$3m tech project launched

A three million tala, four-year project targeted at over 5,300 young Samoans between the ages of 8 and 25 both in and out of school, was officially launched yesterday evening.

The launch was held at Samoa College where caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, was the keynote speaker.

Leveraging off young people as early adopters of technology, youth will have access to a new state-of-the-art High Tech Youth (H.T.Y.N) studio established in Vaivase and a further set of smaller connected studios across Samoa.

The project will complement and extend their school engagement while providing new opportunities to establish careers, higher learning or cyber social-enterprising opportunities through an additional programme called Tech Shed. 

It will also be an intervention to address:                 

• school dropout rates by introducing modern and best practice learning methods that are culturally authentic and proven to deliver in underserved communities

• isolation (geographic and social) through regional cooperation (training and peer networking) and digital assets (cloud technology)

• sustainable growth and development of Samoa’s emerging broadband economy, through evidence-based praxis to inform government, industry and donor investment.

Funded in the most part by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade the project establishes a partnership with the High Tech Youth Network and the Samoan government to address high levels of youth unemployment.

The project will fall under the leadership of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and will work actively with two other in-country partners - the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology who form part of the project management team and who will provide oversight at an operational level.

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