27 Nov 2014

American Samoa special needs education found wanting

5:20 pm on 27 November 2014

A review has found children with special needs are not being well served in American Samoa.

The director of the Education Department, Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau, says complaints from parents of students with disabilities, prompted her to order a thorough review of the Special Education Division.

The review was conducted in June and July this year by a team of specialists from Hawai'i and they found a lack of competent personnel and a lack of supervision in the division.

Vaitinasa says the territory receives $6.5 million US dollars annually to provide services to children in special education and they need to make sure they are maximising it.

"According to the review team there's a lot of non-compliance, they don't see it on the records, and the interviews that they've got there's a lot of things that we have to do to clean up, so we're now responding to those things."

Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau says low morale and weak leadership were also identified.