Eco-school to have cultural component
The eco-school at Lefaga that is slated to open next year will also have a cultural preservation component drafted into its curriculum.
That is the view of Taloto Obed Unasa, who is leading a group that is behind the establishment of the proposed school.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Mr Unasa said the eco-school will have a good balance of basic curriculum like English, mathematics and science to complement environment courses such as tree planting, understanding the river ecosystem and coastal erosion and how it occurs.
“In my belief, you need a good balance of the basic curriculums in school like maths and science and English, these are the main ones and then I would add into that curriculum the eco-education such as planting trees, understand rivers and things such as coastal erosion and reasons why it occurs," he said.
Another component of the school’s curriculum will be creative arts such as canoe-making and fine mats.
"It will play a part in how we use our natural resources that will be turned into products. We are people that can create good things such as houses, boats, and fine mats and these are all from the environment, these are all from the trees and plants," he added.
"We are innovative people. We need to bring back our old practices. We need to go back and see how we can reintroduce that. This school will introduce that whole element to their curriculum, not just maths, English and science but the practical workings of our culture."
Mr Unasa further explained that the Samoan society has now become dependent on what is available in this modern era but believes that Samoan culture should be kept alive.
According to him, the school will enable students to know how traditional building structures such as a Fale Samoa and Faleo'o are made, how fine mats are woven, tapa cloths created as well as boat building.
"This is what we can actually do in terms of raising that kind of awareness again of these old practices of our culture by adding this into their education. It is very useful to know how we also respect our land and resources for the next generation and it preserves our culture and it preserves our natural environment," he added.
"Another thing I will incorporate in the school is replanting coconuts for the next generation so that you are also contributing to the future environment."