Schools start despite USD$12m damage by Cyclone Evan

Wind damage to the roof of a school at Falelatai

Wind damage to the roof of a school at Falelatai

By Unumoe Esera

APIA: WEDNESDAY 30 JANUARY 2013: The Government schools resumed on Monday this week, but there is much repair work to be done to school buildings affected by Cyclone Evan last month.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, Matafeo Falanaipupu Tanielu Aiafi says the cost to rebuild and refurbish these schools is estimated nearly USD$12 million.

“This goes towards rebuilding the schools, buying furniture, school materials and also to fix up the grounds,” he said.

Matafeo says construction work to rebuild schools has not yet begun because the amount for renovation has not been finalised because they are waiting to see how much money will be allocated by the Government and financial assistance from developing partners or whether they should write a proposal to donors.

The mostly affected schools are Safa’ato’a, Falease’ela, Vaivase, Salamumu, and Palalaua.

“Schools have started even for those schools that were affected and they are using the family guest houses and church halls in the villages,” he said.

These are temporary measures so the students wont miss out until repair work is been completed.

The Ministry of Education is introducing four school terms starting this year and is also addressing problems such as growing violence between the students and bringing back corporal punishment is a considered option.