Principal pleas with parents for children to be in school

A school Principal has urged parents whom he said are purposely preventing their children from going to school think about their future and stop keeping them home.

Faumuina Tovio Taefu, the Principal of Vaimauga College, made the call noting the level of absenteeism among students at his school has increased.

In one term, the number of absentees hit a hundred.  Speaking to the Samoa Observer during an interview, Faumuina said parents are not helping their children.

"There are students with very poor records of attendance. Some students are away from classes for two or three or four (weeks, months) or even more than that,” he said.

“As I said before, since the beginning of this lockdown, we were close to kneeling to the parents to bring the children to school and that’s what we’ll keep doing.

“We’ll still push the students and the parents to bring their children to school as we understand the current state not just in our country but also with the rest of the world.”

In June, Faaumuina spoke to the Samoa Observer about the same issue. At that time, with a roll of 700 students, over hundred students did not turn up to school.

Faaumuina blamed the state of emergency lockdown for that drastic drop in the number of students attending class and falling behind on their studies.  The current roll records just over 600 students at the school.

The principal believes not only the lockdown, but family upbringings is what’s keeping the students away from school. When some students finally returned, not only were they behind in their lessons, they also failed to bring books and stationery.

“It’s very challenging at the moment especially with their level of knowledge, we’re trying to lift up the standards,” he said.

The teachers at the school have also been encouraged to help students wherever they can.

The same concern was shared by a Magiagi Primary School staff member, Taialii Pifolau Maota, who said many students and families are using the lockdown as an excuse for students to miss days of school.

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