“Stop the violence and focus on studies”
The Catholic Education Director, Father Mikaele Tuimavave, has appealed to students to stop the violence and focus on their studies.
His appeal comes on the back of a recent brawl in Apia between students from the Saint Joseph’s College and Church College Pesega.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Father Mikaele said he is happy to hear that the two colleges in Apia have reconciled, but there should be zero tolerance of violence amongst students.
“I am very happy that both schools have reconciled and are looking at ways of working together to end any misunderstanding."
“We only want peace between schools and putting first the safety of each student – with that being said we have a zero tolerance of violence within our schools, and if any student is involved in school brawls, they will be automatically kicked out of school,” he said.
A lot of the violence between students appear to be the result of inter-school sporting tournaments, which Father Mikaele said is a concern.
“We recently conducted the regional schools’ sevens tournament 2019 early this year and it is critical especially because over the past years, it was evident that school fights were caused by disputes over sports."
“I encourage and push for students from all schools to play together in harmony, instead of risking their future by fighting and end up getting expelled."
“Education is the key to a successful future because without a degree you will not have a stable job and that can lead to unemployment but your parents are putting a lot of faith on them to succeed in school,” he added.
Father Mikaele also acknowledged the collaboration of all schools to ensure the games were successful and peaceful.
“I applaud the work done by all principals and schools in ensuring the safety of all students during the games. We also commend the work done by the Police in securing the safety members of the public in any situations.”
Attempts by the Samoa Observer to get comments from the Church College Pesega principal were unsuccessful. Saint Joseph’s College principal, Susitina Maletino Levao, refused a request for an interview.