11 Nov 2008

American Samoan governor vetoes bill on Samoan language

1:12 pm on 11 November 2008

The American Samoan Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has vetoed a bill which would have made both Samoan and English the languages of instruction in local schools.

The governor says imposing such a requirement would not be conducive to learning.

Togiola says while he's a strong proponent of the preservation and teaching of the Samoan language, he's of the opinion that the bill will be an obstacle to learning rather than an aid.

He says passage of the bill would mean that teachers would have to put in twice as much time to teach a class because they would have to prepare in Samoan everything that was taught in English.

The governor has also pointed out that existing textbooks and material used in schools would have to be translated into Samoan to comply with the proposed law.