Avele might have reopened earlier this week but the school has been given strict conditions to do so. Cabinet outlined these conditions in a statement issued by the Press Secretariat on Thursday night.
According to the statement, the decision to reopen the college is based on conditions directed by Cabinet, as stated below, plus programmes endorsed and signed by the Avele College Old Pupils Association, which will be implemented to ensure the appropriate discipline of students.
The conditions are:
• Police will continue their investigations, but for students who have already been charged they will not be accepted back at Avele College;
• That parents, teachers, and the Avele College Old Pupils Association will work together to conduct programmes to promote and instil values and ideals that enhance Samoan culture and traditions. These programmes should highlight the importance of respect, peace and collaboration and instil in the students the significance of culture as an important part of their education and lives;
• Religious programmes should be enforced to nurture the spiritual beings of students at Avele, so they are God-fearing and respectful. These programmes are to continue and remain a part of the College’s practices every year;
• Enforce and monitor the ban on cellphone/mobile device access for students during school hours. Formulate a policy to penalise students who do not abide by this rule;
• Set up an Advisory Committee to conduct programmes and activities for the elimination of bad behaviour by students at Avele College. This committee should include a church minister, a representative of the college committee and a counselling expert. The committee will work together with the Ministry of Police and the Ministry of Education;
• This is the last opportunity to reopen Avele College. Any involvement of any Avele student in any quarrels or fights in the future will result in the permanent closure of the College without any more deliberations, and students will be transferred to other Government schools.
The Ministry of Education has been directed to enforce the division of Government colleges in to zones, and to encourage students to attend colleges within their own districts. This will discourage students from Savaii as well as Upolu’s rural districts from uprooting from their home villages and travelling great distances to attend school in Apia’s urban areas.
The zoning of schools will help to eliminate interschool violence which has primarily taken place in the town areas of Apia.
The Ministry of Education is also been directed to review the names of government colleges to coincide with the new division of districts and zoning of schools.
The Ministry of Education is expected to submit quarterly reports to Cabinet on the progress of the conditions stated above, for the next 12 months.