Proposal for televised classes criticised

A parent has criticised plans by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) to televise classes during the state of emergency (S.O.E.).

The Ministry has uploaded lesson plans and programmes for students in all year levels on its website and Facebook page and appealed to parents to assist their children do their lessons while at home.

But Vaela'a Iloa, who is a father of two children, said he is saddened by the Ministry’s plan as he did not pay school fees for children to sit in front of a television to learn.

"If ever this proposed plan is carried out, I am not sure about other parents, but for me I didn't pay my kids’ school fees just for them to sit in front of the television and learn. What if they are sitting here and do not understand anything? Are they going to ask the TV?" he said.

Schools through Samoa were shut in the lead-up to the declaration of a S.O.E. two weeks ago with its orders also prohibiting the gathering of five or more people.

Acknowledging the declaration of the S.O.E., Mr Iloa said he is not sure if the proposal to home-school children will work.

I am not sure if this proposed plan will work. I want my kid to be taught by a teacher in a classroom so they can have a conversation, and for that reason I'll be sure my daughter understands whatever lesson is being taught by the teacher,” he added.

Mr Iloa said he knows that only good education will give his children a bright future, but the proposal to home-school children using television has shortcomings, including the lack of TV or even radio. 

"Like the saying goes ‘education is the key to success’, that is why I push my kids to do well in school so that they can have a better life and a bright future. If this is the case, are they going to help those who can't access television?”

There is also the challenge of picking a suitable time for the children to have their lessons as Mr Iloa said children also have responsibilities at home, which can clash with the Ministry's proposed television classes. 

"If they are going to do it on television, how sure are they that all students would be watching their lessons? We all know that as a Samoan child they are to do their responsibilities at home. But I think it's good if they will let the parents know about the time and channels which these classes will be on," he added.

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