Nu’uuli VocTech students spend Thanksgiving learning about Samoa government


Twelve ambitious government students from Nu'uuli Vocational Technical High School participated in a 3-day educational field trip to neighboring Samoa during this past Thanksgiving Holiday break.
The students, all seniors, visited the Samoa Tourism Authority, Samoa Law Reform Commission, Public Service Commission, Samoa Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trades, Ministry of Prime Minister & Cabinet, the Parliament Building and the Supreme Court. 
According to NVTHS Government Teacher and coordinator of the trip, Mrs. Alofagia Young-Alopopo, “The purpose and focus of this trip was to give our students the opportunity to learn, observe and find out the differences and similarities of how government is structured here in American Samoa and in our neighboring island of Samoa”.
Said Mrs. Alopopo, the students commented on learning about Samoa’s “unicameral system of government” as they compared the roles and duties of our local government to that of our neighboring island. The students noted that some duties and roles between the two governments are the same but they are “of different titles”.
One of the students noted that here in American Samoa, we have a governor but in Samoa, their government leader is called a Prime Minister. Another student commented on Samoa’s judicial system, “One branch that caught my attention was the Judiciary Branch, consisting of 32 court rooms and 18 judges, each courtroom with more than two judges to rule over matters, and specified judges that are chosen from New Zealand to sit in their Courts of Appeals”, and yet another student asked, “Can you believe they have two political parties?
The highlight of the tour and learning expedition was meeting Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. The very vocal leader of the Independent State spent time conversing with the students. Tuilaepa encouraged the NVTHS seniors to focus on their education and strive to be successful in life.
Mrs. Alopopo stated that the information the student absorbed on this educational journey was overwhelming and fascinating. As one student commented, "We made a lot of memories on this trip and bonded even further than a classroom could, I hope trips like these continue for future classes for them to learn and enjoy. The trip over to Upolu was phenomenal.”
The trip was spearheaded by Vice Principal Tupa'i Rod Atafua with the help of Mrs. Alopopo and Mr. Jeff Neufeldt. The 11 students that traveled included  Tilisi Misipati, Gordon Masima, Irene Skelton, Siale Kava, Siaki Iosefa, Pulefano Neria, Finau Fuimaono, Patolomeo maugaotega, Leki Tago, Joshua Talaea'i, James Tunu, and Aiga Pati. 
The delegation expressed their gratitude to their parents and also NVTHS principal Saouila Fanene Kava for helping make this educational opportunity a reality.

Nu'uuli Voc-Tech High School seniors pose for a picture with Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi during their field trip to Samoa over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Accompanying the students were NVTHS vice-principal Tupa'i Rod Atafua (sitting, far right), Mrs. Alofagia Young-Alopopo (sitting, far left) and Mr. Jeff Neufeldt (standing, far right). Prime Minister Tuilaepa encouraged the students to focus on their education and to strive to be successful in life. [photo: NVTHS]


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