Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Vice President Alik urges students to know their governments and do well in school

Close Up students and their chaperons with Vice President Alik outside the Office of the President
FSMIS (May 15, 2013): The FSM Close Up program is busy this week with over forty students visiting the FSM National Government as part of their activities this year under the theme of “Education in the face of Climate Change”.
This morning, the 17th Close Up program students and their chaperons coming from all the four states in the FSM had the opportunity to engage with Vice President Alik L. Alik in an interactive discussion as arranged by the FSM National Department of Education represented by Mr. Wayne Mendiola who coordinates the week-long activities.
In welcoming the students and the support staff, Vice President Alik touched briefly on President Manny Mori’s medical trip to the Philippines and expressed his happiness to take part in their educational visit to the Nation’s Capitol. He then shared some parts of his career background and the streak of diplomatic postings that preceded his taking up of political office as a FSM Congressman for the State of Kosrae, resulting in his election as the FSM Vice President.
In his remarks, vice President Alik encouraged the students to dig deep in understanding the ways the National and State Government operate separately and as a federation. He underscored the FSM’s needs of highly educated citizens, inviting the students to look broadly in choosing the higher educational institutions with quality programs in the region and abroad. He impressed upon his young listeners his desire that highly educated Micronesian prioritize contributing back to their country in terms of employment or other ways of support.
A Yapese student asking question regarding investment in Yap State
The students on their part raised a number of sharp questions that were mostly nationally focused such as the processes for formulating and implementing public laws regulating public projects; whether the Compact related “entry right” to the United States would be maintained beyond 2023; the effects of migration patterns by FSM citizens and others on the FSM in the longer term; whether or not the Merit Scholarship eligible receivers could also include high school salutatorians; etc.
The students also made a few state-based inquiries. A Yapese student was curious about Vice President Alik’s view on the investment interest by ETG in Yap State. In response, Vice President Alik made it clear that it would be the people of Yap to decide what the right response should be in this case. However, he high-beamed the necessity to welcome investment opportunities at home that would fit our situations, enhance growth and protect our environment in transparent and prudent ways.
In closing, Vice President Alik invited the students to seek direct communications on issues that impact them not only as students but also as concern citizens. 

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