10 Sep 2007

American Samoa struggling with a teacher shortage

7:33 pm on 10 September 2007

American Samoa's Director of Education Dr. Claire Poumele says four weeks into the new school year her department is still short of teachers.

She told a Senate hearing that the Elementary Division is short of 14 teachers.

And Dr Poumele says it could be even worse next year.

She says the Department usually relies on graduates from the two

year American Samoa Community College but she expects that most students will opt to continue their studies now that the college is starting a four year degree programme for teachers.

A member of the Scholarship Committee Luisa Sunia told the same hearing that very few returning scholarship students want to become teachers.

More than 15,000 students are enrolled in the public school system from kindergarten to high school.