Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Ribbon cutting Ceremony for Kolonia Elementary School

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): December 2, 2010 - The Ribbon Cutting and Turnover Ceremony of the new school building for Kolonia Elementary took place on December 1, 2010, in Kolonia Town.

Participating in this event were Iso Nahniken of U, Hon. Ihlen Joseph, Iso Nahnken Iriarte of Nett, Wasahi Madolenihmw, representing the Pohnpei Traditional Leaders, Secretary Lorin Robert, Chairman Halbert, Governor Ehsa, Lieutenant Governor Edward, Speaker Pelep, Ambassador Prahar of the US Embassy, representatives from the China Embassy and the Australian Embassy, National and State officials, as well as teachers and staff from the school.

The ceremony began with an invocation by Deacon Arasely of Our Lady of Mercy Church -Kolonia, followed by the raising of the flags, officiated by police officers of Pohnpei State.

Senator Yamaguchi gave the welcoming remark on behalf of the Government of Kolonia Town. He conveyed gratitude to the United States of America, through Ambassador Prahar, for the funding of the project and expressed appreciation to the National Government for the assistance provided to Pohnpei State to make the project a reality.

Ambassador Prahar reiterated his remarks made during the Madolenihmw High School ribbon cutting ceremony earlier in the week. He stated the building was the second school to be completed under the Amended Compact Agreement between the FSM and the US. He emphasized the school was a solid proof of the US' commitment in improving the lives of the people of the FSM. He asked the community, the parents, the teachers and most especially the Principal of the school, to demonstrate how much they value education by making sure each are meaningfully involved with the school.

Secretary Robert followed Prahar and told the audience: "two days ago, a similar ceremony was held in Madolenihmw to commemorate the completion and hand-over of the Madolenihmw High School project. This morning, we gather once more to undertake a similar ceremony for Kolonia Elementary School. In two days, we will have another one in Kitti."

"I am highlighting these projects in this one-week period which are all for the purpose of enhancing and improving our schools' infrastructure and programs, because this indicates they are a top priority under the Compact. These events are testimonies to the good progress we have made in implementing infrastructure projects, especially in Pohnpei State."

"It is for this reason that I wish to also take this opportunity to encourage and implore all of us, formal and informal educators alike, parents and teachers, our communities - all of us who are involved in this long process of educating our children, to continue dedicating our time, energy and resources to the betterment of our schools. This is not an easy task. This is not an 8 to 5 job, Monday thru Friday - as we all knows educating our children is a life-time enterprise. Our goal is no less than what a Jesuit educator would like to say: creating a questioning individual and a critical spirit of our citizens, so that we all, in our individual ways, make our island better."

Secretary Robert concluded his remark by saying: "like others facilities and infrastructure projects, this school is more than just a building in the heart of Kolonia, it is a tangible symbolic structure and a testimony of the unique partnership and friendship enjoyed between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia. We thank you Ambassador for the support and assistance of your government."

Governor Ehsa also thanked Ambassador Prahar for the funding of the project and also those who contributed to the completion of the school building.

The keys to the school building were presented by a representative of White Sand Construction Company to a PMU staff member, who then presented the keys to Secretary Robert, who handed them over to Lt. Governor Edward, who in turn gave them to the Acting Director of Education. The ribbon was cut by the First Lady of Kolonia Town, Linda Suzuki, Nahnep Madolenihmw, Shrue Villazon and Marine Henry.

The Kepinle Choir sang two numbers during the ceremony. A benediction was given by Senior Pastor Wahnparon Bethwel Henry.

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