The CNMI State Public School System is also short of teachers for their bilingual education program. The program requires all public schools to teach Chamorro and Carolinian languages to all grades as a way of preserving the indigenous language.
PSS associate commissioner for instructional services Jackie Quitugua said they have been doing their part in following what is required for them but getting qualified personnel is the biggest challenge.
“We are pretty much doing what is required for us but the only struggle that what I have mentioned is recruitment. Getting the personnel,” Quitugua told Saipan Tribune.
“But not all schools have problems with bilingual teachers. There are some schools that are pretty much well set but the others are pretty much struggling when it comes to bilingual teachers.”
She added that PSS has already put out request for proposals. “To see if there are members in our community who want to come and work for us and provide the services for our children.”
Quitugua said that although they were not able to get the numbers that would address the shortage, PSS is working with those who are already teaching and those applicants who want to be part of the program.
“We work with those who come in and are revisiting other solutions to get the teaching personnel. We have standards and benchmarks, and trainings are ongoing. There are also regular meetings with our teachers to know their needs and get updates on the program,” added Quitugua.
She said instructors in the bilingual education program have been creative in making sure they teach students of what is under the curriculum. “We are happy with what they’ve been doing in teaching the kids.”
“Some schools have been creative and working out what they needed to do to be able to teach
We are happy with what they’ve been doing in teaching the kids. The continued support is there for our teachers and the school.”
“That’s why the actions and decisions [of PSS officials] want our schools and teachers to be provided with the materials needed under the bilingual language program,” said Quitugua.