Gagana Samoa features at Vaiala Beach School speech competition

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 23 May 2018, 12:00AM

Samoan Language was a category featured for the first time in the annual speech competition at Vaiala Beach School.

The Senior Syndicate Speech finals took place at the school with 20 senior students participating yesterday. In the Gagana Samoa category, the topic of Aganuu FaaSamoa and child vendors in Samoa were highlighted.

 Andrina Burkhart took the first prize for her speech topic “O le Aganuu FaaSamoa” and received the “Brave Storm” trophy, which was sponsored by Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson.

Environmental concerns, social issues and Samoan identity were the main themes in the English category with the young students exploring, questioning and affirming their identity and place in an increasingly culturally diverse Samoa.

Child vendors in Samoa were a subject that deeply affected the children and some of the speeches were centered on their perspective of why this problem prevails and what they think the solution should be.

 Year 5 student, Maya Meredith spoke passionately about her view that a lack of access to education is the root cause of poverty and child vendors is a symptom of it.

She pointed out that her inspiration behind her speech were the stories she read in the Samoa Observer newspaper and for her visual aid she displayed several pages of the Samoa Observer’s Village Voice section.

Principal, Lorraine Williams said Samoa is the focus for this term at their school and culminates with the “Seki a Samoa week” when the school will be marching in the independence parade.

“We want to instill a sense of pride about living in Samoa and teaching our students more about Samoa so they can make more informed choices in the future,” said Ms. Williams. 

“The speeches reflected their knowledge of Samoa and also raised some interesting points. We also included speeches in Samoan for the first time so that fluent Samoan speakers could shine in their mother tongue. I was really impressed with both the deliverance and content of the speeches and the great role models our juniors have to follow.”

A prize was also given for the winner of the best Environmental Speech which was donated by the Samoa Conservation Society. The award was won by Year 6 student, Rosaline Ah Liki. Results of the Speech Competition below:


Gagana Samoan

1st: Andrina Burkhart – O le Aganu’u Fa’asamoa 

2nd: Olive Elia – Tamaiti fa’atau o loa

3rd: Agnes Apelu – Ola a’oaoina


Highly Commended: Rylee Schuster – Tu ma aganuu e tatau ona faamolosia.

Year 5

1st: Charles Slaven – Junk into our Mouths

2nd: Maya Meredith – Street Vendors in Samoa

3rd: Elei Clarke – The Mau Movement


Highly Commended: Emma Delanoue-Legarda - Mangroves.

Year 6

1st: Titus Paul – The other side of Paradise

2nd: Bella Young – Ironman

3rd: Christina Slaven – Homeless Animals


Highly Commended and Environmental Award,

Rosaline Ah Liki – Rubbish in Paradise.


Year 7

1st: Isabella Meredith – Education in Samoa

2nd: Soon-Ae Suafa – Am I a Plastic Samoan?

3rd: Isak Raccuglia - Mangroves


Highly Commended:  Kwain Auelua – My Tradition and Culture.

Year 8

1st: Harlan Mauli – If I was the Prime Minister of Samoa

2nd:  Aniva Clarke – I am Samoan!

3rd: Edelphi Hunt- Samoa Independence Celebration


Highly Commended Maya Baghirov – Was does it mean to be truly Samoan?

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 23 May 2018, 12:00AM

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