancimino, SJ, the New York Jesuit Provincial recently responded to our petition on change.org to keep Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ, in Micronesia where he has done so much work and continues to do so. His public response which is published on The Fourth Branch website leaves much to be desired. In fact, it seems to prove what the new Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis has condemned about the Jesuit Order and the Catholic Church's focus on "small minded rules" which the Pope says, is driving … [Read more...]

Petition to Keep Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ in Micronesia where he is Needed

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We have launched an online petition on change.org addressed to the leaders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Micronesia, New York Province, and the world on behalf of Fr. Francis X. Hezel, SJ.,  a Jesuit priest who has lived and faithfully served the people of Micronesia since 1963.  He has been a faithful priest, stellar educator, prolific author, respectful historian, inspirational mentor, and spiritual director to countless Micronesians. Yet, against his will and for no logical reason, Fr. … [Read more...]

Happiness Takes… Practice?

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The following is a reflection that someone recently shared on FB. I think it's worth re-posting here as it serves as a good reminder to us all that happiness is not something that magically happens to us.  According to Cindy Holbrook, happiness happens to people who practice in their lives these 21 habits. Twenty plus one. That's it? Or that many? Can we boil these habits down to one underlying habit? Happiness is knowing that my family is OK. 21 Habits of Happy People By Cindy … [Read more...]

Northwest Educators Set 10 Regional Priorities

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFDW7z8qMoI I've just returned from a week at Xavier High School in Chuuk, site of my first teaching years, to co-facilitate the Northwest Educators Summer Training (NEST) for over 70 public school teachers and principals and leaders from the poor and geographically remote Northwest Unified Schools. While the NEST was funded largely by the Chuuk State Department of Education (CDOE), this first-ever community led regional training was the first in Chuuk that was … [Read more...]

Things Pacific Islander Students Must Know Before Starting College!

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A college education is a big investment in money, time, energy, and resources for any high school graduate. For the Pacific Islander students who are afforded the chance to leave the relative calm of their home islands in pursuit of a college degree, this experience is both a privilege and a daunting task. It brings honor to the family, but can also become a collective shame for failure to attain the degree. This reflection is meant for newly graduated high school students from the Pacific … [Read more...]

We Know Our Problems, Now What?!

httpv://youtu.be/Q1eIYZjzO7A This video, Dare to Imagine, challenges us to re-imagine innovative ways to tackle global and local problems. It is also applicable to rethinking strategies for solving problems in education in Chuuk. The film was part of the Skoll World Forum which brought together changemakers to problem-solve pressing global issues and address solutions. The forum topics were summarized in the article, "10 Ideas Driving Social Entrepreneurship" re-printed below from … [Read more...]

Help Wanted: Education Expert for Chuuk

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The news about educational reform in my fair state of Chuuk is not good. In fact, it's becoming alarmingly bad that it deserves drastic measures. If Chuuk's education is likened to the sinking of the Titanic, then the sequence of Chuukese headlines of that historic maritime disaster might look like this: Headline 1: "Chitanic Hit Coral Reef!" Headline 2: "Chitanic Taking on Water from Small and Giant Holes Observed below Waterline!" Headline 3: "Chitanic Sinking Fast!" Headline 4: … [Read more...]

Hawaii Chuukese Leaders Unite over Social Issues

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In a rare show of solidarity and ecumenical unity, a group of Chuukese Catholic, Protestant, and women leaders gathered this week at the Pacific Islander Student Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo to discuss social issues and solutions unique to the Chuukese people on Hawaii Island. Iechuun Souemuenin Chuuk (Gathering of Chuukese Leaders) was led by the organizing committee comprising of Protestant leaders Sounpetak Kanter Santos (Mwichefen UUK, Uman), Sounkoa Kerat Pitiol (Mwichefen … [Read more...]