New era for Samoa College

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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THE PRESENT: Students of Samoa College.

THE PRESENT: Students of Samoa College. (Photo: Ilia L. Likou)

It’s official. The government has ceded the administration of Samoa College to the Samoa College Old Pupils Association (S.C.O.P.A).

The transfer took place yesterday during a ceremony held at the school’s all attended by past and present students of the school.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi was present. He congratulated the Association for their vision and the drive to persevere with it.

The Chairman of S.C.O.P.A, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, said that while the handover was a proud moment, he acknowledges that the road ahead will not be easy. 

“It’s not that easy,” he said. “We all know that there are challenges along the way but we can not accomplish anything if we don’t work together.”

When everybody performs their role, success will be achieved, he said.

“I honestly believe where there is unity there is strength.”

Samoa College was officially opened on 2nd October 1953 by Charles E Beeby, the New Zealand Minister of Education, at the time.

A NEW START: Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is flanked by some members of Samoa College Old Pupils Association.
A NEW START: Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is flanked by some members of Samoa College Old Pupils Association.

Back in the days Samoa College considered the main college in the country. 

The early college and curriculum was modelled on secondary schools in New Zealand, reflecting the country’s colonial history.

The college was officially opened Samoa’s education system is historically associated with New Zealand. 

Prior to the official opening of Samoa College, a system of ‘Accelerated’ learning was developed in 1949 for selected pupils with top marks in exams from around the country. 

These pupils would make up the core of the new college. The accelerated pupils went to school at a fale in Malifa near the capital Apia and later moved to the new school once it was opened.

Former students include writer Albert Wendt who became the school principal during 1969 - 1973. His tenure saw the broadening of the curriculum to include arts subjects.

Since Samoa College opened its gates fifty years ago, more than 10,000 students have passed through them into the world, empowered with the Knowledge to Serve, according to the school motto. 

Reverend Siolo Tauati led the service in prayer. The formalities were followed by a small celebration.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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