Japan funds school buses

Laura High School Principal Jimmy Kemem, left, at the grant signing ceremony with, from left, PSS Associate Commissioner for Property and Maintenance Cassiano Jetnil, Associate Commissioner for Secondary and Career Education Junior Paul, and Japan Ambassador Kazunari Tanaka.

Japan Ambassador Kazunari Tanaka and three Majuro principals signed grant contracts at the Japan Embassy last week that will provide each school with a new bus. The schools at the grant ceremony were:

・Ajeltake Elementary School, Principal Amity Jarom, grant up to $83,968.

・Laura High School, Principal Jimmy Kemem, grant up to $83,968.

・Majuro Cooperative School, High School Principals Kenneth Fernando and Amy Ishiguro, grant up to $85,168.

All three are being funded through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The ceremony was witnessed by PSS Associate Commissioner for Secondary and Career Education Junior Paul, Associate Commissioner for Property and Maintenance Cassiano Jetnil, and acting associate Commissioner Fritz Phillip, and other representatives from the ministry and three schools.

These three schools have been facing difficulties providing needed transportation for students residing in distant areas. With this project, students will secure safe transportation between school and their homes, which will contribute to improving the educational environment for students as well as for the school.

Ambassador Tanaka said the government and people of Japan are pleased to provide the bus to contribute to safe commuting for students. He said Japan has been continuously supporting the education sector in the RMI, providing about 20 buses. He noted that “education and training” is placed as one of the strategic areas under the “Social and Culture” pillar under the National Strategic Plan 2020-2030 of the RMI. The importance of education is associated with the emphasis on human resource development that the leaders of Japan and the Pacific Island countries reaffirmed in their declaration at the Ninth Pacific Leaders Meeting last year.

Paul thanked the Japan government. “Without any reservations, on behalf of Minister Kitlang Kabua, the National Board of Education members and the Commissioner of the PSS, we thank you for such an incredible and unthinkable support from the Embassy, government of Japan and its people,” he said.

The government of Japan launched GGP in 1996, for the purpose of responding to various development needs at grassroots activities with schools and hospitals as well as local governments and NGOs. As of March 2022, the Embassy has granted 158 GGPs in the RMI.

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