Samoa College will become the first school in Samoa to go digital come this June.
This was confirmed by the President of the Samoa College Old Pupil Association (S.C.O.P.A.), Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, during an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“When S.C.O.P.A. took over the school, our aim was to become the first digital college, not only in the region, but in Samoa we saw the need to go to the next level,” he said.
“The work has already started and we are looking at more than $150,000 to make this project a reality, to fix all the internets and connect all the computers and everything else that needs to be done.”
He said this is a way to solve the problem of shortage of resources.
“We see this as a way to solve the problem of shortage of teachers as well the resources and going digital allows students to access everything,” said Leala.
“Exposing the students to the digital world now will help them when they go online, everything will be available for them and there won’t be a need for them to seek help because they have the help available for them.
“They can even use their tablets to go online for this sort of things, so familiarize them with this sort of things so that everything they need is available for them to improve their academic performance.” The President of S.C.O.P.A. added they are working together with the Embassy of China.
“We have already met the Chinese Ambassador to Samoa, Wang Xuefeng, because he visited the school last week and is quite keen to go in partnership with Samoa College in realizing the digital college vision,” said Leala.
“He has been contributing a lot to the college over the years in terms of I.T. equipment and we are very appreciative of the continuous support of the Chinese Embassy to the overall development of Samoa College.
“We are planning to launch the Digital College project in June this year to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the school.
“Preparations are now underway for the celebration of the college’s birthday during the independence celebrations.”
Asked about challenges, Leala said in everything there are always challenges.
“There are always challenges in anything new that you try to put up, but it won’t stop us,” he said.
“The world is moving forward and we want to lift the standard of the school so that we can go together with the way schools overseas are being run.
“And with the Tui Cable coming on, we are expecting prizes to come down with the fast speed of the internet so everything is going just as planned.”
Leala was also asked whether such initiatives create a pathway for cyber bullying and students accessing pornography and other sites.
“That is where we come in,” Leala said.
“We control everything online, we have already setup the contents of the internet so when the school goes digital, it will only be school stuff, students will not be able to access any other site except site that are useful to their school work.
“We have people working on that to ensure it won’t happen.
“So we have the control of it and I can assure you those sorts of problems will not happen and there is already a system being setup for that.
“The idea of this was a collective from the board and members to cater the problem of shortage of teaching materials.
“And we cannot avoid the fact that the world is turning into a digital world, it makes easier for the students to get what they need because as you know, everything we need is all available on the internet so it’s the same as the students.
“So that is what we want to provide for the students of Samoa College.”