From Researching Virtual Initiatives in Education
For entities in Samoa see Category:Samoa
Experts situated in Samoa
None so far.
Samoa in a nutshell
Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa and German Samoa), is a country governing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The entire island group, inclusive of American Samoa, was called Navigators Islands by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans' seafaring skills.
Samoa became independent from New Zealand in 1962.
The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and Savai'i (one of the biggest islands in Polynesia).
The population of Samoa is 194,320 (July 2012 estimate according to CIA's World Factbook).
The capital (and largest city) is Apia, situated on the island of Upolu.
Samoa was admitted to the United Nations on 15 December 1976.
Education in Samoa
The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture is responsible for education and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is also relevant because of its unit ICT4Development with projects such as Schoolnet, rural internet connection, mobile computer lab for schools, and telecentre...
Twenty-two educational districts are attended to by 23 field administrators. These are responsible for supervising staff performance, staffing of schools, and transferring of teachers. They also oversee school administration and educational programmes. Families and the government share the responsibility of school financing. The government is liable for the salaries of teaching and administrative personnel, while the village or district owns the school buildings and equipment.
Schools in Samoa
There are 38 nongovernmental schools that are run by their own directors and school boards. These schools are largely self-financed, but some funds do come from the government. The villages that own them run the primary and junior secondary schools. School committees, which are called Komiti fa'atino oAoga, are the school managers. The committee consists of the principal, inspector, pastor (pulenu'u), and villagers.
There are 157 schools located throughout the country. Primary school enrollment is approximately 36,000 students. Forty-eight percent of the students are female; however, their attendance is irregular. Some of the schools are overcrowded and in a state of disrepair.
During the first six years, students are taught in Samoan, with English being introduced orally during the third year. In the seventh and eighth years, English is the language of instruction.
After eight years of school, students take a national examination. The rationale behind the exam is the need to rank students for selection into secondary schools.
Throughout the secondary education system, the mode of instruction is English. Samoan can be taken as a separate course. The secondary program is five years in duration and is divided into a three-year junior secondary program, which is followed by a two-year senior secondary program. Entry into the senior secondary program is highly selective.
Progress through the system is tied to three examinations. The tests are administered locally, utilizing trained examiners with assistance provided by the South Pacific Board of Educational Assessment team. Students in their thirteenth year are given the Pacific Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. Performance in this test is instrumental in determining the students' academic future; the most successful gain entry into the university preparatory year.
The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture has various strategic plans and reports available - see http://www.mesc.gov.ws/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82&Itemid=148
Further and Higher education
See the National University of Samoa - below.
Universities in Samoa
The National University of Samoa is the only university. It is a coeducational, publicly-supported university in Apia, Samoa. It currently occupies a campus built in part with funding from the Government of Japan. It provides certificate, diploma, and undergraduate degree programmes, as well as technical and vocational training. Additionally, the Center of Samoan Studies at NUS offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Samoan Studies, as well as post-graduate diplomas and certificates.
The University was established in 1984. Its first degree, the Bachelor of Education, was launched in 1987. A year later, the Bachelor of Arts degree was introduced. The first graduates in both programs were awarded their degrees in 1990. Soon after, the Faculty of Commerce and the Faculty of Science were established. The Samoan Health Department's School of Nursing was merged into the university in 1993 as the Faculty of Nursing, and the Western Samoa Teacher's College was merged in during 1997 as the Faculty of Education. The Institute of Samoan Studies was established in 1999. In 2006, Samoa Polytechnic merged into the university as the Institute of Technology.
Its web site is at http://www.nus.edu.ws
Polytechnics in Samoa
Note that in 2006, Samoa Polytechnic merged into the National University of Samoa as its Institute of Technology.
Colleges in Samoa
Administration and finance
The Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) accredits post-secondary providers as a mechanism to ensure that the courses and programmes meet quality standards and adhere to the national qualification framework.
ICT in education initiatives
According to an joint publication by ICDE and others:
Source: Regulatory Frameworks for Distance Education: A pilot study in the Southwest Pacific/South East Asia Region. Final Report, DEHub, the Australasian Council for Open and Distance Education (ACODE), the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), December 2011, http://www.icde.org/projects/regulatory_frameworks_for_distance_education/final_report, April 2012.
In Samoa, many government secondary schools are currently offering computer studies and communications technology at Years 9, 10, 12 and 13. For a number of years now, Samoan students have sat the PSSC computer studies examination. Samoa designed and developed a Computer Studies curriculum for Years 12 and 13, which was implemented in 2005 at selected secondary schools.
Radio broadcasts are still produced by the Ministry to support the delivery of the curriculum in primary schools. AusAID’s usually through the Primary Education and Materials Project donate to each primary school a CD player and CDs containing additional materials to support the curriculum. New equipment to produce these educational CDs are also provided to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture Broadcasting Unit.
However, national ICT policies and strategic plan as such have scarcely been implemented.
Virtual initiatives in schools
Virtual initiatives in post-secondary education
National University of Samoa's Virtual Classroom, a VLE using Moodle to supplement on-campus instruction. There are 27 classes currently hosted from 5 faculties of the Institute of Higher Education (IHE).