A group of Japanese lecturers and students from the Hokkaido University of Education are helping teachers in Upolu and Savai’i to improve the teaching of Mathematics and Science.
As part of this, they hosted a workshop at Falefitu Primary School where teachers from Vaimauga took part.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Project Coordinator of Primary Mathematics Science Project (P.M.S.P), Michiko Mizuguchi, said the officials from Japan have been extremely happy to share their knowledge with locals.
“The method in problem solving approach has been employed for a long time in Japan,” she said. “It should also practiced in Samoa because this problem solving approach is good for the improvement of education.
“For example, in the class, the teacher will give the problem for the students to solve and in my understanding, Samoan teachers usually tell the answers to the students.
“[But] in this problem solving approach, the teachers should let the students think and they should give them time to think and solve it for themselves.
“That way the students will reach the summary and they will know how to solve this problem.”
The method, she said, is one of the reasons Japan’s education system is one of the best in the world.
“It takes time to reach this level,” she said. “I believe that it will also take some time to reach that certain stage but this problem solving will assure that the future of Samoa and the students is bright.”
The P.M.S.P has been in the pipeline for a couple of years. And the results are very positive, Ms. Mizuguchi said.
She said they have seen a big difference in teachers.
“They now think of their students rather than just going so fast that the students do not understand,” she said.
“So now the students have more time to observe the problem and have more time to think about the problem. They also understand the problem and it is made easier for them to understand.”
Ms. Mizuguchi acknowledges that progress will take time.
“It takes time for some teachers to achieve this method of problem solving approach but we assure you that this is the right and only method to improve the quality of Samoa teachers in teaching Maths and Science,” she said.
“This is our last year for this project and that is why we are doing our best to help the Samoan people and especially the teachers and the students.”