Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

First FSM History Textbooks Published

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): September 29, 2010 - On September 7, 2010, the National Department of Education (NDOE) staff hauled in from the Federated Shipping Company warehouse in Dekehtik, Pohnpei, the first 960 units of the first FSM history textbook ever published, written by the Micronesian Seminar, popularly known as MicSem (pronounced "mike'sem"), and printed at the Elite print shop on Saipan. These textbooks, "Over Seas and Time - A Micronesian History Textbook," are soon to be distributed to all 9th and 10th graders of FSM.

The project was initially commissioned by the National Congress of the FSM, who funded the research preparations for several years, which resulted in the production of a first prototype publication titled "FSM History: History by Truth and Consensus," written with the joint efforts of Professor John Haglelgam and Joakim Peter, Director of Chuuk Campus, both of the College of Micronesia - FSM (COM). Haglelgam, former President of the FSM, holds a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Master's of Public Administration from Harvard University. He currently teaches two courses at COM: History of Micronesia and Economy of Micronesia.

The NDOE then added some funding from their budget to also work with Timothy Smit and Father Hezel of MicSem to write the final version of the textbook for the hard-bound publication. Smit explains that the final version of the textbook is "a synthesis of ideas taken from the book produced by Haglelgam and Peter, as well as other books and sources on the history of Micronesia."

The textbook includes in-depth coverage of the history of the nation, ranging from the probable ways in which the islands were formed to the present era of independence after colonization by several foreign countries. "Why should we be interested in the past?' asks Father Hezel. "We study history so that we can appreciate the events and influences that made us what we are today," he explains.

The textbooks are being reviewed and labeled by the NDOE staff and will soon be released to the high schools for classroom use this 2010-11 school year. According to Secretary Casiano Shoniber, publishing the first history textbook of the nation "is history within history; it is the final phase in establishing our national identity in the international community."

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