The pandemic put on hold many important and necessary requirements for schools. One of which was the accreditation evaluations due three years ago for our schools in Majuro, Ebeye, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk.
We are excited that the education personnel from the North American Division, under the leadership of Dr. Arne Nielsen, Vice President for Education, Mr. Stephen Brawley, Director of Secondary Education and Accreditation, and Mrs. Martha Ban, Director of Technology in Education, were able to visit five of our schools in Majuro, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, and Guam between January 2 and 20 as part of their accreditation trip. Unfortunately, the team was not able to make a stop on Ebeye due to flight scheduling conflicts, but they hope to during next year’s visit.
During this trip, the team looked at the progress made on previous recommendations for improvement and how the schools implemented and fulfilled their responsibilities. The NAD team awarded all the schools a full six-year term with annual progress reports and an on-campus review visit for the mid-term of three years. They also recommended an on-campus visit in 2024 to assess progress on updated recommendations. The team acknowledged many of the challenges caused by the pandemic – mainly the teaching staff shortages across all schools which also affected the effective delivery of instruction.
Aside from their work schedule, the team also had the opportunity to help out in church. Mr. Brawley preached in Pohnpei and Kosrae while the others participated in Sabbath School classes and children stories. This, being their first visit to Pohnpei and Kosrae, Mr. Steven and Mrs. Ban were amazed by some of the stunning features of the islands, mainly with the archeological sites of Nan Madol in Pohnpei and the teeming marine life in Kosrae.
The Guam-Micronesia Mission through the Education Department is grateful to the NAD Education Team for this timely visit to the islands. They provided much needed guidance and direction for the schools. In the next few months before the close of this current school year, GMM Education will work in collaboration with all schools to continue putting in place Continuous School Improvement Plans (CSIP) which address the recommendations presented during this and previous visits. Each school is required to develop their school improvement plan to highlight how they intend to improve in the areas presented. It is our believe that once these plans are successfully put in place, they will greatly help the long-term improvement of our GMM schools.
We thank the Lord for His leading in our schools. Without His providence some of our schools wouldn’t have made it out of the pandemic. We saw how God was able to fill our classrooms with professional teachers from across many countries around the world. We realized an increase in student enrollment despite not having enough teachers. Much financial assistance in areas of greater need was provided through contributions from the island governments, NAD, GMM, churches, and union partners throughout the North American Division.
Praise God for our schools and the many great things that the schools are doing to prepare our island communities for the soon return of Christ. I am reminded of Paul’s counsel to the Galatians, “And let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, [if we] do not give up.” May God continue to be the center of our work in our Guam-Micronesia Mission.