To mark the October 5 World Teacher’s Day global celebrations, teachers in Samoa marked the day by holding a colorful pageant held at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa Hall at Sogi over the weekend.
The Mr and Miss Samoa Teachers’ Pageant 2018-2019 also reminded teachers the important roles that they play in educating the children of Samoa. The event was also held to celebrate and promote the importance of teachers to the students and to the whole of Samoa.
Sponsored by Bluesky Samoa and Business Systems Limited, the pageant attracted 13 contestants comprising two teachers (male and female) who together represented a district.
Lotonuu Taliaoa and Tunu Leasiolagi from Falealili won the crown. The other winners scooped the categories of talent, interview and the best teachers wear.
A 2015 review report on education by the Government of Samoa stated that the country’s education sector serves a population of 187,8201 on a land area of 2,820 km2 (43 per cent arable) comprising the two main islands of Upolu and Savai’i and eight small islands. Seventy-six per cent of the population lives in Upolu, with 20 per cent in the urban area of Apia.
The 2015 review report made reference to the 2008 Samoa Poverty Report, which highlighted education in regard to high user costs, over and above school fees, and ‘with many young men in the rural areas being frequently less well educated and thus unable to get anything but the lowest paid employment, if such employment is even available. The cycle of poverty can therefore be perpetuated. Education is therefore one of the most critical issues.’
Education is seen as crucial to the vision of Samoa’s leaders of “improved quality of life for all”. The aim of the Government, according to the 2015 report, is to increase and broaden access to education, ranging from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to Post School Education and Training3 [PSET] in both formal and non‐ formal institutions as well as ensuring the gradual integration of inclusive education.