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PART II ANALYTICAL SECTIONS

6. Progress towards goals and targets

Analysis of progress being made is based on the goals specified under the various areas of EFA in Part 1 of this report.

Through its commitments to international conventions and declarations, in particular those outlined below, GOS has also recognized the following national goals in relation to education.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Samoa ratified the CRC on the 29 of November 1994 thereby, making a commitment to the child’s right to education. Article 28 of CRC establishes that right. Education is recognised to be essential for all children. The article stresses the "right must be achieved on the basis of equal opportunity". This in summary includes:

Making primary education compulsory and available free to all;

Promoting the different forms of secondary education and vocational education;

Making higher education accessible to all;

Making educational and vocational information readily available; and

Taking measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and reducing dropout rates.

6.1 Early Childhood Care and Development

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has made assistance available in 1998 through the Augmenting Institutions for General Attainment (AIGA) project for a significant improvement in the organisation and content of early-childhood education.

This program is progressing well. So far,

National Seminar conducted – consultation with all stakeholders.

a National Early-childhood Education Council and an Executive Committee have been established.

a draft constitution has been completed and distributed to NCECE for feedback.

a draft guidelines for establishment and registration of ECE centres completed.

a draft curriculum framework for ECE completed

3-day training workshop for 120 ECE teachers conducted in May 1999 (jointly with BELS 111 project).

an early- childhood education subject organiser has been appointed and is now with the Curriculum Development Unit of the Department.

ECE Teacher Training Programs conducted by USP and non-government ECE organisations.

FOE has designed a program for ECE.

More than 3 pre-schools are established every year as the community realises the importance of early preparation for formal learning especially for students from families that do not have the resources (books, toys etc) to promote school learning. The total number of pre-schools now is 117, an increase of about 10 since 1998. This realisation of the value of ECE was partly prompted by the government’s increasing efforts in providing not only financial assistance but also materials to pre-schools every year. The amount of this assistance given to each pre-school is dependent on the number of students enrolled in each school.

INDICATOR ONE: Gross Enrolment in Early Childhood Development Programs

To determine the capacity for ECE in the country, this indicator looks at gross enrolment ratio. Table 1 is the gross enrolment in early childhood development programs for the last two years.

Table 1: Gross Enrolment in Early Childhood Education (1998-1999)

Year

Projected Population (3-5)

Male Female Total

Number in Pre-school

Male Female Total

Percentage

Tot. Enrolment

1998

6791

6650

13441

1775

2155

3930

29.23

1999

6738

6579

13317

2711

2399

5110

38.37

Source: Planning and Research Unit, Department of Education, 1999

The substantial increase in the number of pre-schoolers from 1998 to 1999 clearly reflects the realisation by the community of the importance of early childhood education. It also reflects the fact that more students now have access to ECE and parents taking advantage of this access.

Please refer to Annex 1 for enrolment by age.

INDICATOR TWO: Percentage of new entrants to primary Grade 1

Since the EMIS database currently used by the Department of Education does not contain information on early childhood education, a survey was conducted in July this year (1999) to find out the percentage of the 1999 Year 1 population that attended some form of organised early childhood development program in 1998. Due to time constraints, the survey was conducted on government schools only. Refer to Table 2 below for the statistics.

Table 2: New Entrants to Year 1 who attended pre-school

Year

Total Y1 enrolment

No. attended P/school

%

1999

5250

937

17.8

Source: Planning and Research Unit, Department of Education, 1999

The figures in Table 2 show the proportion of the current Year 1 population in government schools that received preparation for primary education. The figures however, do not mean much since the statistics from the previous years are not available for any meaningful comparison to determine a trend. Nevertheless, since more pre-schools have been established and enrolment figures have increased since 1998, it is an indication that the community has placed a lot of value on early childhood development.

6.2 Primary Education

Equity, Quality, Relevancy and Efficiency

The current policy under the Education Amendment Act 1991-1992 is that education is compulsory from Year 1 to Year 8. The village councils and school committees have been approached to enforce this policy in their villages.

INDICATOR THREE: Apparent (Gross) Intake Rate

This indicator reflects the general level of access to primary education as well as the capacity of the education system to provide access to Year 1 for the official school entry age. Table 3 consists of enrolment figures as a percentage of the projected population of official entry age.

Table 3: New Entrants in primary Year 1 regardless of age as a percentage of the population of official entry age (1994-1999)

 

Population of Official Entry Age

Year 1Enrolment

Percentage

Year

Male

Female

Total

Male

Fem

Total

Male

Fem

Total

1994

2302

2189

4491

2653

2401

5054

115.2

109.7

112.5

1995

2306

2245

4551

2605

2450

5055

113

109.1

111.1

1996

2293

2267

4560

2588

2373

4961

112.9

104.7

108.8

1997

2275

2254

4529

2742

2539

5281

120.5

112.6

116.6

1998

2250

2229

4479

2821

2538

5359

125.4

113.9

119.6

1999

2227

2204

4431

2774

2516

5290

124.6

114.2

119.4

Source: Department of Education, and Statistics Department, 1999

The total enrolment figures for Year 1 cohorts from 1994-1999 are well above the projected population for the official entry age. Regardless of age, total enrolment for Year 1 in the last six years fluctuated and enrolment has slightly reduced in 1999 compared to 1998. This decrease is a result of various factors for instance migration overseas. Another possible explanation for this decline could be the realisation by the community of the importance of adhering to the official entrance age. Overall, Table 3 reveals a high level of access to primary education.

