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Gov reminds directors that Adopt a School program kicks off Aug. 1st

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Besides discussing briefly the ASG Adopt a School program during this past Sunday’s COVID-19 task force meeting, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has sent out a memo to cabinet members reminding directors that the program kicks off Aug. 1st before the new school year 2020- 2021 opens.

In the memo the governor reminded cabinet members that the new school year will begin soon, hence, “we must begin work in the schools” starting Aug. 1st “to make sure the required maintenance and rehabilitation for your adopted schools are addressed.”

“We only have a narrow window to apply the required maintenance before schools reconvene,” the governor pointed out. “We ask that you take every step necessary to make certain that the schools have a safe and healthy environment.”

The governor acknowledged that while “we are all preoccupied” with the COVID-19 declaration, and the “demands relating to discharging mandated duties and responsibilities, we must not neglect the fact that the future of our Territory depends on the education of our children.”

“Any investment we make to improve our children’s education performance is an investment worth making,” he said. “It behooves us, therefore, to do everything that we could possibly do to achieve our collective vision.”

ASG agencies through their budgets have funding for the program, and the governor expressed appreciation to cabinet members for their contribution “to the success of this necessary commitment to our schools.”

“We have made significant improvements to our educational infrastructure and technology since we took office in 2013 and it is important that our investments are safeguarded for future generations,” the governor said.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic “has prompted additional investments as adjustments are being made to traditional learning environment.”

Therefore, he said it’s “imperative that we all work together to assist the Department of Education to ensure a smooth start to the school year.”

At Sunday’s government COVID-19 task force meeting, the governor stressed the importance of not only preparation for schools for the new school year, with social distancing and wearing masks, he also called for support from cabinet members to the American Samoa Community College, which will also be facing similar challenges when their Fall Semester begins.

When schools open next month, it will be the first time students are back in the classroom, since late March when the governor issued the first coronavirus declaration closing schools including ASCC as students adapted to new distance learning via the internet and other means of communication.