P.S.C. takes over exam leak probe

The Public Service Commission (P.S.C.) has taken over an investigation into the alleged leaking of national examination papers to senior staff at Vaimea Primary School. 

The Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, confirmed that the matter had been taken over by the organisation during a brief interview on Thursday. 

“The matter is now before the P.S.C. and we will await their investigation. As you know the P.S.C. makes the decision on matters involving any school Principal, not the Minister.” 

Last week, Loau expressed disappointment and called the Vaimea teacher and a Principal at the school to be sacked. .

The Minister said it was unclear at the moment whether the educators in question have been suspended. 

“That decision is entirely up to the P.S.C. not me," the Minister said. 

The Samoa Observer learned that the contents of primary-level national standardised tests were allegedly improperly obtained by a senior staff member at the school, potentially giving them an unfair advantage when preparing students for the test. 

The examinations involved in are understood to include the Samoa Primary Education Certificate of Achievement (S.P.E.C.A.) and the Samoa Primary Education Literacy Levels (S.P.E.L.L.) examinations for levels 2, 4, 6 and 8.

The Minister told the Samoa Observer the test in question will determine the academic ability of the student. 

“And so when these issues surfaces, it defeats the purpose. We need them to take these tests to determine their academic level and then work on addressing the issues that is why taking these tests is relatively important for these students," he said. 

The Chairman of the P.S.C., Aiono Mose Sua, confirmed they are looking into the complaint first made by the Education Ministry. 

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