Avele College is to re-open with Cabinet giving the school one last chance to make amends for its sins of the past.
The decision was delivered yesterday after a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the issue. More than a hundred students, old students, parents and teachers waited anxiously outside of the Government building for the final decision.
Last week Thursday, Tuilaepa demanded an undertaking from Avele College that the unruly behaviour shown by some of the students will not emerge again.
He told the meeting that unless Avele College could guarantee that the behavior of the students will change, the school could well be closed permanently.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tuilaepa and his Cabinet received the undertaking and were satisfied with the promise of better behavior.
A special service will be held tomorrow at 9am to re-open the school, where the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture will attend.
Principal Lesaisaea Reupena Matafeo is a grateful man.
“We should all give thanks to God for He had done so many good things for us,” he said.
After meeting with the Cabinet yesterday, Avele gathered at the back of the government building where a small service was conducted by the Principal, teachers, parents, students and old students to thank God for giving Avele one last chance.
“Today is the beginning of a new era for Avele College,” he said as he was fighting back tears during the service. “We’ve all been waiting and praying for this moment to come, and we should now give the glory back to God for His never-ending love for us his children.”
Although it has been a really tough week for all of them, Lesaisaea reiterated that there is no need to look back.
“This is a new beginning for us. We should learn from the mistakes we made yesterday so that together, we can all build a better tomorrow.”
He believes that what happened to them was a wake up call for everyone.
“This is a good opportunity for all of us to revisit our roles and responsibilities. It’s a reminder for us that we need to work harder and work together so that our children will enjoy a better and brighter future.”
He reminded everyone that teachers are not the only ones responsible for the behaviour of the students.
“We also need the help of parents, Church Ministers and also the students,” he said.
Speaking about the meeting with the Cabinet, Lesaisaea said the Cabinet has accepted the conditions and the proposals they made.
“We’ve given them our proposal and they’ve accepted the conditions. We gave them word and agreed that should anything happen again, there will be no more chances for Avele.”
He did not want to elaborate on the proposal and the solutions they’ve presented to Cabinet.
However, he said that the school is now looking at working with the two mobile companies in the country to make sure that what happened is not repeated.
“And we are also hoping that our students will learn from this and never repeat the same thing again. “There is only a 0.01% of the school that are causing these troubles and we hope that they will learn from the mistakes they made and will not repeat it.”
Lesaisaea was asked if they should allow the 0.01% to stay in school, but he said that he doesn’t make that decision.
“If there are students out there causing trouble, we will leave it to the police. Our main focus is education, and we want nothing but the best for the students so that they can have better futures.”
Asked about how he felt about the whole situation, Lesaisaea said that although it was hard, he was still at peace.
“I was at peace the whole time we were waiting for the final decision,” he said.
“It was not easy but I was very much at peace, and I have the same feeling right now.”
Looking ahead, Lesaisaea said this is the beginning of a new chapter for the school.
“We will now work together with the parents, teachers, A.C.O.P.A. students and everyone to make sure that these things will not emerge again. I am also glad that on Wednesday when I celebrate another year added to my life, we will again open the doors of Avele College.”