Thirty-six adult high school students who did not complete their high-school equivalency certification through classes at the former Northern Marianas Trades Institute will soon be called back to complete their certifications, according to Northern Marianas Technical Institute’s interim chief executive Jodina Attao.
The plan, which is still in its infancy, is for these 36 students to complete the program through the Northern Marianas College’s Adult Basic Education program. Concerns about these 36 adult students who did not complete their classes were raised during NMTI’s appearance at a Senate hearing earlier this month.
Attao said Monday that NMTI, when it was still known as the Northern Marianas Trades Institute, used to offer high school-equivalency classes. Upon completing those classes, its students would be provided certificates equivalent to a high school diploma.
The instructors of these classes and its students became “lost” soon after the closure of NMTI last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of the school’s transition into being recognized as a government institution and its renaming from “trades institute” to “technical institute” as part of the government agreement.
Attao said she has recently met with NMTI’s board of trustees to discuss how it will contact these former instructors and the 36 adult students, and added that NMTI and these former instructors will need to coordinate with NMC for these adult students to complete their certification through the college’s ABE program.
Attao explained that, with NMTI now a government institution, it now has to comply with a law that outlined that NMTI is not to duplicate services that the CNMI Public School System and/or NMC already offer.
Attao explained that the initiative to recognize NMTI as a government institution began in 2019, and that it took two legislations for the initiative to be completed. The trade school became a government institution and was renamed as the Northern Marianas Technical Institute in February this year.