Samoan way of life impacts education

The Samoan way of life is having an impact on students’ performance in the classroom and achieving their full potential.

So says the Principal of Vaipua and Fogasavaii Primary School in Savai’i, Leapai Sakiasi Tapuai.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, he said students’ numeracy and literacy levels are dropping in rural areas.

Leapai is part of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (MESC) annual conference at the Pesega Hall, where educationists from around Upolu and Savaii are gathered. 

“Literacy and numeracy levels are challenges for us in the rural areas because the Samoan way of life in the rural areas, a lot of work depends on the students, the only way to get education is in school and after school parents tell students to go out to the plantation or get firewood,” he said. 

He said to the Samoa Observer the challenges they face are very common in schools, especially with those in the remote areas. 

“First the shortage of teachers in the work field, second the lack of use of information technology resources because of the network problems in the remote areas.”

“We have the resources, computers and other stuff for students to use, but it’s sad because the network is not so good for us out there, and learning is affected,” he added. 

Leapai said teachers’ punctuality in rural areas is quite good because nothing disrupts their work, compared to the urban areas where there are traffic problems. 

“Sometimes teachers turn up late to school because they are involved in many cultural and family affairs,” he said. 

He commended the financial assistance of the Government in developing education in Samoa as well as the conference, which he said broadens their knowledge in improving education in the country.

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