The Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, supports the call for the Government to pay the salaries of teachers at Mission Schools.
The call was made by Member of Parliament of Gagaifomauga No.3, Faaulusau Rosa Duffy Stowers.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Loau said this is something he also spoke to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi about.
“What Fa’aulusau said is very important,” said Loau.
“It’s important because it is something that Cabinet has been discussing and I have also spoken to the Prime Minister about this issue.
“This is why a teachers’ council has been established so that they can look into all of these issues.
“They will be the ones to look into this matter and then put together an analysis on what needs to be done because another side we need to look at is that teachers who are teaching at mission schools should have the same qualifications as the government teachers because at the end of the day these are all for our children.
“Therefore, there should be a balance in this gap so that the students attending mission schools receive those same teachings as the ones in government schools.
“And we all heard the Prime Minister today (Monday), he also agrees to it and then we come down to resources.
“How are we going to deal with that and whether we have enough money to go through with this?
“So the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture will do an analysis and provide some examples for the Cabinet to have a look at and have the teachers’ council to look into this.
“They will also be looking at the quality of teachers and their qualifications because the truth is mission school teachers are different from government school teachers and as you can see the standard that our teachers are in at the moment, they have to have a Bachelor of Education in order for them to teach.
“They also have to be registered at the Samoa Qualifications, so those are the things that we have to look at in order for the government to push through with this issue.
“At the moment we are working on this and make sure we cover all that needs to be covered before we can go ahead with the plan.”
Moreover, Loau said the churches are struggling in paying for the teachers’ salaries.
“We see the struggle of churches because they don’t have enough money,” he told the media.
“A good example is the school of Paul VI our Faleula Vicariate is funding the school and paying for the teachers’ salary, but all in all, these are our children even though they are studying in mission school so all of us have to help out.
“So hopefully it will happen next year, but in order for us to do this there are certain things that needs to be done before we go ahead with this plan.”