Minister’s comments saddens Principal

A Primary School Principal says she disagrees with the views expressed by the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, with regards to exam results from last year.

Principal of Manono-tai Primary School, Fealofa’i Timoteo told the Samoa Observer it was disappointing to read the discouraging remarks from the Minister of Education, when he should be encouraging students and teachers to do better instead.

Mrs. Timoteo was referring to an article in the Samoa Observer where Loau was quoted as saying the “slight improvements” in the 2018 Samoa Primary Education Certificate of Achievement (SPECA) exams were not good enough. Loau had told the Samoa Observer that while there were slight improvements over the last two years, a lot more needs to be done. 

Mrs. Timoteo said she was shocked and saddened by the Minister’s comments.

 “I really was sad and angry because teaching the children takes courage and strength for the teachers and principals,” she said.

“But it’s sad to hear such incorrect and unsure statements are being thrown around in public.”

Manono-Tai Primary School is not a big school. But Mrs. Timoeto said her students performed well during the exam in question.

“We don’t have that much students in our small island, not like it is here in the big islands of Upolu and Savai’i but I’m proud that my students are improving from year to year,” she said.

“It is not only in my school but also the college students are doing fine as well with their results.”

Mrs. Timoteo was among teachers and school principals at the conference. 

Minister Loau attended the first day of the conference and told participants to do the best they can to improve education in Samoa.

“As a Minister, I have received and continued to receive complaints about various issues, from students’ performance, teacher shortage, teacher quality, insufficient resources and so forth,” he said.

“However it is my hope that today’s preparation and sharing will provide you new ideas and a better way of measuring what we value and value what we measure. Because we are all hungry for positive results we all want to see transformation in our schools not in the next 10 years but very soon.”

Esera Teleia’i, Principal for Manono-uta Primary School welcomed the challenge from the Minister.

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