23 Aug 2006

American Samoa school starting age lowered to five

9:55 am on 23 August 2006

American Samoa's House of Representatives has passed an Administration bill which sets the age for compulsory education at five.

Present law sets the age for mandatory schooling at six.

Manu'a Representative Mapu Puaopea Paopao reminded his colleagues of the importance of the bill and urged that it be passed immediately because schools had already started,. and time was of the essence.

The bill was approved by unanimous vote.

House Speaker Matagi Ray McMoore expressed his support for the bill and said that the present law which sets the age for children to begin elementary education at 6 was the reason why local students graduated at an older age than they should have.

Director of Education Malaetele Dr. Lui Tuitele said that even though the age for compulsory education was 6, many children were enrolled in public and private schools at 5.