Kolonia, Pohnpei, NDOE Press – On November 2, 2023, the Federated States of Micronesia, Department of Education celebrated a momentous occasion as they officially inaugurated the FSM Skills and Employability Enhancement (FSM SEE) Project, a Performance Grants program generously provided by the World Bank. This event, held at the PICS High School Cafeteria in Kolonia, Pohnpei, marks a crucial milestone in the nation’s dedication to empowering its communities through skill development and economic resilience.
The proceedings commenced with a solemn opening prayer led by Father Burdencio Andreas, who asked for guidance and wisdom from the Almighty regarding the successful launch of the SEE program. Ms. Degi Young, the World Bank Resident Representative for the North Pacific, extended a warm welcome, emphasizing the significance of the SEE Project in FSM’s skill development. Then, Madame Consultant Gardenia Aisek, in her opening remarks, set the stage for the program’s objectives, highlighting their importance for the region.
Acting Secretary Wayne Mendiola, Jr. of the National Department of Education delivered a special address, reaffirming the government’s dedication to enhancing education and skills across the nation through the SEE Project. He officially announced the launch of the SEE Project Performance Grants program, further highlighting its pivotal role in enhancing skills and employability in the region.
The highlight of the event revolved around the official presentation of FSM SEE grants to each of the states, with State Directors representing their respective regions and receiving the awards. Each state representative was given a symbol of the grants, signifying the official commencement of the project.
In her closing remarks, Hyunjeong Lee, Project Manager, expressed gratitude and optimism for the project’s future. The event saw the presence of a distinguished gathering of representatives, including the World Bank Resident Representatives, COM-FSM representatives, Pohnpei Roman Catholic representatives, State and National Government officials and representatives from both State and National Department of Education.
The message conveyed during the launch event emphasized the profound significance of skills development in empowering individuals and communities. The FSM SEE Project envisions an era where skills serve as catalysts for personal and societal transformation, extending beyond employment tools. It underscores the belief that by equipping the youth with essential skills and knowledge, they can actively contribute to the nation’s economic stability and sustainability.
At the heart of the FSM SEE Project, the Performance Grants Program seeks to create conducive learning environments and provide relevant training opportunities. By empowering local communities and key stakeholders with necessary resources and support, the program envisions a decentralized approach to development, tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of each community. This approach aims to empower states to shape their destinies, fostering not only economic vibrancy but also social inclusivity.
Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, the project envisions several exciting milestones. The grants program will expand its support to schools, and the FSM Skills Academy will be developed in collaboration with key partners. The project’s primary focus will be on gaining insight into market needs, crafting market-relevant curricula, and establishing a comprehensive skills certification framework to enhance the quality and credibility of the skilled workforce.
The event also acknowledged and appreciated the invaluable support of partners, particularly the World Bank, in the successful realization of the project’s objectives. The investment in the skills and talents of the Micronesian people is seen as laying the foundation for a resilient and dynamic economy that thrives on the strengths and capabilities of its workforce.
The launch of the FSM Skills and Employability Enhancement Project’s Performance Grants program is a significant step in the journey of skills development in the Federated States of Micronesia. It represents a commitment to nurturing skills, fostering personal growth, and driving economic empowerment in the region, all of which will pave the way for a prosperous and sustainable future.