China's computer donation uplifts Salelologa Primary School
Salelologa Primary School students and staff were overjoyed by thoughts of new opportunities as the school opened its first computer lab on Friday courtesy of the Chinese Embassy.
Altogether, the assistance from the Chinese Government amounted to $75,000, according to the school’s Principal, Muagututi'a Tuitama'i Posese.
The special celebration was well-attended by the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, Cabinet Ministers, Education Ministry Chief, Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Fuata'i, the village of Salelologa, and the students.
Reverend Samuelu Areta officiated a small service to bless the new facility and equipment.
"Today, my heart glorifies and sings out to our almighty God for answering our prayers," Muagututi'a told the Samoa Observer.
"This is a dream come true for our students and for this school and I feel so happy and blessed."
As the leader of the school, Muagututi'a said she saw the need to have a fully-equipped computer lab for the school when she first became the Principal of Salelologa Primary in 2016.
"I've seen that some of the students who graduated from Salelologa Primary are doing extremely well in the colleges they attend,” the Principal said.
“For instance, that young lady who was named Vaiola College's Valedictorian for this year was once a student here at Salelologa.
"Because we are moving forward, we needed to be in the same standard as the schools in Apia who have nice facilities to assist the students with their assignments and learning.
"That's why I tried to find a way so my school can also have proper tools and resources to help them with their studies."
Muagututi'a said she approached the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, who is also the Member of Parliament for Salelologa about the issue.
"I explained to Sili what was needed to improve the children's learning at Salelologa Primary school.
"Then I came and wrote an application letter. In that letter, I included all the materials we needed for the betterment of our school.
"I gave my letter to one of the Chinese business owners who is a good friend of our school, Mr. Chi Yuan Liu, who then gave our letter to the Chinese Ambassador.
"He was our contact person and he did all the talking and everything."
Muagututi'a said they were informed about the approval of their application in October this year.
"Something we were so grateful for and today as we officially open this project, we are so happy and excited.
"Words cannot describe how we feel."
The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China could not make it to the official handover of equipment to Salelologa Primary.
However, Mr. Chi Yuan Liu, a businessman who resides at Salelologa was present on behalf of the Chinese Embassy.
"I am so happy to be here today to witness this great milestone," he said.
"Seeing the children happy, makes me happy."
The $75,000 donation was spent on an air-conditioned computer lab for the school; 650 school bags; sports equipment; stationery and books; and 19 electric kettles for staff.