- Lack of teachers and limited skills of those who are teaching
- High youth unemployment rates
- Low school retention rates
- Overall low-academic student performance
During the Samoan Annual Teachers Conference in January 2017, one of the Principals highlighted that “…one of the biggest struggles we have is the lack of teachers”. The Samoan government has prioritised education and teacher training in its national strategic direction with the aim to improve access and quality of education.
The provision and training of good teachers, especially in English, mathematics, science, agricultural science, arts and vocational subjects, remains a vital issue to meet the approved teacher/student ratios of 1:30 (primary level) and 1:20 (secondary level).
How We’re Helping
Palms continues to focus on a pilot project for dual-mode assignments. This project explores the possibility of having applicants in country for the first six months of a placement before returning to Australia and continuing to provide online/remote mentoring support for counterpart[s]/students. Don Bosco College and Vocational Technical Centre in Salelologa, Samoa, and Palms participant John Bradley have agreed to work with us on this pilot.
John Bradley, an experienced secondary teacher and previous Palms participant who was placed in Kiribati from 2001-2003 spent 6 months in-country in Samoa working with Don Bosco College and Vocational Technical Centre to mentor local teaching staff to improve the teaching delivery of Physics and Maths. Since his return from Samoa, John has been working with the school and the teachers there – planning and delivering online classes for the year 11 and 12 Physics students.
John is now providing online teacher training to local staff to improve the quality of education, enhance academic performance in students and promote best practice teaching methods to local teaching staff as well as online classes and tutorials for students.
Is the Project Sustainable?
This project provided 6 months of in-person professional development assistance to the teachers at Don Bosco College and Vocational Technical Centre, and has now moved to the online phase for a further 6 months. It is expected that at the conclusion of the assignment, teachers will have further developed their professional capacity to meet the needs of local students.
(means less fees taken by banks and third parties and more funds for community programs)