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NMTI CEO: Education system is broken

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DURING an emergency meeting held on Wednesday by the Northern Marianas Technical Institute board of trustees, chief executive officer Agnes M. McPhetres emphasized the importance of having a united educational system in the CNMI.

“I have been preaching this for the longest time. There should be only one educational system in the CNMI. We need constitutional change. That is number one,” she added.

She said she has worked in education for over 50 years, and has studied educational development, educational curriculum, and education administration.

“One of the problems that I see is that many times, we do not really work together. The education system is broken,” she added.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios spoke with the board members during their meeting to discuss the possible next steps for the institution.

There is a growing concern within the administration as to where to cut costs due to the economic downturn, the two officials said.

“We have less than $30 million for the rest of the fiscal year to run this government. We have almost six months left. We’re being very honest with ourselves. This pandemic is not over yet,” Palacios said.

He said the administration does not intend to abandon the institution, but it may have to be “mothballed.”

Palacios added, “Even if you are fully funded federally, who will you interact with when the other departments are closed down like the Department of Labor, and when half of the college is gone and PSS is closed? There are just a whole slew of things that we need to take a look at, and that is where my and the governor’s concern is: to be able to assist you folks.”

According to McPhetres, “I think we should get the three educational institutions together, because there are ways in which we could cut costs. I have seen waste in other departments. I have seen waste in the educational institutions. I tell you, we do not waste anything [here at NMTI].”

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