21 Aug 2013

Repair work continues at American Samoa schools

1:21 pm on 21 August 2013

School authorities in American Samoa are set to meet health officials for a detailed update on the schools that have been forced to stay closed due to unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

The start of the new school year has been put back two weeks, after health inspectors found 10 public schools in various states of disrepair, with maintenance not yet completed.

The meeting is expected to be attended by principals, parent teacher associations and department heads, in conjunction with the department of health.

The special assistant to the director of education, Dr Amy Blizzard, says in many cases they are trying to repair years of deferred maintenance work, very quickly.

"The department of education has had a very small budget for maintenance, we have 28 school campuses, out here in the tropics, the environment takes its toll on them very quickly. And it takes a tremendous amount of resources to keep facilities up. We didn't have the authorisation to move money from treasury or to move budgets around, but with the Governors help we can get these type of changes made."

The special assistant to the director of education, Dr Amy Blizzard.