01 August 2012
Gift of education to mark 50 years of friendship
The majority of secondary school students in Samoa will have access to fee-free education under a new programme funded by the Governments of Samoa and New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
“Investing in the future of Samoa’s young people is of utmost importance to both Prime Minister Tuilaepa and me. We have agreed to build on the successful primary school fee grants programme, and make secondary school education more widely accessible to Samoan students,” says Mr Key.
Mr Key is leading a Parliamentary delegation to Samoa to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between the two countries.
“Today’s agreement on secondary school education reaffirms New Zealand’s commitment to our strong relationship with Samoa, as we look forward to another 50 years of friendship and cooperation,” says Mr Key.
“Details on the programme’s design are being finalised, but I can confirm there will be funding of NZD$5 million over five years. These costs will be gradually transitioned to the Samoan Government over this time.
“The new programme means students’ education will not be cut short because of hard-to-meet school fees. It will also give schools the opportunity to invest in more and better learning materials for teachers and students.”
The programme will encompass fee-free education for students in years 9 to 11 at state secondary schools, with equivalent contributions to fees at Mission secondary schools. It builds on Samoa’s primary school fee grants scheme, which is supported by New Zealand and Australia.
While in Samoa, Mr Key will attend a State luncheon at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, where the Treaty of Friendship was signed in 1962. He will also open the new Poutasi Memorial Community Hall, and meet New Zealand Defence Force staff running health clinics in the Poutasi area as part of Exercise Tropic Twilight.
Mr Key returns to New Zealand tomorrow.