Imagine the POSSIBILITIES...
The CNMI economy has had its ups and downs and currently facing severe changes with federalization and more. However, the industry that was once the sole money maker is in a slump, Tourism. The garment industry hanging on by a thread is at the verge of total closure, only a few remain. What is there for us to look at? being in this remote Pacific island paradise we call home, what is there for our future, our children, and their childrens future?
I played my part as I worked at the MVA for many years, contributed my personal time to ensuring our marketing programs are carried to its fullest where we can see the return on investment. Today, I am still very much involved with tourism but in another capacity, education-tourism. Many know it for a niche market, but seriously, "imagine the possibilities".
Education is a very sustainable industry. In Asia, there are less new born children and therefore, limiting to one or two children per couple, this ultimately works best. Young couples focus on providing proper care and education to their children. This is why education is and will be at a strong position if done right for the islands given our proximity.
Setbacks do follow emerging trends. Currently the CNMI allows almost anyone to be a guardian of children from abroad. Many of these guradians take advantage of opportunities given to resident and local children such as free education in the Public School System. Basically cheating by charging families abroad extremely high fees and paying nothing to the CNMI educational system. Student visa's by immigration are well tracked, but at some cases, there are being abused by these "fly-by night" businessmen/woman.
But again, if done right the CNMI could really develop itself as an education destination. Currently behind the Philippines in this industry, we are forced to follow the trends they set to date, but we can overcome this for several reasons; 1. our destination is clean safe and peaceful 2. we are US soil and US curriculum and standards are applied 3. destination is built for family travelers 4. easy to get around and communicate 5. Friendly people
Our attributes are simply better than the Philippines, but we need to ensure that our laws are protecting the very nature of what it is we want to accomplish with this emerging educational-tourism trend.
Leave your thoughts on this matter....