Consensus Support for Chuuk State Education Reform Commitments Achieved
A high-level meeting on the future of education for Chuuk State was held in Weno, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia from November 2-3, 2012. Participating members included representatives of the three principal parties: the Chuuk State Government, the FSM National Government, and the United States of America. Observing the meeting were representatives of the five regions of Chuuk State, from the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), and the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL).
The meeting was initiated by the Chairman of the Joint Economic Management Committee (JEMCO), Mr. Nikolao Pula, who expressed concern regarding that Committee’s disappointment and frustration with the lack of progress on education reforms in Chuuk State. Chairman Pula therefore requested a meeting in which he would join the President of the Federate States of Micronesia, H.E. Emanuel Mori, in Chuuk with the collective leadership of Chuuk State to achieve consensus and accelerate sensible reforms to improve educational outcomes for the children of Chuuk State.
The structure of the meeting included presentations by the four key stakeholders within Chuuk State. First, The Governor, the Hon. Johnson Elimo, presented several strong commitments and proposed an Advisory Group mechanism to monitor progress on behalf of the principal parties. Second, the Legislature, represented by Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Innocente Oneisom, and by the Floor Leader of the House of Senate, the Hon. Alonso Cholymay, reported on their recent actions to pass a Department of Education Reorganization bill and a bill to transfer personnel management to the Department of Education. Third, the Chairman of the Chuuk Board of Education, Johannes Berdon, presented the reform actions completed by the Board and the reform actions they will complete going forward, as well as the Board’s newly adopted commitment statement to guide their work. Fourth, the Chuuk Department of Education was represented by three officials: Executive Director, Gardenia Aisek; Chief of Curriculum and Instruction, Johndy Nakamura; and Chief of Secondary Schools, Bersita Elimo. Their presentations also focused on reform actions completed and reform actions they will complete going forward, as well as a summary of the encouraging results of the Chuuk High School pilot program. The department’s presentation was augmented by a presentation on a community involvement initiative, "Adopt a School," given by the President of the Chuuk Women’s Council, Christina Stinnett.
A ten-point synthesis of the reform commitments of the Chuuk State Leadership was presented by Rev. Arthur Leger, SJ. That presentation, entitled "The Way Forward: Specific Program of Action for Chuuk State Education Reform," is attached hereto and forms a part of this communique’.
Throughout the meeting, there was an active and open dialogue among the principals and gathered observers, leading to greater clarity and understanding of the events that necessitated the High Level Meeting, and to greater clarity on the reform commitments being made by the Chuuk State Leadership. Both the FSM National Government and the United States government delegation provided support and encouragement. Specifically, the JEMCO Chairman committed to recommend to his colleagues favorable consideration of full funding of the FY2013 Education Sector Grant for Chuuk State, as well as favorable consideration for a special project-based proposal to fund non-recurrent reform implementation expenses. The Chairman did note that the grant will embed references to the commitments put forward by the Chuuk State Leadership to timely implementation of their specific program of action. The meeting ended on a positive note, including the commitment by the Governor of Chuuk State to ensure that reform progress would indeed be among his administration’s highest priorities, and would be featured in the State’s presentation at the planned mid-year JEMCO meeting, which the Governor also offered to host in Chuuk State, as a show of the confidence gained through the preparation for and the dialogue during this High Level Meeting.
The Way Forward: Specific Program of Action for Chuuk State Education Reform1. Design and Implement CDOE Personnel Management System Develop and execute an RFP for development of Human Resource and Personnel system
2. Implement CDOE Reorganization Law
Complete position descriptions and fill positions primarily through internal transfers
3. Recruit and Hire Two Resident Education Consultant. Education Reform Implementation Expert
School Management Expert
4. Continue Chuuk High School Pilot Program and Replicate in One Additional High School. Assess performance improvements and document lessons learned
Assign existing consultant to Faichuk High School for 2013-2014 school year.
5. Revise FY2013 ESG Budget and Prepare FY2013 Reform Budget as Project-Based Proposal
Submit for CBOE and Legislature authorization, and subsequent JEMCO consideration (November 9, 2012)
6. Reset CERP Goals, Objectives and Timeline to Reflect Endorsed Recommendations of the Reform Review and Subsequent Events
Include CDOE management team and recruited consultants, completed by end FY2013 Q2.
7. Accelerate Community Involvement
Through regional service centers, advance beyond educational reform awareness to educational reform engagement and ownership.
8. Fully Integrate the Facilities Master Plan into the Reform Program
Complete review and outreach through the regional service centers
CBOE to endorse with detailed timeline
9. Develop FY2014 CDOE Budget in Conformance with LTFF Commitments
10. Organize and Implement Advisory Group Identify and confirm members no later than FY2013 Q2.
Confirm scope of advisory support and reporting expectations