Ministry of Education officials with the Japan delegation headed by Jan Prime Minister’s Special Advisor Kentaro Sonoura during the handover ceremony for school bus donated by Japan government to MOE.

The Japanese government has yet again donated a brand new school bus to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to improve ease of transportation of Palauan students.

The handover ceremony was attended by the Special Advisor to Prime Minister of Japan Kentaro Sonoura, Japan Ambassador to Palau Akira Karasawa, House of Representatives member Kosaburo Nishime, and other Japanese delegations and MOE officials yesterday, August 26, at the MOE Conference Room.

The new bus will be the latest addition to the current 18 school buses that the MOE is using right now.

Education Minister Sinton Soalablai, in his speech during the handover ceremony, recalled that the first school bus that the MOE had was also given by Japan 20 years ago through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) grant.

Minister Solablai also appreciated Japan’s support for Palau’s education sector through the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which provides volunteers to help teach Mathematics and Physical Education to Palau’s students.

“These are the programs that help the ministry function to [benefit] nearly 3,000 students every year,” Soalablai said.

“We are grateful for all this time that you have been very generous to the Ministry of Education in terms of facilities and especially transportation that’s badly needed,” Soalablai told the guest.

Special Advisor Sonoura also said that Japan always puts importance on supporting the education of young Palauans, hence the provision of the school bus.

“I am sure that this school bus will ensure safe and reliable transportation for students. I think it will also provide them with the chances to experience more activities outside the school,” Sonoura said.

The new school bus has already been used in transporting students from Koror, Airai, and Aimeliik.  (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)