Fusi Safotulafai dedicates school building
The village and the children of Fusi Safotulafai in Savai’i are celebrating the opening of a newly renovated school building.
In the last ten weeks, the 250 students attending the school have been using the Fusi and Fatausi village fale for their classes, as the school building underwent renovation.
Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Terasawa Genichi, handed over the renovated school building to the community last Thursday in a ceremony that was attended by senior Government officials, including Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, Cabinet Ministers, teachers, students and villagers.
The project was funded through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects with funding up to US$100,386 (T$264,173) which was presented last September to the School Committee.
The grant was provided for the renovation of the school buildings that housed eight classrooms, a staff room, a library, a storage room and a hall.
Mr. Terasawa said he was honored to have traveled to Savai'i for such an important occasion.
"I believe education is the key for the future of every young person here and for Samoa," he told the guests at the official handing-over ceremony.
"Education will give knowledge, strength and confidence to help you live a better life, overcome challenges and have a bright future.
"It is said poverty is the lack of choice. Education certainly will give you plenty of choices to choose from.
“I am incredibly happy to assist your efforts for a better educational environment through this project for Safotulafai Primary School.”
The Japanese diplomat added that he believed in quality education provided through quality teachers, which he emphasised is more important than school facilities.
"The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture is always making great efforts to enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers through training programs.
“It is my humble request to prioritize the enhancement of teachers’ passion and commitment to education through supporting them materially and spiritually."
The Prime Minister congratulated the School Committee and P.T.A. of Fusi Safotulafai for such an important milestone.
He also expressed his Government's sincere appreciation for Japan's ongoing assistance to Samoa.
Namulau'ulu Sami Leota, the Member of Parliament for Fa'asaleleaga No.3., thanked the Japan government for its assistance on behalf of the School Committee, P.T.A., the village as well as the teachers and students of Fusi Safotulafai.
He assured them that they will take care of the facilities and make use of it for benefit of the students.
Ae Lumafale Siaosi, a 94-year-old chief from Fusi, was given the honor of cutting the ribbon to officially open the new school facilities.
Fusi Safotulafai Primary School Principal, Malu Saletolo Va'aelua, said the occasion is a dream come true for their school.
"As usual for such occasions, we are very happy and grateful and the praise goes back to God for making this day possible," he told the Samoa Observer.
"This is a dream come true for the village and school. The truth is our school was one of the schools that really needed an upgrade.
“For so many years, we have been wishing and dreaming of having a new and safer facility and a secure compound for our children to use.
"So we thank everyone involved, especially the government of Japan."