The results of Year 13 students at Itu Asau College brought joy to many, especially teachers and families.
According to the School’s Principal, Fetuao Elu, 21 students out of 26 who sat the Samoa School Leaving Certificate passed the exam and have qualified for the National University of Samoa this year.
“We are very grateful for our school results, only few students made it to U.P.Y. last year, but it’s a huge step forward for this year,” said Mrs. Elu.
“So it’s not something that means we can sit back and relax, but a huge challenge for us teachers.”
“I am looking at working together with them (teachers) to help us move forward.”
Vaimauga College Principal, Tamasoali’i Suaviasea, said it was a really tough year for their college.
“I am not sure of the results in 2016 because I wasn’t there, but for last year, I think it’s a huge step forward for our school compared to previous years,” Tamasoali’i said.
“I can say the results are far better than what we expected from our students.”
Fifteen students of their Year 13 made it to U.P.Y. this year.
“It was quite hard for us to push our students during terms three and four when we found out that many of our students didn’t do their homework, especially their internal assignments,” he said.
“To be honest, we never give up on lifting these kids to the best we can and it’s always been a pleasure to see them do well.”
“If other students made it to U.P.Y. then they too can do it as well.”
“I know it’s a challenge for my children and teachers, but that’s the truth, everyone should put their hands on the boat and push together.”
“Together we can make it.”
Tamasoali’i said they have programmes and strategies in place to help teachers.
“I think the most important resources are the teachers, so they need to have patience and be flexible on how to engage their students and they have to get away from traditional methods of teaching.”
“For this year we are looking at taking eight subjects on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but continue on taking six like the usual routine on Monday and Friday.”
Tamasoali’i also shared some of the challenges, while gearing up for last year’s S.S.L.C. exam.
“Half way through the second term was a tough one for the college,” he said.
“I was only recruited in school last year and we were worried by the students’ performance, especially since exams was coming up.”
“It was really hard when we looked at the continuous poor performances by the students, so I told the teachers to be a little authoritative.”
“Then I told the teachers be a little tough on the students, especially because they didn’t submit most of their I.A’s.”
“Then I told them (students) to focus on their school work or they won’t be accepted into class, and that’s how we managed to push these students during terms 3 and 4.”
Tamasoali’i said they also informed the parents about the situation.
“That’s how we managed to do it the past two terms, we told them (parents) if they (students) won’t focus then they’ll (students) end up somewhere else,” he said.
“We all know that this area is part of town, but I advised the teachers to not put the blame on the environment, the surrounding, don’t we ever put the blame on the weak students.”
“The truth is if we can’t come up with 10 to 15 students every year to attend U.P.Y, we are going to be defeated.”
“So I’m thankful for our school results this year compared to past years.”
“We should stop thinking that they are weak students because if they come here as beginners, then the effort that we put in them is far bigger than the work of teachers at those universities.”
According to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture’s website, more than 2,000 students in Year 13 were listed for the S.S.L.C. examinations nationwide.
Students in Year 12 numbered more than 2,400 for the Samoa School Certificate.
All primary schools and colleges run by the government open for the 2018 academic year on January 29.