Teacher search expanded: CEO

By Talaia Mika 23 February 2024, 9:00PM

The Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.) for the Ministry of Education, Aeau Chris Hazelman explained that the ministry can accept people without teaching qualifications as long as they go through the vetting process with the Public Service Commission (P.S.C.).

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, Aeau explained that they accepted a few people from other ministries who left their teaching careers early and returned. He said this was also convenient with the ongoing issue of teacher shortage.

"All teachers in any school have to go through the application process because after that, we also have to go through PSC so you can't just enter into a school without the full process," he said.

"If a person regardless of their employment background whether it's not teaching, if they have a degree as is stated by PSC, then we can recruit them.

"We have a couple of people who taught before and left the working field and gone to private practices or government ministries but have now re-entered.

"So unless we get a conveyance from PSC, then we can register them because once you are registered, you will then be paid as of the date of the conveyance letter from PSC.

"As I said, no one can enter any government school without going through the vetting process because teachers in government schools are public servants coming under the Public Service Commission.

"I am aware that we have had applications coming in from such people and I am happy for that because we are dealing with the shortage and that shortage is not going away quickly and I wish we had more applications.

"Again, yes we have had applications coming in but we still have to go through the vetting process."

Aeau was informed that some teachers have just started their teaching careers without teacher qualifications and are teaching major subjects such as English.

Meanwhile, some parents are supportive of the idea due to the shortage of teachers.

Tautala Aniseko from Satapuala told this newspaper that this should not be a problem as schools in rural villages have always faced this.

"We've always seen that there is always a shortage of teachers especially in our rural villages so it's good that we get help from anyone. We can wait for now while the government is still dealing with the shortage of teachers," she said.

"There was this one time we tried to ask the committee if there is any way we can help as parents to teach at least some easy things so we can lend a hand to the students, especially the staff but we don't know where that is heading now."

Another parent, Fuatino Tanielu who has three primary school students at Magiagi Primary School also said she was trying to apply as a teacher aid and she is also aware that some parents also wanted to do the same thing but it was not possible.

"At this point, we need as much help as we can and we are optimistic. We pray that our children graduate and reach the best in their academic journeys. We can do for now is pray for our children as well as the teachers and the ministry because the teacher shortage problem is nothing new."

By Talaia Mika 23 February 2024, 9:00PM
Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.