FSM Congressional Scholarship for Northwest Region


The FSM Congress recently appropriated $20,000.00 to fund scholarships for students from the Northwest region of Chuuk State. This is by far the largest amount set aside to help students from the small and remote outer islands of Pattiw, Pafeng, and Namwonweito. But how do students from these islands apply for the scholarship? What's the selection criteria? Is there a deadline? I had a chance to meet briefly with Senator Otto during his recent trip to Hawaii with the FSM Congressional Chuuk … [Read more...]

Kids Sharing Aloha Through Microlending


As a parent and an educator, I was very excited to receive the news from Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School that my daughter, Keala, was selected to receive 3 awards at the school's End-of-the-Year celebration. One of these was the much coveted Legislative Award sponsored and presented by Hawaii State Senator Gil Kahele, a Kapiolani alum. This award is given to only one student per grade who exemplify the characteristics described on the certificate (see below).  And my little girl who just … [Read more...]

PREL is hiring a consultant for Chuuk DOE…again?


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


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...]

Northwest Educators Set 10 Regional Priorities


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!


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


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...]

What Graduates Don’t Learn in Schools


Graduation season is upon us again. I'm struck with these life lessons which have been mistakenly attributed to Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates. The original version first appeared on September 19, 1996 in an op ed piece in the San Diego Union Tribune by Charles Sykes entitled "Some Rules Kids Won't Learn in School." Rule 1: Life is not fair -- get used to it! Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel … [Read more...]

COM Holding Test Results for Northwest Students


It saddens me that the College of Micronesia plans to withhold the COM Entrance Test (COMET) for students from Northwest High School (formerly Weipat) until Senator Otto has paid the $300 fees  which he apparently promised to the college during the campaign season to have the test administered to all the seniors. I think the senator's lack of follow through is inexcusable, but the college's decision to hold the students test results as a bargaining chip is equally wrong. What do you … [Read more...]