GDOE: We are Working to Address FESTPAC Housing Concerns

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From no blankets to food services.

Guam – The Guam Department of Education is getting mixed reviews about accommodations for the FESTPAC delegates.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says, “Right now, we have about 1850 delegates who are in checked in at our eights schools at we have been working 24/7 including the weekend to make sure we accommodate the needs and expectations of our delegates.”

Fernandez gave the Guam Education Board an update on the FESTPAC housing situation last night. He said since GDOE was only given a day to prepare half of the schools because a few delegations arrived earlier than expected, some of the delegations had to stay in churches or gyms while they prepared the schools.

Meanwhile, there were posts on social media of delegates not being satisfied with what their food vendor serves them. Fernandez said food vendors received input on how they can improve meals.

Fernandez explains, “Transparently we had to work with our custodial vendors to make sure they’re meeting our expectations and attacking the schools that needed to open for early arrivals. We worked with food vendors to try to align the timing of feeding and also provide input from the quality of food based on conversation with the delegates.”
 
Board Member Maria Gutierrez explained that two delegations have commended GDOE for their work. Gutierrez said she even visited a couple of schools yesterday to make sure the delegates were taken care of properly. “The participants who were there have also attended FESTPAC events and they told me that the facility provided to them for FESTPAC is like a 5-star hotel. They said they were other in other FESTPAC events, it’s not even aircon, they had to buy their own pillow, blanket and the facility wasn’t clean. They were just so surprised,” she says. 
 
Fernandez goes on to say that the Department of Public Works also help delegates by taking them to stores if they need to buy supplies. He says, “I know that the Department of Public Works has helped to transport them to help them do some minimal shopping to supply themselves for their stay. We also have our student store stocked to help provide for snacks, toiletries and so forth.”