Iaulualo pushes to include aquatic programs in DOE curriculum
The head of the American Samoa Aquatics Agency (ASAA) Zero Iaulualo, who has been an advocate for many years in the territory for ocean conservation and preservation, will be making a presentation to the Department of Education during the teacher’s orientation for grades 6-8 on Aug 6 and grades 3-5 on Aug 7, with the hopes of getting an aquatics program implemented into the DOE curriculum.
His aim, he says, is not only to teach ocean conservation and ocean preservation, but it is for the safety of the children that constantly frequent the waters surrounding our island, especially during the holidays and summertime, when school is out.
Two years ago, it was put into Samoana High School as a pilot program since Samoana had the easiest access for the training required for the class. The class not only taught about ocean science, preservation and conservation, it also taught the students how to swim, stay safe in the open ocean, water rescue techniques and water survival.
Iaulualo was in the waters this week at Utulei Beach shooting video clips for his presentation on the 6th and 7th.
“We're making video clips to show it is worthwhile to have an aquatic program to cover all of the things that have to do with aquatics such as water safety, swimming and ocean preservation,” said Iaulualo. “We need this program not only within all of the schools, but in our community as well. When we had it over at Samoana High School, we had a lot of positive feedback from the students as well as from some of the parents,” he said.
“This will be the only program that I know of within the schools that teaches lifesaving skills. The kids that were part of the program for the two years at Samoana seemed to love the program. Some of them did not know how to swim at all, but because of the program, they learned how to swim, and that gave them more confidence in themselves,” he said.
Iaulualo is also in training at this time to make a 43 mile swim from Tutuila to Apia, Samoa either in June or July of 2014, depending on certain factors at that time. The swim will be done for the same reasons— to promote an aquatics program here in the territory.