Schools start literacy, numeracy, science program

The Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) has launched its 2020 Samoa Schools Innovation for Literacy, Numeracy and Science program but at the “cluster level” due to the state of emergency.

This year’s annual program – which encourages schools throughout Samoa to celebrate literacy, numeracy and science learning – will revolve around the theme Lalaga – Weaving.

According to a M.E.S.C. media release, the program kicked off on 10 October and will end 30 October in a decentralised format.

“Due to the state of emergency [S.O.E.] regulations, the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture will celebrate SSILNaS differently this year. All activities will be done at the cluster level,” the M.E.S.C. statement reads.

“School Inspectors and school principals of each district will be organising activities for students.     These events will take place on the 18th–30th October.”

The rationale behind the decentralising of this year’s program is to encourage teachers, students and school communities to strengthen partnerships and ownership of these events, according to the Ministry.

The program was officially opened by the M.E.S.C. Chief Executive Officer, Afioga Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata’i on Tuesday.

The theme for this year refers to the weaving together of skills and knowledge throughout the curriculum areas to reflect literacy, numeracy and science.

“Education is critical so that we continue to provide opportunities and enable successful participation in Samoa’s future. Weaving is one of the skills that any Samoan child can learn at an early stage of life,” the M.E.S.C. statement further emphasised.

“It is either through observation of a grandparent/parent or direct teaching from an adult.  It is a skill that is passed down from generation to generation.  

“While learning these skills of weaving, stories of the past and dreams of the future is interwoven into storytelling which later turns out into prayers and hopes.”

The Ministry further stated that lalaga is precious as through the lens of literacy, numeracy and science, students will be able to express their aspirations, views and ideas on this year’s theme and how it applies to their learning as well as their daily lives.

The program also encourages students and schools to be innovative and use creativity within each of the categories to bring out the theme of lalaga.

The Ministry also encourages students to reflect on the current issues facing the country and around the world in relation to their daily lives. Students will compete in a variety of activities to depict this theme through their performances and displays.

There are four categories in the national competition: design a logo for the competition; a writing competition; write a letter to the editor; and environment. Entries are due 23 October, 2020 with boxes placed in the M.E.S.C. foyer for students to drop off their entries. The writing entries can be individual or group work.

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