American Samoa public school quality under attack

Poor achievement levels by American Samoan public school students are being blamed on teacher morale.

The chairman of the House Education Committee, Representative Tu'umolimoli Moliga, who used to be a teacher, said it does not matter what degrees a teacher has, if they are not getting the encouragement and motivation they deserve, their commitment falters.

The Manu'a Faipule, Vesi Talalelei Fautanu Jr, said the Department of Education's recent Math-in-Art and Science Fair Competitions saw private school students take the top 3 places.

The director of education, Dr Matagi Tofia, confirms that statistics show government schools are way below the required standards.

She said she had sought help from the World Teach Program, asking the body for teachers specialising in Maths, English and Science.

She also points out private schools have after school tutoring programmes carried out by very committed and dedicated teachers.

But Dr Tofia said her department now has its own after school program, with a focus on literacy.