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NUS addresses Science shortages

The training of Science teachers has been identified by the government as a national priority, says the National University of Samoa (NUS) Vice Chancellor Professor Leapai Asofou So’o.Since enrolments of future teacher trainees entering NUS with a science background over the last five years have been dropping alarmingly, NUS is taking steps to halt this downturn.On Wednesday at Le Papa i Galagala campus, new programmes were introduced during a workshop for stakeholders and other members of the education sector as well as businesses and government departments.The programmes are a Bachelor of Science (Secondary teaching), a Foundation Certificate in Agriculture, a Bachelor of Technical Vocational Education and a Masters of Education.They have been introduced for inclusion in 2013 in a bid to encourage students to take up teaching and science.Workshop participants were told that in 2012, of the 295 foundation students enrolled, only five took science. Then from 2008 to 2011, of the 157 graduates only four were science majors.A Foundation Certificate in Education, although not a new course, was part of discussions as the entry requirements have been altered with the inclusion of an English Proficiency test for all applicants.Stakeholders were particularly interested in the English proficiency test; applauding the idea as a must for all who wish to become teachers.