Attached as Annexes 1 and 2 are the Year 1 populations (1994 & 1999) by age. It shows that about 1,479 students in 1994 and 1,431 in 1999 entered Year 1 above the official entrance age, a decrease of about 48 students.

INDICATOR FOUR: Net Intake Rate

Net intake rate portrays a more accurate measurement of access to primary education of those in the official entrance age. Table 4 consists information on the percentage of new entrants to primary Year 1 who are of official primary entrance age.

Table 4: New entrants to primary Year 1 who are of official primary school entrance age as a percentage of the corresponding population (1994-1999)

 

Projected Pop of Official Entry Age

Y1Enrolment – official age

Percentage

Year

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Fem

Total

1994

2302

2189

4491

1809

1770

3579

78.6

80.9

79.7

1995

2306

2245

4551

2036

1991

4027

88.1

88.7

88.5

1996

2293

2267

4560

2024

1899

3923

88.3

83.8

86.0

1997

2275

2254

4529

2031

1908

3939

89.3

84.6

87.0

1998

2250

2229

4479

1968

1828

3796

87.5

82.0

84.8

1999

2227

2204

4431

1991

1880

3871

89.4

85.3

87.4

Source: Department of Education and Statistics Department, 1999

It is evident from the above table that there was a significant increase in enrolment in 1995. This could be partly a result of a birth bulge as well as the fact that Samoa has a shifting population. It shows that there was a notable increase since 1998 of new entrants to Year 1 despite a decrease of about 48 children age 5 in the projected population. This is a positive indication of the progress towards achieving universal and compulsory education in the primary level.

The population figures are projections provided by the Statistics Department based on the 1991 population census count. The next census count is scheduled for the Year 2001.

INDICATOR 5: Gross Enrolment Ratio

Table 5: Total enrolment in primary education as a percentage of the official primary school age population (1994-1999)

Year

Projected Population (5-13)

Primary education enrolment

Percentage

 

Male

Fem

Total

Male Fem Total

Male

Fem

Total

1994

19608

17711

37319

18621 17065 35686

94.9

96.4

95.6

1995

19589

17944

37533

18665 17035 35700

95.3

94.7

95.1

1996

19575

18260

37835

18546 16702 35248

94.7

91.5

93.2

1997

19534

18411

37945

18537 17019 35556

94.8

92.4

93.7

1998

19498

18597

38095

18624 17240 35864

95.5

92.7

94.1

1999

19440

18766

38206

18516 17233 35749

95.2

91.8

93.6

Source: Department of Education and Statistics Department, 1999

Figures in Table 5 indicate a high participation rate, which reflects a high level of access as well as the level of community’s commitment to compulsory education.

INDICATOR 6: NET ENROLMENT RATIO

Table 6 below shows the extent of participation in primary education of children of the official primary school age.

Table 6: Net Enrolment Ratio in primary education (1994-1999)

Year

Projected Population (5-13)

Primary education enrolment

Percentage

 

Male

Fem

Total

Male Fem Total

Male

Fem

Total

1994

19608

17711

37319

- - 35383

-

-

94.8

1995

19589

17944

37533

18484 16908 35392

94.4

94.2

94.3

1996

19575

18260

37835

18381 16614 34995

93.9

91.1

92.5

1997

19534

18411

37945

18340 16912 35252

93.9

91.9

92.9

1998

19498

18597

38095

18432 17129 35561

94.5

92.1

93.3

1999

19440

18766

38206

18264 17066 35330

94.0

91.0

92.5

Source: Planning and Research Unit, Department of Education, 1999

There is only a slight difference between gross and net enrolment ratios. This shows that very few students are over the official primary education age. Those who are over the official age are mainly students in Year 8 who did not secure a place in the top colleges and therefore wish to try again the following year.

Despite the fact that Samoa has had above 90 % net enrolment for the last 9 years, the less than 10 percent unaccounted for is still an important issue to be considered. An interesting feature evident from the 1999 unenrolled population (2,876) is represented in the graph below.

Graph 1: Primary Education: Percentage of unenrolled school age population by gender, 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

While there are suppose to be more females in the age group 5-13 as shown in Table 5, there are more males enrolled in primary education and more females unenrolled in 1999. Gender parity is one issue that is of significance in primary education enrolment. This also should be researched to determine why this is the case.

Special Needs Education

Under the AIGA project currently being implemented, special needs education is being addressed to cater for education’s equity goal.

