The education system in Pago Pago is characterized by:
- Overall low-academic student performance [i]
- About 90% of high school graduates have to take remedial classes before they can start classes at the American Samoa Community College
- High youth unemployment
- Low school retention rates
- Teacher shortages and limited skills of those who are teaching
- Limited educational data collection/analyses processes
- Limited educational administration processes
These specific challenges are a consequence of larger socio-economic conditions in the country.
[i] Middle School Journal, September, 2012. “A culturally responsive, transnational middle grades teacher education program in American Samoa” Zuercher, D, Yoshioka, J, Deeing, P, Martin, K, O’Neill, T, & Apisa, S.
How We’re Helping
Fa’asao Marist High School, Marist-St Francis Elementary School and St Theresa’s Elementary Schools are all under the auspices of the Diocese of American Samoa, Pago Pago. They have requested a teacher to:
- Provide mentoring and professional support for local educators
- Model best practice in classroom teaching
Palms has prepared and is supporting Veronica Lawson, a teacher from Queensland, experienced in both primary and high school education with a Masters in Educational Leadership and a Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Zoology.
Veronica will be working alongside educators across the three schools, she will help to improve the overall quality of education, enhance teacher’s motivation and implement best practice teaching methodologies.
Is the Project Sustainable?
This project will offer two years of professional development assistance to the teachers at Fa’asao Marist High School, Marist-St Francis Elementary School and St Theresa’s Elementary Schools. 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.
(mean less fees taken by banks and third parties and more funds for community programs)