Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Department of Education Sponsors Micronesia Teachers Education Conference

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): July 27, 2009 - "Bridging Gaps In Writing: The Missing Links from ECE to COM-FSM" is the theme of the first Micronesia Teachers Education Conference (MTEC) sponsored by the FSM Association of Chief State School Officers (FACSSO) and the FSM National Department of Education. The four day-long conference, being held at the COM-FSM Gymnasium in Palikir, Pohnpei, kicked off this morning with and opening ceremony featuring welcoming remarks from the Governor of Pohnpei, Hon. John Ehsa and the keynote address from H.E. Alik Alik, Vice President of the FSM.

The Opening Ceremony for the conference began with introductory remarks from the Masters of Ceremony, Mr. Jesse Sydney. After an invocation from Secretary-General, Rev. Pender Enicar, and the singing of the National Anthem by the Pohnpei State DOE choir, Governor Ehsa gave his welcoming remarks. In his brief statement, Governor Ehsa welcomed the delegates from all four FSM states and our neighboring islands, and he especially welcomed the theme of the conference, which he believes is clearly highlighted in the FSM National Anthem - a theme of building bridges to close the gaps.

Vice President Alik followed the welcoming remarks with a keynote address. In his address, the Vice President stated that, "We (are) all gathered here today to address the issue of the missing links in the writing skills of our students and teachers," and "according to our indicators, our students are not performing at the expected levels of their grades, even those in colleges, and therefore we are being summoned again, as adults, by the reality of these issue to re-examine our education systems and also other factors that impact the learning skills of our students." The Vice President said the "livelihood of our nation depends largely on how we educate and prepare our young students today to tackle the challenges of life with strong determinations and ambitions and without the setback in writing skills." He ended his remarks with saying, "President Mori and I are relying on you to discuss these issues and to make recommendations to be sent to us and to our National Congress and State leaders and all key stakeholders in order for national effort and collaboration toward resolving this significant challenge."

In a welcome letter found in the conference program, the FSM Secretary of Education, Hon. Casiano Shoniber stated that the theme of the conference "reflects the work we must focus on such as the Bridging the Gaps Partnership Projects with COM-FSM and the states." He stated that this year, "we are focusing special attention on writing practices in the schools. With this focus, it is our hope that this conference will recognize and support our individuality and our unity as we work together to support each other as a community of educators. Writing is our focus for this new school (year) and will be supported by unified training, monitoring and reporting."

The conference runs from Monday July 27, 2009 through Thursday July 30th.

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