The project is currently making good progress and so far;

a Special Education Council has been established whose members include representatives from all the special needs education providers and the Department of Education.

a lecturer from the National University of Samoa is currently studying

in New Zealand for special needs education

Donor agencies’ continuous support has assisted the development of the education system. Under the various developments detailed below, this much needed contribution is acknowledged.

Curriculum development

(i) Early Literacy Development Project (Year 1 – Year 3)

This program started in May 1996 and was completed in 1997. It was fully funded by the Canadian Government. The main aim of this project was to upgrade language and reading skills of all primary school children by producing good quality infants’ curriculum materials. All primary schools (government and non-government) were supplied with resource materials – 5x20 readers (Samoan) and posters. Monitoring visits by DOE have witnessed an improvement in reading and language skills of students in these levels. A further development in materials production will be funded by AusAid beginning very soon.

(ii)  Primary Education Materials Project (Year 4 – Year 8)

This program is implemented under AusAid funding which started in July 1996 and ending July 2000. It aims at producing quality curriculum materials and associated broadcasts in the areas of Social Science, Science, Mathematics, English and Samoan.

Student booklets for Years 8, 7 and 6 in each of Science, Social Science, Maths and English have been produced, printed and distributed

Year 5 booklets for Science, Social Science, Maths and English have been produced and printed

Year 4 booklets for Science, Maths, Social Science and English are being written

Year 7 and Year 8 booklets for Samoan are out in schools

Year 6 booklets have been printed

Year 5 books are being written

Sets of English and Samoan readers for all levels have been procured

a Samoan Grammar Book has been produced and launched this year

in-service training for teachers to introduce the new materials is continuing for all levels

the Educational Broadcasting Unit has been relocated and is now under the Curriculum Development Unit

each primary school has been supplied with a kit of basic science equipment

(III)   Basic Education and Life Skills Program (BELS)

This regional multi laterally funded program started in 1993. Phase 1 was managed by UNESCO Apia and was completed in 1995. Phase 2 and Phase 3 are managed by the Institute of Education/University of the South Pacific (IOE/USP), Fiji.

The BELS program aims to strengthen quality of primary education, literacy and management of education systems. The program has 4 modules;

Module A – Primary and Literacy education (PALE)

This includes classroom skills, literacy education, community support, primary teacher in service training and education publishing

Module B – Education Systems Planning

This includes EMIS and Assessment Data for Educational Management

Module C – Curriculum Innovations for Life Skills (CILS). This involved curriculum writing in Agricultural Science

Module D - Program Implementation and Appraisal

The project is currently implementing Phase 3 called Basic Education and Literacy Support which has 3 components:

Teaching and Learning

Community Support, and Literacy Education

Under this program, literacy tests (SPELL) are currently being conducted at Year 4 and Year 6 to determine and monitor the level of literacy and numeracy in these levels. These tests are developed under government funding. In 1994 and 1995, only 50 primary schools from both government and mission schools sat the tests. In 1996, all Year 4 students in the country sat SPELL 1 and all Year 6 students sat SPELL 2. New batteries to be used alternatively with the original batteries were developed in 1998.

Assistance from UNDP under the ‘AIGA’ (Augmenting Institutions for General Attainment) project for the Department of Education is towards strengthening the BELS program by way of identifying diagnostic methods and intervention strategies for children who are failing or underachieving in literacy and numeracy.

(iv) Study of the use of Samoan as a medium of instruction

This is also another component of UNDP funded AIGA project which is co-ordinated by UNESCO office in Apia. The objective of this program is to contribute to the overall improvement in primary education literacy and numeracy skills through a study of the use of Samoan as a medium of instruction at the primary level and the preparation of policy recommendations and implementation strategies on bilingual literacy methodologies. This program is well on target and is now into data compilation and analysis stage. The research report is expected to be completed in December of 1999.

(v) Associated Schools Project (ASP)

This is a UNESCO project which is a network of schools throughout the world committed to the ideals of the organisation. Its four main themes are:

World concerns and the United Nations system

Human rights and democracy

Inter-cultural learning

Environmental issues

To date, thirty four primary, ten secondary, one pre-school and one special education school are involved in this program.

ASP assists by providing schools with:

Opportunities to participate in national and international activities and projects

Regular newsletters

A calendar of international days

Background materials for special activities

Copies of selected UNESCO and ASP publication

(vi)National Health Promoting Schools

This program aims at consolidating partnerships between the Health Sector and other government departments, NGOs and communities with the ultimate aim of improving the health of the school population. The Education and Health sectors are the principal executing agencies.

This project started in 1997 and to date is making good progress. Activities such as U17 and U19 smoke-free school boys’ rugby tournament, the annual smoke-free girls’ netball tournament, and best and healthiest foods and clean and hygienic environment competitions. It is also through this project that First Aid Kits were distributed to the schools.

(vii) Distance Education and Teacher Support Project

This is funded by NZODA and started in 1999. This program is looking at ways to strengthen the role of the Educational Broadcasting Unit in distance education.



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