Teachers Association President calls for unity
The President of the Samoa National Teachers’ Association (S.N.T.A), Matafeo Lesaisaea Reupena, has urged the nation’s teachers and principals to bind together in the face of the national coronavirus crisis.
Earlier this week, the Samoa Observer carried a story outlining principals’ concerns about the quality of education and feedback during the state of emergency (“Teachers urge parents to let students do work”).
A majority of the concerns were aimed at parents, who were blamed for intervening in their children's education, which was not benefiting students, the educators said.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Matafeo who is also the Principal of Avele College, said teachers must stand together.
“I see myself and teachers as being on the frontlines of education, because if the doctors are at the front during a time of health crisis, teachers should also be standing for education,” he said.
“In my own belief, this is the time where we will learn what a real teacher is, one who never gives up in times like these despite the challenges.
“As the President of the S.N.T.A, I urge every teacher in public, private and mission schools, administrations and management of schools to please stand together to continue, by whatever means that they can, education for students.
“That assistance is their contribution to the country and its response to the crisis.”
The call from the President was followed by advice for teachers to continue working instead of staying home despite the lockdown.
According to Matafeo, teachers and principals are yet to receive any instructions from the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.N.R.E).
But the process of signing in each day to get paid still continues, he said.
After a meeting for teachers and principals of Zone A earlier this week, Matafeo said there has been no reports of poor education feedback from local educators.
Earlier, the principal of Puleia Primary School in Savaii, Fiu Norman, said he could not wait for schools to return to normality after blaming parents for interfering with students’ homework,
Matafeo said the M.E.S.C should be advised about such issues.
Matafeo said that Avele College’s curriculum has not been affected since the lockdown.
Avele is one of the first schools to pick up the Moodle online learning platform as a means of continuing students’ remote education.
Aumua and Mataevave Colleges have also shown interest in the Moodle platform according to Matafeo.