Samoa Teachers Council established to enhance teacher and students performance

Members of the first ever Samoa Teachers Council. Front Left: Fauolo Apevai Fauolo Mataafa, Tofilau Dr Faguele Suaalii, Afamasaga Dr Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata’i, Hon. Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio (Minister of Education, Sports and Culture), Letuimanuasina Dr Emma Kruse-Vaai, Gatoloaifaaana Tilianamua Afamasaga, Matafeo Reupena Matafeo (Chairperson), Masa Margaret Faasau, Anne Leauga, Alaifea Laititi Belford Su’a, Leaana F. Lauvi, Litea Aleni (Senior Registrar), Vau Peseta-Afamasaga (Registrar), Orita Pagaialii, Tualasea Kalala, Leiataua Lesa Lino Tagiilima.

APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 15 APRIL 2019: The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) reached yet another milestone with the establishment of the Samoa Teachers Council since the Teachers Act 2016 became effective on 28th of February, 2019.

The Council has 13 official members and in its meeting on April 10, 2019, elected Matafeo Reupena Matafeo as Chairperson in accordance with the Act. Matafeo is the Avele College Principal who is also the President of the Samoa Sosaiete o Faiaoga (Samoa Teachers Union). As such, Matafeo brings to the Council years of leadership experience and institutional knowledge of Samoa’s education system.

The composition of the Council’s membership, reflects on the most experienced, long serving and high profiled educators of Samoa. The 3 ex-officio members of the Council include the Chief Executive Officers for MESC and SQA and, the Dean of Faculty of Education, NUS to represent each of the 3 Implementing Agencies of the Education Sector.

The Samoa Teachers Council plays an important role in carrying out its functions and responsibilities laid out in the Teachers Act, 2016. Pivotal to these responsibilities is regulating the registration of teachers and maintaining professional standards.

Since the Act came into effect on 28 February 2019, the Council has convened and discussed matters pertaining to the implementation plan for teacher registration of all teachers in ECE centers for private, mission, and government schools.
The Council has brought together mission, private, ECE and government schools to enable positive developments for the teaching profession in Samoa and through the National Teachers Council for the common good of all teachers and students of Samoa.

The Minister for MESC, Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio reiterated and urged the Council to ensure “… that quality education and student achievement … [be at] the heart of … the Teachers Council discussions and deliberations”. The Minister also emphasised the importance of the Teachers Council in the education sector’s continuing pursuit for improved teacher quality and student performance.

Some of the tasks planned for this year’s roadmap for the Teachers Council include awareness workshops for teachers. To date, the Council has conducted two nationwide awareness workshops for all Principals in Samoa.

The CEO of MESC, Afamasaga Dr Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata’i, acknowledges that there is still much work to be done, however with the first Samoa Teachers Council in place, Samoa can be more confident and optimistic about the future of education in Samoa.