Savai'i students excited to join literacy week
The launch of the Samoa Schools Innovation for Literacy, Numeracy and Science week was a rare chance for students from Savai'i to rub shoulders with their colleagues and cohorts from Upolu in the name of a national celebration of literacy.
The Vice Principal from Itu-o-Tane College from the big island said Monday was a rare opportunity for pupils from his school to mingle with those from Apia, as students and teachers rushed between classrooms where scheduled activities were taking place.
The contingent from Itu-o-Tane is made up of a range of students from Year 9 to Year 13, and includes its top students.
Allie Faletolu said he admired the Ministry's efforts to establish a programme that included students from the breadth of the nation.
"The importance of coming all this way for the students programme is because it’s the best opportunity to expose our students to compete against the other students from all over Samoa," said Mr. Faletolu.
"And plus, I may say that our school is not the number one [main] stream school so it is good to come here, mingle with the good schools, like Samoa College, Robert Louis, Avele, Leififi and just to challenge them."
The most important concept of the week for Mr. Faletolu is the exposure of his students to new methods of literacy education and the knowledge they will take away from it.
"I really enjoy the programme and the opportunity for us to come over because of my students' exposure," he said.
"We are participating in all the programmes; we are trying to make use of the time that we are coming plus our expenses, so we might as well give it a go for all the programs."
"The [Ministry of Education Sports and Culture] is doing a really good job, this is a really good initiative and I really admire and accept it in a way that we [usually] this type of program overseas but in Samoa, this is a well-organised programme and I really appreciate it," he said.
14-year-old Leone Oloapu from the Itu-o-Asau College from Savaii told Samoa Observer that he was very excited to partake in the Music and Drama category, saying he cannot wait to showcase his singing talent.
One of the programme's special guests from the National University of Samoa in the Department of English and Foreign Languages, Lafaitele Fualuga Taupi also endorsed the value of spreading vital knowledge across the nation.
"The programme is very important because it teaches the skills and knowledge useful for the future," she said.
"It is for them to develop the interest in the subjects especially science and mathematics, because these are the main subjects the students are usually reluctant to pursue.
"But with the initiative they have put up today and for the whole week, this is a very great step forward in efforts to attract the student’s minds to take interest in Mathematics and Science."
Lafaitele said it is great witnessing so many schools come through to take part in the programme and taking advantage of the activities provided.