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PSS, NMC to host international educational conference this week (July 1 2016)

The CNMI Public School System and Northern Marianas College are all set to welcome educational leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and other Pacific nations and territories as they arrive for the 40th Annual Pacific Circle Consortium Conference.

“This will be the first time that the Pacific Circle Consortium Conference will be held in the northern Pacific,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Rita Sablan. “And since this will be the 40th anniversary of PCC, the gathering is even more momentous.”

The PSS and NMC are partnering with Research Triangle Institute International to host the conference, which will take place from July 5-7 at Saipan Southern High School.

NMC interim president David Attao said that hosting the conference is not only a great honor for PSS and NMC, but it is also a great opportunity for the CNMI to connect with its regional partners in education.”

The Pacific Circle Consortium (PCC) was established in 1977 as an initiative in international cooperation between educational research and development institutions in the Pacific Region initially drawn from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The Consortium is now independent from the OECD.

The PCC now draws members from Australia, New Zealand, several Pacific Islands, China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, several states of the United States, Vietnam, Canada, Latvia, and México. Conference attendees have also come from Europe, the United Kingdom, Russia, Nepal and Ecuador.

The theme for the 2016 conference is, “Navigating Global Trends of Education within the Pacific Region.”

The conference will feature plenary sessions and breakout sessions covering different topics. Additionally, the Peter Brice Award, which recognizes an individual who best exemplifies the aims of the PCC, will be handed out during the event. Peter Brice represented New Zealand in the early days of the PCC when it was under the auspices of the OECD; he is best remembered for his wisdom, his humanity and his lifelong commitment to educational ideals.

“Bringing the 40th Annual Pacific Circle Consortium Conference to the island of Saipan strengthens the regional connections that we have started and will give us the opportunity to expand our Pacific capacity with new professional relationships,” Sablan stated.

Sablan and Attao also thanked the business sponsors who have donated their resources to help make the conference possible.

The Gold Sponsors are TSL Foundation, Bank of Guam, IT&E, Best Sunshine, and RTI International. KKMP is a Silver Sponsor, while Bronze Sponsors include Bridge Capital, LLC, First Hawaiian Bank, Education Northwest, and MITA Travel/Western Union. They also thanked the Office of the Governor and the Office of the Mayor of Saipan for their contributions.

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