The Certificate of Adult Teaching graduation for the Oloamanu programme under the National University of Samoa in Savaii last Friday was meant to be just a celebration of the achievement by those who have completed their phase of the programme.
However, the speakers at the event used the platform to call on its participants and the public to go beyond the call of duty in boosting education in Samoa.
It started with reverend Tonu Mauafu Pelesauma of the Congregational Church of Christ in Samoa, who led the opening prayer calling on teachers to stop neglecting the future generation of Samoa.
“Ive been to a few gradations for primary schools in the last two weeks and principals say the same thing; we started with 300 students but now only 200,” he said.
“The question is where the 100 that have dropped out have gone? Out there in the streets, selling items for a profit without a proper education,” he said.
“Teachers, don’t give up on our children,” he added.
His message based on the biblical phrase “rejected stones have become the cornerstones”.
A message well received by the followed speaker and substitute to the Vice Chancellor of the University, Dean of the Faculty of Education Tofilau Dr. Faguele Suaalii.
Tofilau called on the 56 graduates to not leave anyone behind.
Tofilau referring to the rejected stones in Reverend Tonu’s word as the children of Samoa who have had difficulties in school.
“We must ensure that we take these rejected stones and uses them as the cornerstones to the foundation of a brighter future for Samoa,” he said.
It was no different when the Manager for the Samoa in country Training Programme for the Oloamanu Center, Sooalo Sydney Fa’asau took the podium.
“We need to stop thinking that trades courses are not as good as those taken in foundation and higher education. We need to stop thinking that those who study commerce, arts and business are better off than those who work in trades,” he said.
“That is far from the truth,” he said.
So’oalo says TVET courses go further than most other disciplines because of how quickly they help the individual climb the ladder of employment and success.
“We have children who may not be good school, but have natural talent in trades and handicrafts. They must never be thrown out as rejected stones, because they can succeed in their own talent,” he added.
So’oalo erased the belief that TVET are not as good or prestigious as higher education, and emphasized that the University and Oloamanu together hope to bring the spotlight on that very issue.
Amongst the 56 graduates, 37 of which received their Certificate of Attainment under the Cetificate of Adult Teaching series or C.A.T.
This batch are graduates of only a part of the training programme namely, C.A.T. 101 and C.A.T. 102.
The first two of a nine series course.
The other 17 were graduates of the Design Facilitation and Assessment (D.F.A) series under the Oloamanu Centre as well.