Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What will this school year bring?

Summer is almost over, so what lies in store for the numerous high schools students of Chuuk State?

The COM Entrance Test (COMET) results are out.
Five of the six lowest FSM high schools are from Chuuk. The three lowest high schools scored ar "random" (less than 300 on the test). That means if you took a six year old and had him randomly fill in a circle for each question on the COMET test, that six year old's score would be about the same as the graduating seniors of Faichuuk High School (FHS), Southern Namoneas High School (SNHS) and Southern Namoneas High School Fefan (SNHSF).

Chuuk High School (CHS) and Weno High School (WHS) are the other low scoring schools in Chuuk. The average score for these two schools was around 400.

So, as parents you have only a few choices:
1) Stand idly by and do nothing while your child wastes 12 years of his or her life in Chuuk's public education system. It could soon become 13 years of wasted time should the Early Chldhood Education (ECE) program become part of the public school system.

2) Stand up for what is right. Speak out and become proactiive for your child.

The recent letter to President Mori from 10 United States Congressmen, three from Hawaii and one from Guam, should be a wake-up call. Not only does it speak of misuse of money, but it talks of modifying emigration to the US because of the failure of the FSM to take positive steps to see that its people are educated and have decent health care.

The new Secretary of FSM Education has told the Chuuk State School System (CSSS) that a school cannot open if it doesn't have potable water and toilets. Will this actually be enforced? Stay tuned!

Although no one wishes this, it is possible that this year could be worse than the last. Lets hope not! But unless steps are taken - serious steps to improve instruction and force high schools to focus on students - it could get worse.

SHIP/HOOPS works with Chuukese youth and it is concerned that the education system continues to fail! This is NOT acceptable and cannot be allowed to go on indefinately.

1 comment:

Jimbo said...

It is difficult to pinpoint the root of the problem. Is it the parents that are at fault? the teachers? DOE director? governor? DOE board members? The list goes on and on.

There is, however, a possible solution that may resolve this problem. The DOE Board, instead of being nominated by the governor, must be elected from the 5 regions, and the other 3 members selected by these 5 members. Which brings them to the current 8 members.

The DOE Board today is at a stand still or worst yet, non-existent according to the recent State AG's opinion on the expiration of terms for a majority of the members. In other words, the DOE Board does not have any control on the DOE administration because of the way the state constitution was set up.

My solution is that, there should be a referendum amending the constitution to allow election of the board members instead of the current nomination by the governor. Elected board members from the 5 regions can demand that the DOE administration immediately enact reforms to reverse this unfortunate trend.

It is sad to know that the DOE Board is powerless in the face of current standing of students in our public schools.

The required constitutional convention is overdue.

Thank you Clark and your wonderful students for keeping hope alive.