Father shares concerns about schools, teachers

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM REALLY NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT: Fili Folau from the village of Faleula.

OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM REALLY NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT: Fili Folau from the village of Faleula.

There will always be naughty kids who skip school. 

But when the teachers themselves skip their duty to teach the young minds, where does that leave the children?

That is the question that has left a worrying father scratching his head in confusion. 

Fili Folau from the village of Faleula explains that the one issue he has is with the education system in rural schools.

Mr. Folau explains that his child told him that there are times teachers do not show up to class.

“The real issue I want to talk about is the teaching system in Samoa,” he told the Village Voice team yesterday.

“My child attends one of the rural primary schools and I understand that he is slow at times, especially when it comes to his reading and that’s why I try hard to teach him at home as well.

“What really bothers me is that when I see him really struggling to read something in English, let alone Samoan, I ask him what he does all day in school and the answer he gives at times is that the teacher didn’t turn up.

“That isn’t right because I have never heard of a school where the teachers don’t turn up. Yes it’s normal for some naughty students to skip school but when the teachers do it, parents are worried.”

Mr. Folau says if that is the case, then it is better for children in rural areas to stay home and carry out chores rather than parents sending them to school.

“Only one of my three children is currently schooling but starting next year, another one will start too,” he said.

“I will really try and look into this issue of teachers not turning up to teach. My concern is for my children because I want them to learn all that they can from this opportunity that many of us Samoans don’t get.

“In saying that, I will pop in every now and then to check if my child is being taught properly or not. If it’s true that teachers don’t turn up; then it’s a waste of time for the children to attend school, they will make better use of their time at home helping out with chores.”

Mr. Folau then turned his gaze towards the government.

“Another issue I want to bring up is that term ‘free primary education’ provided by the government,” he said.

“I don’t understand why they use the term ‘free’ when we still have to pay for things. It’s misleading for many parents because there are registration fees that we pay, money gathered by different associations in school and so on.

“By the end of the year, we struggling parents pay way more than what is advertised as ‘free’. I am grateful, but it would be nice for them to help out families who are struggling by actually making it free.”

But all in all, Mr. Folau says that life in Samoa is great and he doesn’t see any other issue other than what he has already mentioned.

“I feel that our people are very resilient,” he said.

“What I mean by this is that even when we have a small cup of tea and some taro for the day, we are alright with that. We can even live on just water and taro when times get tough. We are well off in Samoa compared to other nations.

“When we look overseas, you see people crying for water and any type of food, we don’t see that in Samoa.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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