Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM DOE Attends Pacific GSEG III and CIMAP Meetings on Guam

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): March 11, 2009 - Two separate US DOE grant projects awarded to the University of Guam Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Services (UOG CEDDERS) brought together approximately 120 Pacific islands education administrators, specialists, classroom teachers, consultants, and public administrators to UOG on February 16-20, 2009. Participating Pacific jurisdictions in both projects are American Samoa (AS), Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Guam, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), and Republic of Palau. 34 participants from FSM include Hon. Casiano Shoniber, Secretary of Education, Hon. Churchill Edward, Lt. Governor of Pohnpei, and all four State Directors of Education with their specialists and classroom teacher teams, and a contingent from national DOE with Secretary Shoniber.

The Pacific General Supervision Education Grant (GSEG) Phase III was held from February 16-18 and it focused on finalization for implementation policies and guidelines of effective instructional and assessment practices that ensure all students have equal access to the general curriculum and can benefit from it. The task was to include all students, including those with learning disabilities in the classrooms, and periodically assess their academic performances to ensure they are learning the academic standards.

Phase I and II of this GSEG grant resulted in a self-assessment and drafting of policies and guidelines to remove the learning barriers for students with disabilities in the classrooms or in any other settings. Phase III of the project is intended to better prepare FSM educators to administer valid and reliable alternate assessment tools and formats to children with disabilities. The specific population for this project is students with severe and multiple disabilities. In SY07-08, 6.7% (110 of 1,636) of students age 3-21 served throughout FSM were students with Multiple-Disabilities.

The Consortium for Instructional Material Accessibility Project (CIMAP) was held at the same venue from February 19-20 and all 6 Pacific jurisdictions were represented. This project focused on ensuring that textbooks and instructional materials, to include locally developed materials, are available in alternate formats to students with print-disabilities without costs to the students. Alternate formats come in such forms as Braille, large print, audio recording, and video recording.

Although the Freely Associated States are currently not included in the "free to reproduce and copy textbooks and other instructional material" law (Chafee Amendment 17 USCA 121), there are infants and young children that are blind that have been introduced to learn and benefit from the equipment purchased from the CIMAP project. As a result, there were several success stories that got everyone "choked up" as they were shared. Such success stories were shared with US DOE administrators via tele-conference as part of the jurisdiction update during the meeting.

Video products from both projects will soon be made public for awareness purposes and to further strengthen parental and community supports in the process of educating all children in the best possible and culturally appropriate ways.

Born March 5 1948, the late Asugar was from Namoluk Island in the Mortlocks region in the State of Chuuk. He spent a lifetime of public service in various prominent positions and roles in the FSM Government especially at the FSM Congress. In addition to his services as a Congressman, the late Asugar remains to date, the longest serving Chief Clerk of the FSM Congress.

In May 1985, during the reorganization of the FSM Congress, the late Asugar was selected to be the Chief Clerk for the Fourth Congress of the FSM. Over the next ten year he maintained the role of Chief Clerk to the successive Congress's until 1998 when he participated in the early retirement program and left the national government.

Officials representing the National Government at the late Asugar's State Funeral include, Secretary Lorin S. Robert on behalf of the President and the Vice President, and members of the Chuuk Delegation to the FSM Congress representing the Legislative Branch of the National Government.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356