Change is inevitable and we must ensure our children are well equipped to cope with the changing world. This was a message highlighted at a gathering this week on Thursday, of all School Principals for Primary and Secondary at the EFKS Hall, Mulinu’u.
The meeting was an opportunity to raise awareness of newly introduced assessments for Year 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 (Science) and Year 8 (achievement based for all 7 subjects taught at primary level).
Honorable Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio, Minister of Education, Sports & Culture, gave the Keynote address.
In his address, he emphasized the importance of “working collaboratively” and for School Principals to take the lead in implementing innovative approaches to improve teaching and learning.
He pointed to the noticeable lack of interest in Science of many young learners and said this is a challenge as Samoa needs more students to take Maths and Science. The new assessments that will be introduced will provide a lot of positive advantages that will all contribute to improving teaching and learning in schools.
The new curriculum in primary was introduced in 2013 and it is therefore timely to run diagnostic tools to provide a picture of where the teaching and learning are at in terms of the curriculum, so that targeted and relevant interventions are put in place.
The programme included the prizegiving for the MESC programme to promote literacy, numeracy and science in schools (Samoa Schools Innovation for Literacy, Numeracy and Science – SSILNaS).
More than 100 cash prizes of $200 to $500 were given out to schools, student groups and individual students who participated in the four categories of the program (Poetry, Story Writing, Posters and Vee-Mapping).
The SSILNaS is an improvement of the Literacy and Numeracy Program that the Ministry of Education, Sports & Culture has administered in previous years.
To encourage students in both primary and secondary schools to be innovative in their approach to learning, the SSILNaS program required them to apply their everyday life experiences to their learning to promote creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and a range of other important skills such as reflection and communication.
For 2017, Primary and Secondary Schools were invited to participate in the SSILNaS competition in four different categories: (i) Posters (ii) Poems (iii) Story/Essay Writing and (iv) Vee-Diagram/Map.