The first Samoan schools were founded by missionaries (1830s). We have no information at this time on schools during the German (1900-14) and New Zealand (1914-61) period. Independent Samoa has generally followed educatiional trends based on the New Zealand school system. Major improvements were made in the 1990s. The Government made school attendance mandatory for all children from 5 to 14 years of age or until completion of the 8th grade (1994). The public school system administered by the DoE consists of 139 primary schools, 21 junior secondary schools, and 4 senior secondary schools. The Samoan the government instituted a new education plan (1995). There are differences between rural and urban schools. Almost all children attend primary schools. The system generally follows the New Zealand educatiional systemm. Many schildren werar school uniforms.
Samoa is composed of nine South Pacific islands located northeast of New Zealand. The islands are all volcanic in origin. Human settlement is dated to (about 1000 BC). European explorers reported the island (18th century) International rivalries allowed the islands to remain independent during the 19th century. This finally ended after the Spanish-American War when the United states formally annexed Hawaii and acquired Guam and the Philippine Islands. America and Germany agreed in a treaty to divide the Samoan archipelago. The US formally occupied the smaller eastern islands with the excellent harbor of Pago Pago and the Germans occupied the western islands (1900). This thus added Samoa to the expanding German colonial possessions (1900). New Zealand occupied the German-held islands during World War I (1914). New Zealand administered the island for several decades underv first a League of Nations and then a United Nations trusteeship. Samoa like neigboring Fiji was just beyond the reach of Japanese conquest during World War II. The Samoan people in a popular referendum voted for independence (1961). The United Nations General Assembly voted to terminate the trusteeship. Western Samoa became independent (1962). Eastern or American Samoa remains a United states dependency. The capital, Apia and is located on Upolu. The government is a constitutional monarchy, Samoan and English are the two official languages. The overall population is about 180,0006 people were in the country (2000).
The first Samoan schools were founded by missionaries (1830s). We have no information at this time on schools during the German (1900-14) and New Zealand (1914-61) period. Independent Samoa has generally followed educatiional trends based on the New Zealand school system. Major improvements were made in the 1990s. The Government made school attendance mandatory for all children from 5 to 14 years of age or until completion of the 8th grade (1994). The public school system administered by the DoE consists of 139 primary schools, 21 junior secondary schools, and 4 senior secondary schools. The Samoan the government instituted a new education plan (1995). The plan covered childhood education, primary education, secondary education, teacher education, special needs education, department and school management, as well as postsecondary education and training. The adult literacy rate today is very high. Government sources report literacy levels of over 97 percent.
The Department of Education (DoE) locatedin in Malifa administers the public school system. Five religious missions continue to be active. The mission schools are now fully integrated intgo the public school system with a shared syllabus. The children also take the same qualification examonations.
Teachers in the public schools have to hold Samoan teachers' certificates.
Most children receive a basic primary education, but secondary education is selective. The Government estimates that 97 percent of all primary-school-age children attended the basic primary schools. The government secondary schools are structured largely on the basis of New Zealand schools and instruction is in English. About 68 percent of eligible children attend secondary school. The secondary program is a 5 year program and is divided into a 3-year junior secondary program, which is followed by a 2-year senior secondary program. Entry into the senior secondary program is academically selective.
Most Samoan children attend public schools. Five religious missions continue to be active in Samoa. There is also a private school. The Robert Louis Stevenson School in Apia offers both primary and secondary level education.
We see many Samoan school children wearing uniforms. We have little histirical information. We have some informatuion on current schools. We think the children in village primary schools generally wear their own clothes. We are less sure about urban primary schools. Most secondary students wear uniforms. Each schools determines its own uniforms.
Many Samoan school use the traditional lava-lava. At some schools, short pantss in the same color are an option.
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