Wait-and-see on Samoa College entry exams

Next week's entry exam for Samoa College is yet to be cancelled while the school awaits further information on the Government's state of emergency for the measles epidemic, its Principal says. 

Almost four hundred students have registered to sit the examination that will give successful candidates the opportunity to attend the College. 

The school’s Principal, Reupena Rimoni, said the school accepts orders from Friday’s declaration of a national state of emergency to postpone all examinations and schools. 

But in an interview with the Samoa Observer, Mr. Rimoni said the examination is crucial, so that the school may know how many students will be enrolled next year. 

He explained the entry exam is still scheduled for next week but a decision on whether it will proceed will depend on orders issued by the Government and further instruction. 

 “But we will advise parents near [the scheduled date of the exam] if there are any changes,” he said. 

“We don’t want to make an announcement for changes today and by next week something else changes because it is still unclear how much longer it [the state of emergency] will be in effect. 

“For now everything is on hold [like the national examinations] and we have to adhere to the orders from the state of emergency.” 

One of the orders from the state of emergency is that all schools including the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) are closed until further notice. 

“And all Government administered examinations that were pending are hereby postponed until further notice,” reads the Government order proclaimed on Saturday, November 16, 2019. 

Samoa College was scheduled to finish its final examination on Thursday this week and the entry exams were slated to be held next week. 

But Mr. Rimoni said although the order was declared there were still students that turned up to school on Monday because their parents weren’t aware of the orders. 

The school’s Principal raised concerns on how the order concerning the schools has not been conveyed to parents via all possible means so that they are able to respond to the instruction. 

He said it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) to communicate the message to all parents and students through all mediums of communication. 

“We accept the order that was issued to [top government officials] level but then there is the next level under that where parents and students come in,” said Mr. Rimoni.

“It is the priority and responsibility of the Ministry of Education to inform all parents and students about it on public notice to all mediums. 

“Not everyone is on Facebook to read it and not everyone reads the newspaper. 

“It is not a 100 per cent coverage.”

It was not possible to get a comment from M.E.S.C. Acting Chief Executive Officer, Tauti Jenny Lauano yesterday, whose office said she had several meetings. 

The Ministry of Education Facebook page issued a notice on Sunday evening. 

It states in response to the Order of the State of Emergency, released by the Government on November 16, the Ministry wishes to inform all parents, principals and students that national exams for S.S.C. and S.S.L.C. scheduled on 18 – 21 November are postponed until further notice. 


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