Safety issue for N.U.S. students

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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AFTER DARK LECTURES: Safe travel is an issue for female students who are forced to arttend evening lectures to attain qualifications.

AFTER DARK LECTURES: Safe travel is an issue for female students who are forced to arttend evening lectures to attain qualifications.

A concerned father has turned to the media to voice a complaint about when the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) conduct some of their Commerce courses.

According to the father, most degree and diploma level Commerce courses, are only offered at night because the majority of the students (along with the part time lecturers, he is told) are employed elsewhere during the day.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the father feels this is not fair on his daughter and it is a safety risk for some students, particularly females.

“Some of the part time lecturers along with 70% of the students work during the day, they have their own cars and enough money; these courses are ideal for them,” he said.

“(But) what about the students who live far away, the students whose families don’t have cars, the ones who struggle with tuition fees let alone extra transport costs?

“It costs about 20 tala from the university to my house, but what option do we have? There are no buses running at that time and many families don’t have cars.

“I give my daughter money for her lunch and then on top of that I give her money for a taxi, that’s a lot of money going out every week because of these night courses.”

“My question is, is N.U.S. a night school because I thought only overseas universities had night schools but the difference is, that they have campus accommodation,” he said.

“This is a university full of educated professors, I’m sure if they put all those big brains together they would be able to come up with a better solution.

“In the meantime we will continue as it is because I don’t think anything will change, but I want to announce that this is not right.”

According to the father, some of the students have lodged complaints but to no avail.

“My daughter told me that some of the younger students complained to their lecturer. The lecturer then approached the Administration Office about the complaints and was told that they do not have enough money to employ more lecturers during the day,” he said.

 “I understand that the working people also have the right to pursue an education but they can afford to do so, they have cars; this to me is a serious issue and the university has to do something about it.” 

Other than the side costs, the father is also very concerned about the students’ safety.

“It isn’t safe; its dark and girls are out looking for a taxi in a country full of dangerous men,” he said.

“My daughter is sometimes scared to take taxis because some men cannot be trusted, we would ring up a taxi we know and he would go pick her up which is an inconvenience for the driver.

“I wait on the balcony worried for my daughter’s safety every night. During the day she would have her classes and then waits around until her last class which is late at night then she taxis home afterwards.

“Do they expect some children to walk home late at night if they have no other option? It’s a big risk to their safety and if they got hurt then the university wouldn’t do anything about it.

“It’s as if they are saying that if these students want a degree then they have to first risk their safety because they can’t afford any safer options.

“Some of the boys offer my daughter a ride but I’m sure they have devious intentions. My daughter’s safety is too precious for me not to be paranoid.”

The father is left with no other option than to go along with how it is.

Attempts to contact N.U.S. for a comment were unsuccessful.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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