It was a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving yesterday at the village of Satalo Falealili.
They had every right to celebrate as the village gathered to witness the official opening of the new Primary School building for the children of Satalo.
And starting next week, the children of Satalo will start using their new school facility and furnitures, thanks to the Government of Japan.
The $347,280ST new school building will be a place to nurture the future leaders of the village of Satalo.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and the Ambassador of the Japanese Embassy to Samoa, Tuimaugaoali’I Kazumasa Shibuta were special guests at the opening ceremony.
The President of the School Committee, Te’o Uuvalu Mauga spoke on behalf of the Principal and teachers of Satalo Primary School and also on behalf of the village of Satalo to thank the Ambassador and the government of Japan for the support.
Said Te’o, this was a dream the village had for a very long time and they are happy now that it has finally come to life.
“We were not sure if it would come to life but we thank you for accepting our request and for helping us make this dream come true,” said Te’o.
“We are extremely grateful and happy that it has been complete and we would like to take this opportunity on behalf of our village to thank you for the great help.
“Our future generations are incredibly fortunate this school building will stand as a simple of your diligence, dedication, honor, wisdom which we will always remember.”
Tuilaepa expressed his sincere gratitude to the Ambassador of Japan and the government of Japan for their continuous support towards the development of Samoa.
“I would like to extend our gratitude to your Excellency Ambassador of Japan for your continuous support in the development of Samoa.
“Please convey to your government, our heartfelt gratitude for your continuous support in this major development.” Turning to the teachers and students, Tuilaepa encouraged the teachers and the students to encourage teaching programmes such as Physical Education and Agriculture Science in school.
“This is the right stage to teach them so that they will get hooked at a very young age and start early,” he said.
“Especially in sports,” he added.
“A lot of people are getting a lot of money and are earning big out there in the world because of sports and I encourage our children to learn the skills at a very young age to prepare them for the future. It can be a great career for them.
“That’s why we are encouraging to teach sport at a very young age. And if we continue this programme, we will have great and experience rugby players like the All Blacks in the next 10-15 years.”
Agricultural study is a rarity said Tuilaepa.
“Not so many people choose Agricultural Study as a career path to take up. But agriculture contributes a lot to our economy.
“The main reason why we have the University of the South Pacific here at Alafua is so that our children can go there and take up agriculture studies.
“The problem is, a lot of our children are more interested in becoming doctors and lawyers.
“In fact, we have too many lawyers in our country; we don’t know what to do with them.”
And that is why they are pushing for more students to take up agricultural study.
“You can also get a PhD in Agricultural Science and earn a lot of money from it as well.
So we encourage the teachers to teach the subject in school and encourage our children to choose this as a career path.”
Tuimaugaoali’i reminded the gathering that education is the key area in community development in any nation.
“Thus the government of Japan is very keen and committed to support project like this to improve learning environment for children,” said Tuimaugaoali’i.
A child’s life is like that of a tree, he added.
“When you plant the seeds of the tree, you need to care for the seeds to grow.
“You need to water the seeds, add fertilizer and protect it from the sunshine and the heavy water. And after that, you will cultivate sweet fruits from the tree. It takes a time.
“And that is similar to how we should raise our children so that we can all cultivate and reap great success in the future.
“So I encourage you parents and teachers and the whole community here, to bring up your children with the warmest care in the school.”
The new school building has eight new classrooms, a library, staffroom and conference room, storage room, bathrooms and taps for the children.
There are 87 students and four teachers at Satalo Falealili.