Students excited to go remote

Samoa has another high school in its portfolio: Apia International School (AIS). 

It is the country’s first online learning high school, for students who want to learn from overseas curricula.

Based in Moto’otua, at The Learning Centre site, AIS launched yesterday to give students more options. Three students ready to take the opportunity are Ava Wilderson, Isabella Colquhoun, and Aniva Clarke.

Starting on Monday, the three year-nine girls will be among the first ever students in Samoa to complete their studies over the internet, at least in part. They will also do Samoan studies, sports and creative arts with teachers here in Samoa. 

Ava said the online format will make work easier, and more organised. She is enrolled in the high school courses of the University of Nebraska.

“That’s one thing that is a little better, it’s easier to keep up with,” Ava said.

“As long as you know where to look, you know what you’re doing online.”

Isabella said she wants the option to learn another language.

“This offers lots more opportunities because it’s all online, and there are lots of other curriculums like foreign languages,” she said.

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“It will be fun though. I’m going back to Australia so I kind of need to do the Australian curriculum, otherwise when I get back I will have missed some things,” Isabella said.

Isabella and Aniva are both enrolled to do classes through the Brisbane School of Distance, and taking English, music and math classes. 

“I was pretty glad I got to come here, because the other schools, I wasn’t that drawn to them because they don’t have as much of the things I enjoy, like music, art, dancing… I mainly love to play instruments,” Aniva said.

For all three, the jump from schools of anywhere between 200 and 900 students down to less than 15 is a big change.

“In my old school back home there were at least 600,” Ava said. 

Isabella and Aniva’s primary school in Samoa had nearly 200 students. They are both excited and apprehensive for the change.

“There is less of a social thing because there are less people,” Isabella said.

“You’ll be too busy with headphones and stuff,” Aniva added.

But less distraction from big classrooms is a bonus, she said. In her primary school, she would spend lots of time talking with her friends, but at her new school she’ll be focused on the computer.

“Plus we have a nice big garden to play in,” she added.

They said they hoped more students would take the opportunity to learn at their new school. 

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