Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori participates in Madolenihmw High School Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): November 30, 2010 - Yesterday, President Mori, accompanied by his office staff, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Madolenihmw High School. Ambassador Prahar of the US Embassy, Ambassador Weidong of the Chinese Embassy, and Second Secretary and Consul Upritchart of the Australian Embassy also took part in the festivities.

The event began at 11:30AM with the ceremonial sakau pounding performed by four men from Madolenihmw. As the pounding began, Pius Hadley, the master of ceremony, presented the raising of the flags officiated by police officers of Pohnpei State and Madolenihmw Municipality.

Deacon Ioanis Tihpen offered an invocation for the event, followed by welcoming remarks from Petrick Ringlen, Madolenihmw Chief Magistrate. Ringlen mentioned his high hopes that "the students will achieve the quality education they deserve" in the new classroom building, and thanked President Mori, the National Government, Governor Ehsa and the United States for selecting and funding the project in Madolenihmw.

Ambassador Prahar followed Ringlen and stated this was the first school building to be completed under the Amended Compact Agreement between FSM and the US; he said it was a solid proof of the US' commitment in improving the lives of the people of the FSM. Prahar said he hoped the school would serve as an anchor for the community; however, he stressed that the school building alone would not ensure a good education for the students. He advised the audience that the community, the parents, the teachers and most especially the Principal of the high school, need to demonstrate how much they value education by making sure each are meaningfully involved with the school.

In turn, Governor Ehsa also thanked all those who contributed to the completion of the school building, reminding President Mori and Ambassador Prahar to seek ways to continue such collaboration for the future, especially once US funding under the Amended Compact draws to an end 16 years from now.

Following Governor Ehsa, President Mori took to the podium and thanked Prahar for the United States' financial assistance for building the school in Madolenihmw, but also for all the other infrastructure projects throughout the Nation.

Mori went on to remind his audience that when he came into office in 2007, he had made a pledge to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure development plans, and that this school and the completion of two more classroom buildings this week in Pohnpei, one in Kolonia and one in Kitti, is a testament to that pledge. However, he cautioned all that still much work needed to be done, including the completion of projects such as the road construction project in Chuuk.

Mori also took the opportunity to set a new challenge for all those working within the State and National governments: increasing the salaries of the teachers in the FSM. "We need to adjust our mind to the value we want to put in all those involved in education," he said. Mori specified that in December, he will be attending the FSM National Economic Symposium in Chuuk and will make sure to highlight that putting more money in education is one of his highest priorities.

In closing, the President echoed the sentiments expressed by the earlier speakers, underscoring his deep gratitude to the contractors, the Madolenihmw community, the National Project Management Unit (PMU), the United States and all those who have contributed to the successful completion of the school facilities. He also emphasized the duty of the community, the parents and the students to work together to take advantage of this infrastructure and achieve "the high standards set by our Micronesian culture and lifestyle."

The keys to the school building were presented by two staff members of PMU to the President, who handed them over to Governor Ehsa, who in turn bestowed them to His Majesty Wasa Lapalap Isipahu, Nanmwarki of Madolenihmw. The Nanmwarki thanked the people of the US for all the assistance extended to the people of Madolenihmw, he expressed his sincere appreciation to President Mori and Congress in their support to make this school building a reality and gave his thanks to Governor Ehsa. The ribbon to the school main entrance was cut by Her Majesty Likend Madolenihmw and First Lady Julinida Weital.

The speeches were interspersed with beautiful songs rendered by the Temwen Choir. A final benediction was given by Wahnparon Poden Pedrus.

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