31 Jan 2005

Congressional report finds American Samoa's special education programme lacks specialists

12:18 pm on 31 January 2005

An audited report by the investigative arm of the US Congress says American Samoa government's Special Education Programme lacks licensed or certified professionals.

It says this has hindered efforts to implement the necessary programmes for the disabled in the territory.

The General Accounting Office said in a recent report, that professionals lacked by the programme included speech and occupational therapists, and audiologists.

The office also says the programme lacks psychologists and other professionals, certified or trained in teaching special education.

It found that the Special Education Programme director and staff had limited awareness of the programme's financial position as funds are controlled almost entirely by the territorial government's Department of Education.

US Department of Education officials are expected to visit Pago Pago in April or May, to see if the local programme has complied with hiring professionals.