Principal highlights teacher shortage

By Julia Jamila Werner ,

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PRINCIPALS: Siapo Sioka and Laufou F. Manase.

PRINCIPALS: Siapo Sioka and Laufou F. Manase.

The annual teachers conference is a good opportunity for the education sector to come together to discuss the way forward for Samoa.

That’s the view of one of the participants from the big island of Savaii who is attending the weeklong annual Teachers Conference at the T.A.T.T.E Building.

Laufou F. Manase, is the Principal of Itu o Tane College in Savaii.

He’s made the trip across for the conference hoping to return with many new ideas to improve his work and that of the teachers under his supervision this year. 

“One of the biggest struggles we have is the lack of teachers,” he said. “We struggle to find teachers in the fields of Physical Education, Music and Science.”

According to Laufou, his school somehow always finds ways to cope with the shortage but he feels sorry for many other schools on the big island.

“I can sense I am lucky that we always find a way to deal with the circumstances but some other schools on Savai’i are a little bit different to the Itu-o-Tane College,” he said. 

“They do not for example have enough resources such as study materials especially in terms of science. These are some of the struggles we experience that also hinders our work.”

Laufou said his goal is to improve the performance of his work, which will ultimately translate to improvements in his students’ studies.

“I think its fair to say all the teachers here want their students to do better,” he said. 

“I wish to see that we can change the education system in a positive way.” 

“Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of positive changes but I believe there is a lot more than can be done.”

At the conference, Laufou said its good to network and share experiences with his other colleagues who are going through similar challenges.

The Teachers conference is essential for the development of Samoa’s education system as it brings together all Principals and Teachers from government, mission and private schools from Upolu as well as from Savai’i. 

It was officially opened by the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio on Monday.

“Education is a universal phenomenon that signifies the wealth and wellbeing of a country,” he said. 

“This is why for the past years and continuing, the Samoan government has prioritized Education in its national strategic directions. 

“The goal of the Samoa Education Sector Plan 2015-2018 is to improve focus on access to education and training and quality and learning outcomes.”

“To date, we may say that access can now be easily achieved through the implementation of the School Fee Grant schemes for Primary and Secondary schools, while the government through the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture continues to strive to improve its service that will ensure the delivery of quality learning outcome for our children, our future!”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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