10 Apr 2007

American Samoan teachers to get incentive programme

3:21 pm on 10 April 2007

A high school teacher in American Samoa says an incentive programme from the Department of Education to improve teacher performance is overdue.

The Department plans to offer cash bonuses to reward teachers for outstanding work, whereby a teacher of the year will receive a 300 US dollar bonus; district teacher of the year 600 dollars and territorial teacher of the year 1,000 dollars plus a step up the salary ladder.

Ben Teo, who teaches at Tafuna High School, says the move is welcome as teachers are currently overloaded with work, underpaid and faced with a lack of resources.

He says a reclassification bill to raise teacher salaries, improve teacher performance and teacher retention will go before Senate.

"I think there's a need for accountability in their work. We are looking at using the system, what we're looking at is reclassification as a means to not only attract quality teachers that's needed in the public school system, but to also retain those quality teachers that's needed in American Samoa."

Ben Teo, a teacher at Tafuna High School in American Samoa