Child welfare top priority for Ministry: Afamasaga

A child’s access to clean drinking water while at school is always a top priority for teachers, says the head of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture.

The Ministry C.E.O. Afamasaga Dr Karoline Afamasaga-Fuatai told the Samoa Observer in an interview on Wednesday that every time State entities such as Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.) or Ministry of Health issue a public notice relating to public safety they take action if there is a link to students.

She said the M.E.S.C. as well as the different schools also have their own policies relating to student welfare and they take action when they need to.

“The M.E.S.C had their policies and inside every school they have their own policies of informing parents and families to well prepare lunch and water bottles for their own kids,” she said.

“That’s the parent’s responsibility, when children come into classrooms, the teacher is responsible to teach them how to eat healthy and drink healthy. 

“The Ministry always reminded the parents to do their duty, to boil the water for the children to drink.”

There are also school canteens that sell bottled water, according to Afamasaga which are safe to consume.

“Secondly, there are canteens inside schools compound to buy bottled water, it is much safer because there are no ovens inside school to boil water, also there are no people assigned to do that job of boiling water for children inside school.”

Some schools have water coolers which are used by their students with Afamasaga indicating that parents can do fundraising to raise money to pay for the water coolers.

There is also a Government grant which can be used to pay for the setting up of a water cooler.

Late last month the S.W.A. advised the public that there were issues with the water supply due to some areas of Samoa experiencing high turbidity, which can have an impact on water treatment plants.

Borehole water schemes were also affected, but by an electricity outage which was triggered by severe weather conditions last month.

The S.W.A. in a public notice late last month targeting customers urged them to store rainwater for their needs and to boil water before drinking.

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