5 Feb 2003

Samoa Catholic church concerned about teacher shortage

11:37 am on 5 February 2003

The director of Catholic schools in Samoa has expressed concern about a lack of teachers in the church schools which have played a key role in educating the country's leaders.

Christopher Hazelman says while many teachers are approaching retirement age others have quit the profession because of poor pay.

This comes as exam pass rates have been declining for five years, with standards dropping in basic skills such as reading and writing.

Mr Hazelman says the archbishop, Alapati Mataeliga, has made education a priority which means the church will look at new sources of income.

This coincides with a recruitment drive by the education department to bolster teacher numbers in all schools.