20 May 2013

Call for children to be taught in both Samoan and English

6:39 am on 20 May 2013

The American Samoa Department of Education says the best way to improve the performance of students is teaching in both Samoan and English languages.

The Education director Dr Salu Hunkin-Finau told a cabinet meeting this week that between 70 and 80 percent of high school graduates are performing below basic standards of education.

Dr Salu Hunkin-Finau believes that one way to improve student performance is for teachers to instruct pupils in both English and Samoan from early childhood education to elementary level.

"I believe that the instructional language, the language which we use to teach the children, especially in the early childhood and early elementary school grade age need to be revisited. And I say this with a passion because I believe we're teaching our children in a language they do not understand."

Dr Salu Hunkin-Finau says she hopes the Fono will amend the local law to allow teachers to use both English and Samoan for instruction.