China supercharges Samoa’s educational drive

By Sina Filifilia Sevaaetasi ,

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WELCOME TO THE FUTURE: Minister of M.E.S.C, Loau Keneti Sio and Chinese Ambassador Wang Xuefeng looking at a picture taken seconds before it was uploaded onto the system.

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE: Minister of M.E.S.C, Loau Keneti Sio and Chinese Ambassador Wang Xuefeng looking at a picture taken seconds before it was uploaded onto the system. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Samoan students now have access to world class advanced technology  to enhance their learning experience.

Thanks to China, eight sets of electronic teaching platforms were donated to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture yesterday.

The devices have been allocated to seven secondary level colleges in Upolu and Savaii. They are Itu-o-Tane College, Aana No. 2 College, Palauli College, Alofi-o-Taoa College, Mataaevave College, Lefaga College and Safata College.

 The electronic platforms are large versatile digital screens that can be used as a tablet, computer,  and interactive device  and much more to better the educational experience in the classroom.

Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, flanked by the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of M.E.S.C, Tauti Jenny Lauano graciously thanked the Chinese Ambassador, Wang Xuefeng for the generous gift.

 “This is an exciting venture and key milestone for education in Samoa,” he said. 

“Information technology has become an important medium of support for teaching and learning. The use of computers in quite common. Especially in Secondary education , worksheets students assignments are written on computers.  Teachers use I.C.T. to participate on online courses and students are using the internet all the time. The devices we are going to receive today will enhance this opportunity.

“These learning platforms are critical to children’s learning experience . One can use them for presentations, images and videos like every screen.  Furthermore, this is interactive as well. “ 

“Many resources from the school and interactive programmes  can run on these learning platforms as well.  These devices can make teaching and learning much more interesting, much more effective and much more enjoyable.  For us, as the Ministry of Education, this is a very important initiative.  As more and more students become used to technology and easily handle these devices.”

The Minister acknowledged the face time capacity of the digital devices that can be used to deliver lesson to other classrooms to combat the shortage of teachers at the moment.  

 “These devices can provide enhanced communication.  Video conferencing can be done and will be done more and more in the future. Lessons given in one school can be followed in another instantaneously and give them the opportunity to ask questions and get the answer at the same time. This is very helpful for our ongoing teacher shortage, especially in some crucial subject areas.”

The learning platforms have already been installed in the three Upolu schools and M.E.S.C has deployed  members of the I.T sector to explain to teachers how to use the devices so that their purpose can be maximised. 

The handing over of the electronic teaching platforms is part of an ongoing memorandum of understanding between the government of Samoa and the Peoples Republic of China signed in 2015.  During that same year, Huizhou City, China donated a computer lab and knowledge presenter learning lab to Samoa College. 

Mr. Xuefeng hopes the platforms will be put to good use in the classroom.  He also expressed the auspicious timing of the presentation which falls directly after the celebration of Chinese New Years.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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