Amid social distancing concerns and teachers trapped off-island by travel restrictions, a small charter school in Chuuk has a new tool for educating students. Akoyikoyi School serves low-income students on the island of Weno, and has been doing it tuition free since 2011. Thanks to a partnership with Habele Outer Island Education Fund and the Office of Insular Affairs, staff and students at Akoyikoyi School will be able to access one of the most advanced, far-reaching wireless networks on island.
As with many island schools, educational internet usage at Akoyikoyi has been limited by insufficient networking tools. Accessing educational content online, or streaming remote instruction from teachers off-island, remained a challenge beyond the capacity of the school’s network. Working with local IT experts at iSolutions Micronesia, Habele was able to provide an enterprise-level wireless network that covers the campus, and even some surrounding areas.
“Students packed in a small room for remote instruction doesn’t help with social distancing,” says Neil Mellen, Habele’s founder. “Students and staff need to be able to access educational content, even while spread out across the campus. This network will make that possible in a way they could not have imagined before.”
In a school year shaped by uncertainty, a far reaching network will allow staff and students to participate in remote learning, even under the strictest social distancing measures.
The coming school year will present new obstacles for FSM schools, as for schools the world over. Habele remains committed to working with dynamic partner schools like Akoyikoyi in finding innovative, actionable ways of serving students from remote island communities in the days ahead.
“As we wait word from Chuuk DOE and FSM DOE regarding the opening of schools in Chuuk, we are looking for ways to use technology at Akoyikoyi,” says Clark Graham of Akoyikoyi School. “Habele’s contribution, along with iSolutions, provides us badly needed expertise, for which we are most grateful.”
Established by former Peace Corps volunteers, Habele is a US-based nonprofit, advancing educational access and accomplishment across Micronesia.