Principals and Teachers conflict on teaching Christianity

By Faaiu Filipo

APIA: 20 Jan 2010: School principals, inspectors and teachers voiced conflicting views yesterday in a meeting with the Ministry of Education, on the new policy to introduce Christian teachings in all government schools starting next month.

Reverend Fulu Mose of the Ministry explained that the general guidelines will be set down to guide the teaching of the subject in the schools. He said that there will be wide consultation not only with the teachers, but the clergy so that there would be a clear understanding of what will be taught.

However, a school principal from Safotu, Unatoe Eti, expressed his concerns that this may open the door for the teachers to teach their own beliefs and may mislead the students.

The Principal of Avele College, said that the policy as directed by the Government must be accepted by all the people. She said that Samoan values are taught in schools as part of the Samoan culture where students are taught respect for their parents, and this she said, must be extended to Christian teachings where students must respect their God.

CEO, Galumalemana Nuufou Petaia told the meeting that church ministers will also be included in teaching Christianity in all government schools.

A Cabinet directive said that introducing the subject goes in line with the country’s Constitution. And while Samoan culture has been taught in the schools for many years, Christianity is not.

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