Future accountant tops Papauta Girls College
Eighteen-year-old, Lucilla Tavita, was named Papauta Girls College Dux 2020 on Monday.
Ms. Tavita claimed first prize in English, Accounting, Economics, Computer Studies and Mathematics.
The aspiring Accountant said it was the Biblical scripture, Philippians 4:13, that kept her going despite the many challenges, especially being away from home for most of the year.
"As you may know, we stay on school grounds; many times we miss and wish to be with our families, that was very hard to get used to," she said.
"And over here, it is compulsory for us to stay up to study, the lights are never off here. Sometimes we would stay up all night and wake up early the next day, we go into classes tired.
"But it's the visits from our families on some days that challenge us to keep on and continue to study hard."
Ms. Tavita is the eldest daughter of five children to Anna and Tavita Lemauai of Laulii.
She acknowledged the support of her family as well as the efforts of her teachers, but credited her achievements to God, "nothing was hard with the Lord by my side."
Second to Dux was Fuafiva Fetolofa'i who claimed top prices in Gagana Samoa, Geography, History, and Religious Knowledge.
Only five girls were in the graduating class of Papauta Girls College.
According to the school principal, Malua Latu Taise, from the 70 girls registered at the beginning of the year, only 42 sat exams and made it to the end of the year.
The rest had started leaving just after the second week of school as they could not stand being away from home, some formally puled out of school during the state of emergency was ongoing, while others were barred from the school after failing to keep to the proper school conduct.
The staff of Papauta is made up of 18 individuals with 10 teachers and eight aides.
The prize giving ceremony was concluded with the official opening of the graduating class' project of brand new signage for the school.