Prime Minister of Samoa, Honourable Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi delivers his address at the STAP II Launch.
Following a successful first Science Teachers Accelerated Programme (STAP) which ended with the graduation of fifty-one (51) students in November, 2016, Honourable Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa launched the second cycle of STAP on 23 January, 2017 at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Alafua Campus.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed during the launch between the Government of Samoa and USP to build on STAP and develop similar programmes to help address academic needs of teachers and other students in Samoa.
STAP is a new model of delivering science programmes outside the Laucala Campus in cohorts. This programme is specially designed for in-service teachers who have Diploma or Certificate level qualifications. The programme then builds their science background by providing a specific number of courses in a combination of delivery modes including a significant amount of intensive face-to-face teaching.
The success of the first STAP with over eighty-six per cent (86 %) pass rate gave the Government of Samoa confidence to use STAP to upskill and upgrade the qualifications of its own science teachers.
STAP II started at the Alafua Campus soon after the 2016 graduation, and the Government of Samoa is again funding sixty (60) scholarships in this programme.
In launching the programme Honourable Malielegaoi said that good initiatives that develop the country’s human resources should be supported.
Honourable Malielegaoi highlighted that the Pacific Region has many pressing issues which require immediate attention and full commitment, not only from regional governments, education institutes and non-government organisations but also from every citizen of the Pacific and beyond, and said that “we need to invest in our people to take our nation forward.”
“We all, in the public and private sectors need to collectively champion affirmative action in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are heavily hinging on innovative ideas, tools and technologies. These all point in the direction of science and the need to sincerely dedicate and gather our focus in science,” Honourable Malielegaoi said.
STAP II student receives USP Tablet from Samoan Minister of Education, Sports and Culture Honourable Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio.
He also added that the Government of Samoa is doing its best to not only advocate science in Samoa and the region but is also deploying strategies to implement plans and intensify growth in science.
In thanking the Samoan Government for its visionary leadership in building the capacity of its science teachers, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment (FSTE) Dr Anjeela Jokhan said that USP as a capacity building regional institution of higher education always aspires to meet the needs of its member countries in efficient and cost effective ways while maintaining the quality of its programmes.
Dr Jokhan added that in terms of responding to the needs of its member countries, STAP is one of the most innovative modality of full programme delivery in a cost effective and timely manner while maintaining quality and improving high success and completion rate.
STAP was designed by FSTE’s Associate Dean Learning & Teaching Dr Bibhya Sharma and implemented under his leadership.
In his address, Dr Sharma encouraged the students to “be excellent ambassadors of USP and make USP, your families and Samoa proud by your strong, innovative, ethical, and excellent contributions.”
Dr Sharma said that for every student joining STAP, Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP has awarded a tablet to help the students in their studies and garner the best learning experience.
With the success of the STAP model, other member countries have also shown a keen interest in running STAP to improve the capacity of science teachers.
STAP model has been extended to the USP Tonga Campus and is set to start in Semester 1, 2017.
This news item was published on 26 Jan 2017 08:56:36 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email firstname.lastname@example.org