Samoa Beat

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The Honorable Prime Minister, Tuila’epa Sailele Malieleagaoi has officially opened the forum of  Dialogue on Science and Science Policy in the Pacific Region. 

 

“It is an honor for Samoa to host the regional dialogue on Science and Science Policy advice. As well as the implementation of the sustainable development goals, through the regional office of UNESCO, partnered institutions and academia” he expressed. 

 

The two-day forum aims to produce dialogue around the needs and options for bridging the gaps between science, technology and innovation (ST&I) systems and policy-makers in the Pacific SIDS, with a particular focus on the framework of the SDG’s and the UNESCO’s SIDS Action Plan. 

 

Tuila’epa says the workshop is a timely exercise for Samoa, given the fact that Samoa is struggling to connect the gap between Science, Technology, Innovation and Public Policy.

 

“We lack the basics of having adequate personnel to teach science and mathematics in our schools,” he said.

 

This forum is a regional first for small islands development. It’s outcome will be shared with organizers and sponsors who will provide this forum with policy makers, practitioners, and national academics. 

 

“The significant impact of climate change on small islands in the Pacific, can only be understood and addressed through science policy making. Science, technology, and innovation are effective tools to build our cities through natural disasters and risks,” he added.

 

“It is a fact that is a must for all small islands, Samoa included, to consolidate science technology, innovation policy, and science advice, if we are to achieve sustainable development,” Tuila’epa says. 

 

“I wish you all a successful dialogue through this, and looking toward your outcome of the meeting. i know declare this science and science policy dialogue forum open” Tuila’epa declared. 

 

The conference ends tomorrow.

Former Member of Parliament from the Tautua Samoa party, Afualo Dr. Wood Salele says the taxation of Pastors is unnecessary and parliament should not go through with it.

 He believes that the pastors are chosen servant of God, and that Pastors incomes are not considered salaries but instead are called gifts.

Afualo Dr. Wood Salele, a longstanding servant of the Methodist Church of Samoa had an academic presentation about the taxation of Faifeau or pastors whether it is necessary or not.

Read more: Former opposition party member slams government over taxation of pastors

The Office of the Electoral Commissioner is starting early on registering students that will turn 21 by election 2021.

The office of the Commissioner spent three days at the National University of Samoa to register the soon to be 21 in preparation for the 2021 General Election.

This is part of efforts to register all persons eligible to vote for the 2021 General Elections.

The outreach was an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of exercising their rights to vote.

and register voters over 21 who should vote in the next election.

This is the second year that the Office of the Electoral Commissioner implemented this programme to register voters who will be turning 21 by election 2021 but it is the first time they have entered the gates of the National University of Samoa.

Principal of registration for the office of the electoral commissioner Tiá Ituautagata said the outreach programme to schools, is part of the efforts to minimise the problem of overcrowding closer to the deadline of registration.

"Registration has been quite slow, students are not keen to register. However we are hoping that after the three days that will change", said Ituautagata.

She said not many students were aware of the outreach programme, and perhaps this is the reason for the slow response.

Jay Mikaele a student from the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship said this program is very helpful for students of N.U.S because this is the easiest way for registering and prepare for the next election.

He also said this is the contribution of the youth for our government election.

In order to register Voters need to have their passport and birth certificate handy.

Office of the Electoral Commissioner will continue with their outreach programme where they will visit other educational institution such as the University of the South Pacific at Alafua.

The electoral commissioner for Samoa, says constituency boundaries is one of the key reasons behind the struggle of the electoral system come election time.

 “The current status of our electoral boundaries have contributed to some of the issues we have in our electoral system and process,” says Faimalomatumua Matthew Lemisio.

 The four day conference held at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel is to explore issues and challenges the electoral system continuously faces every election but also to raise awareness and possible changes for its development.

 

Read more: Constituency Allocation a big problem for elections

Former Member of Parliament Afualo Dr. Wood Salele, is calling on the London Missionaries church (LMS) to offer an apology for the spread of the deadly influenza epidemic 1918, which killed at least 20% of Samoa's population.

A Senior lecturer for Archeology and Cultural Heritage at the Centre for Samoan Studies proposed that one of the reasons for the widespread of the influenza may have been when L.M.S representatives who were infected were out visiting and collecting donations, and inadvertently spreading the disease in the process.

Dr. Brian Alofaituli says that the missionaries that went out to collect the contribution from church members may have been already with the disease which explains it’s widespread.

Among the close to 8000 people who died in the early days of the outbreak, were 29 Reverend Elders.

Within seven days, more than 8000 people died, equivalent to a fifth of the population of Samoa at the time.

Afualo Dr. Wood Salele says church should at least offer an apology to take responsibility for the widespread of the disease.

Dr. Salele said that there are no written records which document the Church even apologizing about their role in the spread of the disease.

“So in this matter it is in their best interest to offer an apology”, says Dr Afualo.

Dr Brian Alofaituli thinks otherwise.

“The epidemic Influenza happened ages ago and I don’t think they should apologize because it’s been a long time,” says Dr Brian

Dr. Brian Alofaituli graduated in Pacific history from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

He is amongst the many academics, researchers and educationalists who are presenting at the 4th Samoa conference on the theme our heritage, our future; Fostering sustainable development through leadership innovation and collaboration.

The conference concludes on the 6th of September 2018.

*Vaelei is a first year Media and Journalism student at the National University of Samoa.

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