The graduating rate for public high school seniors remains above 90% over the last four school years, and Manu’a High School — with the lowest number of graduating seniors compared to other public schools — boasts a graduation rate of 100% in three of those years, according to local Education Department (ASDOE) graduation data.
ASDOE released the data on Wednesday during Education Director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau’s monthly news conference, where ASDOE officials also announced public high school graduation dates beginning early next month.
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga will be the commencement speaker at four of the six public high school graduation ceremonies.
Overall, the graduation rate for all six public high schools for the last four school years was good according to the data.
For 2011- 2012 the graduating rate was 98% with 1,017 students graduated; 2012-2013 had a graduating rate at 98%with 897 graduates; and 2013-2014 had a graduating rate of 98% with 866 graduates;
However, the graduating rate for 2014-2015 decreased slightly to 96% with 877 graduates, according ASDOE data, which also showed that Manu’a had a graduation rate of 100% for 2011-2012; 2013-2014; and 2014-2015; while their 2012-2013 graduation rate was 94%.
ASDOE data does show that Manu’a had the smallest number of graduates in the last four school years totaling 67.
According to the information received, Tafuna — which is considered the high school with the highest enrolment rate — had the highest number of graduates in the past four school years, totaling 1,202 graduates; followed by Samoana with 902; Leone at 676; and Fagaitua with 539.
Graduation rate data and other information are available at ASDOE.
During the last three graduation seasons, ASDOE imposed a time limit of just over an hour and less than 2-hours for graduation ceremonies, to allow graduates more time to be with their families to celebrate this special milestone in their lives.
At Wednesday’s news conference, ASDOE assistant director for secondary education, Dr. Samasoni Asaeli says the time-limit on graduation ceremonies will continue this year, adding that schools will set other dates for their own award ceremonies.
He said the only awards to be presented during graduation will be the ASG scholarship recipients.
Asaeli also announced the official graduation dates for all public schools starting with Manu’a on June 3, followed by Tafuna on June 6; Fagaitua on June 7; Samoana on June 8, Nu’uuli Vocational Technical High School on June 9; and closing off the week with Leone High School on June 10.
The Graduation ceremonies for Manu’a, Tafuna, Fagaitua and Leone will be held at their own school gymnasiums, while Samoana’s will be held at Pago Village Youth Center and Nu’uuli VocTech at Kanana Fou gymnasium. All ceremonies will begin at 9a.m.
According to the ASDOE graduation information list, which includes the graduation theme for each high school, the governor will be the commencement speaker for Manu’a, Tafuna, Fagaitua and Nu’uuli VocTech.
The governor — a graduate of Manu’a High School — will be the “keynote speaker” for the other two high schools.
Asalei said that each graduating class picks their own commencement speaker.
Regarding seniors who didn’t get the required credits to graduate, ASDOE deputy director Fa’auifono Vaitautolu says summer schools are held every year in which these individuals can take classes to obtain the necessary credits to graduate, and ASDOE pushes these seniors to attend the summer schools so they can receive their diplomas.
Meanwhile, ASDOE information provided to reporters shows that summer school enrollment last year was 119 students and the department provides a “credit” as incentive for students who attend.
However, the challenge is that summer school competes with summer employment programs, and there is no school bus transportation.