Authority says there are processes to follow
The Samoa Qualifications Authority (S.Q.A) welcomes anyone with a plan to set up Post School Education Training (P.S.E.T) in Samoa.
However, there are procedures that must be followed.
So says the Acting Chief Executive Officer of S.Q.A, MaposuaMoseAsani.
He was responding to questions from the Weekend Observer about the establishment of a third University in Samoa by one Christopher Gounder.
“As you are aware, we have a lot of children in Samoa who need help to develop their skills and knowledge especially on how to do work at the different workplaces in Samoa,”Maposua told the Samoa Observer.
He confirmed that S.Q.A has been approached by Mr. Gounder with regards to the establishment of his University.
“We’ve already explained to them the process of how to register as a formal University in Samoa. There is a S.Q.A Act 2010; and it has all the guidelines and processes of what to do if they want to set up a University in Samoa.”
Maposuasaidthey need to work with Mr. Gounder so that the University can be recognised as a formal institute of education in Samoa.
SaveaFitiTausisi, S.Q.A’s Principal for the Quality Assurance Division, also confirmed that he has talked to Mr. Gounder twice.
“We have explained to him everything he needs to do in order for him to set up a University in Samoa,” Savea said.
“There are requirements to meet. For instance, they need to make sure they have a Board and policies if they want to set up a University."
“They also need to register their University under M.C.I.L.”
Savea supports Maposua in saying that the S.Q.A is happy to assist anyone who wants to set up a P.S.E.T. in Samoa.
“We support the idea that there is another University in Samoa. But the thing is, they need to make sure that they follow the right process and right procedure, so that they can recognize as a formal education."
“There is no boundary, and we allow and welcome any idea. We are more than happy to help them set up the schools they want.
“I’ve sent him (Mr. Gounder) emails as well, to follow up and to see if they need any help. The only thing we care about is for them to follow the right process and to make sure that they follow the right procedures."
“If they want to register, we are more than happy to assist them.”
However, given that Mr. Gounder hasn’t registered his University under S.Q.A, Maposua said there is no law to prohibit him from setting up a University.
The only institutions which have been registered with S.Q.A are the National University of Samoa (N.U.S), University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) and the Oceania University of Medicine (O.U.M).
“We don’t know if his (Mr. Gounder) University has also been established as a business in Samoa."
“Under the legislation we have now, S.Q.A has no power to stop anyone who wants to start a University in Samoa."
“But we are working at the moment to improve that and include that. Our board members are working on regulations to include some of the criteria to improve our service for the benefit of our people.”
Acting A.C.E.O for the Quality Assurance Division, MerinaGae’e-Afoa wants to assure the public that even though there is no law to prohibit setting up Universities in Samoa, there are other ways to solve issues such as this.
“This is not the first time we have a case like this,” said Mrs. Afoa.
“But this is the first time someone has gone out to the media and made the announcement about establishing another University. But over the years, a number of people have approached us asking and wanting to know the process of setting up a University in Samoa."
“And for most of them, once we tell and explain to them the process, they never get back to us. I think this can also be good for our people to be aware."
“Setting up a University isn’t something that you plan overnight. There are certain things to do and achieve before establishing it. We have a right process for them to follow."
“Our main concern is our children. We need to protect our learners."
“We are happy to assist anyone with the dream to set up another University in Samoa, to help the students of Samoa, but we need to make sure that it is done properly and in the right way.”