Samoa school probe stopped

n investigation by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) into the conduct of a teacher at Samoa College accused of smacking students has been stopped.The Assistant CEO of Corporate Services at MESC, Polata’ivao Manutagi Tiotio yesterday told the Samoa Observer that the matter has been resolved behind closed doors by the parties involved.As a result, the investigation, which was launched following a complaint from a parent, has been discontinued.“The teacher, the student and the parent involved have discussed the matter and have agreed to move forward,” Polata’ivao said.As far as the Ministry of Education is concerned, that’s the end of the matter.The parent in question is the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Service Commission (P.S.C), Fuimapoao Beth Onesemo-Tuilaepa.Asked for a comment, Fuimapoao confirmed that she had written to the Ministry of Education to express her concerns about the teacher after her daughter - who attends the school - told her about the teacher’s behaviour.Fuimapoao said her letter to the Ministry of Education – in which she urged them to investigate - was not written in her capacity as CEO of PSC but rather as a concerned parent.The Ministry of Education then initiated an investigation as a result of the letter.The Ministry’s decision, however, attracted criticisms from some parents who said the investigation was only carried out because the parent was a prominent Government official.“What about other complaints about similar cases in other schools?” a parent who declined to have his named published said.Asked about this, Polata’ivao denied that the case in question was treated differently. She said every complaint lodged with the Ministry of Education is “dealt with and responded to.”

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