Prioritise our children’s educational needs

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 31 January 2017, 12:00AM

We value achievements. That much is undeniable. 

You see they are the stuff that motivates us. It’s what keeps us going when the going gets tough and when we simply don’t feel like we want to continue.

At the start of another school year, thinking of those sweet achievements might be the best thing to do to try and take our minds away and cushion the blows of the cost of sending our children back to school. 

The reality is that there is not a parent in Samoa who would not be feeling the pinch over the next couple of weeks as our loved ones begin another school year.

It’s an exciting time. 

But it’s also one of the most difficult times for many of us. 

What with school fees, stationery, lunch money on top of many other obligations, it’s a tough act trying to budget in days like this. 

But in the end, if we truly believe that education is the key to a bright future for our children, we say all the headaches are worth it. All this pain will pale in comparison when we celebrate sweet achievements in another 10 months from now.

Speaking of successes, not so long ago, we celebrated the sweet academic achievements of our sons and daughters here and abroad. 

At the end of the academic year last year, this newspaper had profiled the success stories of students who had excelled at different schools, universities and learning centres right across the country. 

By publishing the stories of their triumphs, our readers were invited to share in their joy and achievements. 

There is no doubt that it was a wonderful time of celebration, not only for the students but for their parents, families, friends and peers. 

It was a time when all the hardships and challenges were forgotten as tears of joy flowed freely and buried amongst the layers of garlands that reached up all the way to the students’ ears. 

It was not a time to remember all the money that went into their school fees, stationeries, bus fares, lunches, fundraisings and a myriad of other things.

Rather it was an opportunity to breathe a sigh of relief and gratefully acknowledge that it was all worth it.

Why are we talking about this again?

Well it’s simple, sometimes we need to remember those sweet moments. We need to find those happy memories to allow us to persevere.

Indeed, those success stories are a wonderful reminder that there is much satisfaction and success to be achieved if we don’t give up. In this life, when the going gets tough, the battle is all in the mind.

Our bodies will naturally want to give up. It will always remind us about our limitations and what we can’t do. 

But our minds and strong will is what allows us to keep moving forward one glorious day at a time. Coupled by an insatiable passion to see our children succeed, it is what drives us to work harder. 

We know this is not an easy time, especially for parents whose income generating abilities are severely restricted.  But as parents, we have a responsibility. We have a role to ensure our children’s education comes first. 

In days like these, sometimes it’s okay to say no to the occasional fa’alavelave to prioritise our children’s education. It will not hurt anyone to miss the faifeau’s alofa (offering) if you have to spend money to send the children back to school. As parents, we are responsible for our children and we are accountable to God about how we performed our role to look after his gifts to us. So put them first.

There will always be funerals, fa’alavelaves and you can always give another alofa next month if you can’t afford one this week. But let’s make sure our children’s education needs become our priority.

Have a wonderful Tuesday Samoa, God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 31 January 2017, 12:00AM

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