Samoa to mobilize more resources for education systems following COVID-19

He added that there will be emphasis on measures to support the learning continuity of the most marginalized.

Tuilaepa made the remarks at the UNESCO-backed Global Education Coalition Event, which is a platform for collaboration and exchange to protect the right to education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the Government approved 18 million Tala as special assistance to support education, including early childhood education and 10 million tala for teachers.

Samoa extends State of Emergency to 26 October

Samoa was the first Pacific nation to respond to the global pandemic by closing its borders in March.

The nation’s current state of emergency orders still have international borders closed, with restrictions to opening hours for business including 7pm closure of shops and 10pm closure of bars and restaurants.

Sunday trading is prohibited with certain exceptions such as 3pm-7pm opening for shops and pharmacies.

Shipping lines and cargo vessels continue to bring in supplies and imported goods, under strict quarantine measures.

Samoa remains coronavirus-free.

Land and Titles Court opponents “not Samoan”: PM Tuilaepa

 It is Tuilaepa’s strongest attack yet on opponents of the three bills, which are currently before Parliament at their second reading stage of the parliamentary process. 

 Together, they would create an autonomous Land and Titles Court (LTC) and have caused dissension within the ruling Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP). 

 The former Deputy Prime, Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, tendered her resignation after she described the bills as having “too many gaps, and many uncertainties which may cause some conflicts."

Samoan medical expert calls for ban on advertising of high sugar products

Manufalealili Dr Viali Lameko wrote in the latest edition of the Journal of Samoan Studies, saying the move, along with the promotion of more sports in villages, could help address high levels of obesity.

The Samoa Observer reported a 2018 survey of the national education curriculum found the health and sports subjects lacking across most rural secondary schools.

Manufalealili said with people in power noticeably obese, work needed to be done to discourage any notion that obesity was positively linked to influence and success.

Samoa Elected to the United Nations Statistical Commission

Samoa and Japan obtained the majority of votes required to be elected to fill the vacant seats of the Asia Pacific Group.

They join Colombia, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as new Members of the Statistical Commission for a term of four years starting from 1 January 2021 to 2024.

The election is a major achievement for Samoa as this is the first time Samoa has been elected to the Statistical Commission.

Political row erupts over Samoan school WIFI project

The project involves a private communication company working with a new political party chaired by former cabinet minister and speaker, La'auli Leuatea Polata'ivao Schmidt.

Launched in Savai'i with a future roll-out planned across the country, aimed to provide free internet connection for students to aid their education.

But the Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, claimed the project was being implemented illegally and without proper process.

La'auli's Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi denied the accusations.

Chinese Embassy Responds to ‘Absurd Accusations’

The site referred to is the China-Samoa Friendship Park, funded by Huizhou Municipal People’s Government of Guangdong Province. The same province are also funding Samoa’s Cultural and Arts Centre at Malifa.

According to the Chinese Embassy press release, “The article’s source, Epoch Times, is a newspaper… flooded with fake news and one-sided stories out of context, with ill intentions of attacking the Chinese government, undermining the “Belt and Road Initiative,” and provoking the friendship between China and the other countries including Samoa”.

Former Samoa deputy PM dismisses "false reports" criticism

 It was her speaking out against three bills, which would, together, create an autonomous Land and Titles Court (LTC) that led to Fiame’s resignation earlier this month. 

 “Mata’afa had the opportunity to raise her concern in Cabinet over these measures, but she didn’t,” the Prime Minister said 

 During a Parliamentary committee consultation on the bills at her constituency of Lotofaga, Mata’afa described the bills as having too many “gaps” and called for them to be rewritten. 

Samoa resumes repatriation flights from New Zealand

TV1 Samoa reports most of the arrivals were returning seasonal workers who have completed their contracts in Aotearoa.

Also on board were Samoans who have been stranded in New Zealand since March when the country closed its borders.

All arriving passengers will be tested for Covid-19 and undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.

Repatriation flights to Samoa were suspended last month after New Zealand was hit with a second wave of the virus.

United States donates Personal Protection Equipment to Samoa

Ambassador Scott Brown, U.S. Ambassador to the Independent State of Samoa says he was honored to have the opportunity to assist with packing out the shipment.

“The PPE we’re sending includes nearly 100,000 pairs of gloves, tens of thousands of masks, hundreds of surgical gowns, and huge volumes of hand sanitizer,” says Ambassador Brown. “These supplies will help protect healthcare workers should they be called upon to put their lives at risk to treat COVID patients.”

The shipment comes in response to a request from the Government of Samoa.