Saturday, June 8, 2013

Compact sector grants, can they be tapped for St. Cecilia School comprehensive rehabilitation?

One day before the start of the Chuuk Energy Summit on June 6, President Manny Mori seized the opportunity to meet with Chuuk Officials  regarding the possibility of directing Compact sector grant funds to  the much needed renovation of  St. Cecilia School on Weno Island.

Existing main facilities at the St. Cecilia School have been in daily use for over thirty years if not more. They now appear run-down and unsafe, standing the risk of being condemned in the near future by the government according to the President.

St. Cecilia School had been one of the pioneers of formal education in Chuuk as Micronesia emerged during the post-war era in the late 1940's. An educational voice and arm of the Catholic Church in the islands under the tutelage of the Mercedarian Missionaries of Beriz sisters up to the last decade, St. Cecilia school played a key role in providing primary education and Christian-values-based  upbringing to many waves of former and current island leaders and community entrepreneurs including President Mori himself .

President Mori met with Fr. Rosendo Rudolph, Vicar of the Catholic Church in Chuuk and chairman of the St. Cecilia School Board the morning of June 5th (picture above) to brainstorm together. Fr.Rosendo was asked to take the lead in putting together a "conceptual framework" for review by the Chuuk State Government and other authorities on Compact sector grants.

Later in the morning of June 5th, President Mori met with Governor Johnson Elimo (third from left in above photo) to further sensitize the leadership of the State of Chuuk to the slowly forming St. Cecilia School renovation proposal.

Governor Elimo first noted and welcomed the historical experience of his administration of receiving the President of the Federated States of Micronesia at the Governor's Office, Chuuk State .

Governor Elimo reiterated concurrence to the concept of a church-government tangible partnership in education through the proposed St. Cecilia renovation arrangement. He acknowledge the need to further flesh out the idea, saying that time-sensitive procedural project formulation and review be determined to guide conformity to grantor's regulations and conditions. 

The St. Cecilia case might be the first of its kind to be put forth under the sector-tied Compact funding system.

It was raised that recently, the school had been awarded a small-scale renovation grant from the Government of Japan to renovate two classroom units. Everyone felt that there was need to better understand the use of the grant and plan together coherently and complimentarily.

Later joined by Lt. Governor Ridis Heldart, Governor Elimo was assisted by four other staff and cabinet members.

President Mori was staffed by his special assistant on information.

The meeting ended with the two leaders expressing mutual interest in progressing the concept to an implementable status.

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