LOCAL BRIEFS Bilingual education
The First CNMI Youth Congress is asking to elevate the bilingual course at the Junior and Senior High Schools in the CNMI making it as a compulsory subject starting next school year. Entitled as the “Compulsory Chamorro and Carolinian Bilingual Education Act of 2000”, it requires high school students to take bilingual courses prior to graduation. It shall be incorporated into the school’s curriculum and assigned credit will meet fulfill the standard graduation requirement. Currently, only the Public School System includes bilingual subject starting in the elementary level to high school. Not all private schools offer the Chamorro and Carolinian courses. The passing of this bill will ensure the continuity and reinforcement of the bilingual program extended to kindergarten, pre-school and elementary. The young legislators believed that both indigenous tongues should be preserved, protected, practiced and passed on to the next generation. Cultural influences coming from the visitors in the CNMI threatened the richness of the language and this bill will address its further erosion. Offered by Sen. Joaquin B. Salas, the bill was referred to the committee on Health, Education and Welfare for review considering the on-going financial constraints that schools are experiencing. (S. Amor)
San Antonio to
host Japanese students
On March 11, sixth graders at San Antonio School will be hosting a group of high school students from Yokohama, Japan. Both groups will meet for the second time in an experiment about international friendships. Their busy day will include an assembly in which the two schools will exchange greetings, gifts and performances. They are also scheduled to plant a tree to commemorate the day’s activities. The Japanese youths are students at one of the several schools Mr. Yasuo Miyazawa has founded in Japan.