15 Mar 2013

Teachers with degrees in American Samoa in line for possible pay rise

8:48 am on 15 March 2013

The Department of Education in American Samoa is proposing a reclassification of teacher salaries that will give teachers with Bachelor degrees a nine thousand dollar pay rise.

Currently, teachers with a BA degree and certification earn a starter salary of 16,000 US dollars a year while teachers with the same qualifications in the US earn 30,000.

At a hearing in the legislature, the Department's director, Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin Finau, said the DOE is working on a proposal that will see entry salaries rise to at least 25,000 dollars.

Vaitinasa says the majority of teachers graduate from US universities and their qualifications are exactly the same as those of teachers on the mainland.

But she says American Samoan teachers face more challenges.

"95.7% of students enrolled in the public schools are Samoan. So the challenges are much more difficult for our teachers here to teach math and science in a language that children do not understand."