Micronesia Federated States

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Overview

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an island nation located in the Micronesia region of Oceania, in the Pacific Ocean, north of Papua New Guinea. The country is a sovereign state in free association with the United States. The Federated States of Micronesia were formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations Trust Territory under US administration. In 1979 they adopted a constitution, and in 1986 independence was attained under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. The term Micronesia may refer to the Federated States or to the region as a whole - here we use FSM or Micronesia States for the country, Micronesia for the region. The Federated States of Micronesia are located in the region known as Micronesia, which consists of hundreds of small islands divided in eight territories. The population is 155,000. The capital city is Palikir but the largest city is Kolonia. Economic activity of the Federated States of Micronesia consists primarily of subsistence farming and fishing. The islands have few mineral deposits worth exploiting, except for high-grade phosphate. Long line tuna fishing is also viable, with foreign vessels from Taiwan and China operating in the 1990s. The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remoteness of the location and a lack of adequate facilities hinder development. Financial assistance from the US is the primary source of revenue; the US pledged to spend $1.3 billion in the islands in 1986–2001. Geographical isolation and a poorly developed infrastructure are major impediments to long-term growth.


Further information

For further general information see Wikipedia:Micronesia Federated States.

Education in Micronesia Federated States

For a general description of education in Micronesia Federated States see Education:Micronesia Federated States.


e-learning

For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Micronesia Federated States.


he Federated States of Micronesia have not been a focus for major distance education initiatives. There is no evidence of distance education at the school level. There are no home-grown DE institutions that fulfil the role performed by the University of the South Pacific in its twelve Pacific member-states. However, the satellite-based PEACESAT network has been used for decade to provide professional development courses for health workers, teachers and technicians. The lack of bandwidth limits the feasibility of synchronous delivery of online training over much of the FSM. However, Web-conferencing packages, such as Elluminate, have been used with success on a small scale. (2)

The COM-FSM offers distance education to overcome the distance between islands. This “may include but not restricted to traditional postal airmails, fax, telephone, and newer technologies like, E-mail, Internet, Videoconferencing or even short-wave transmitters. Currently, the College is trying to network all its campus, a further step toward online studies and videoconferencing”. The College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, USA. (2)

A number of US-based universities have provided DE courses in the FSM, often in conjunction with the COM-FSM. Many of these initiatives have been on a pilot basis, but there are a number of more substantial programs. COM-FSM offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education in conjunction with the University of Guam. The Center for Pacific Studies at the State University of San Diego also offers special education teacher training through DE for students at COM-FSM. (2)

For a number of years, the University of Hawaii has offered Telecommunications and Information Resource Management (TIRM) Graduate Certificate Program in the FSM and other US-aligned states in the Pacific. (2)

The Hawaii-based Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) and its partner organizations have delivered a number of short-courses on professional development. (2)


Quality procedures

Internet in Micronesia Federated States

Internet hosts (2010) - 3,097

Internet users (2008) - 16,000 (2)

FSM has, in places, very good Internet connectivity for the Pacific through undersea cable links, but many islands lack almost all infrastructure, including electricity. (1)

Internet in Education

The FSM are one of the Pacific nations that are served by PEACESAT. Based in Hawaii, PEACESAT has been existence since 1971. PEACESAT provides satellite-based video-conferencing to US-affiliated states in the region for distance education among other uses. The PEACESAT network has limited bandwidth capacity and will eventually be rendered obsolete by the spread of cable and fibre-optic connections in FSM and other US-affiliated states in the Pacific. (1)

Copyright law in Micronesia Federated States

Copyright law in Education

OER Initiatives in Micronesia Federated States

The ICDE report on regulatory frameworks for distance education (1) could not find any legislation or policies in support of OER in the Micronesia States. The same report notes that further growth and change in the regulation, management and provision of distance education is very much in the hands of the external groups that in a de facto manner define adult education for FSM through the provision of aid funding and accreditation. These are amenable to change and the development of distance education but all funding would need to be provided externally as the FSM government is in no position to expand investment in education. Although the ICDE report does not discuss OERs in the Micronesia States directly, it might be suggested that some of the difficulties faced by the Micronesia States mentioned in the report might be helped by OERs. The Micronesia States may not be in a favorable position to produce OERs of their own, but OERs produced by other countries could be used by the Micronesia States as a way of developing education in the absence of funding from their own government.

National OER initiatives

Regional OER initiatives

Institutional OER initiatives

References

2. ICDE Country Profile for Micronesia (http://www.icde.org/projects/regulatory_frameworks_for_distance_education/country_profiles/micronesia/)

Reports

1. ICDE Report: 'Regulatory frameworks for distance education: A pilot study in the Southwest Pacific/South East Asia region - Final report'. December 2011. Prepared by the Project Team (Team leader, Dr. Rosalind James) (accessed at http://www.icde.org/filestore/Regulatory_Framework/RegulatoryFrameworksforDEfinalreport2.pdf on Monday 9th July 2012)


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