Thursday, January 29, 2009

School Tax


Free education does not exist in Samoa. Each student pay a fee which escalates with each grade level. Although the amount seems small by American standards, these fees can be a burden on poor families with many children. Fees, school uniforms, and the pressure of helping out the family at home, the emphasis on learning English or computers at the exclusion of more vocational subjects are some of the many reasons students drop out of school.

School buildings, such as the new primary school being built in my village of Iva, are the responsibility of the school district. When funds are needed, each matai (head of a family) is accessed to supplement what can be obtained from outside donors. Like the U.S. those districts able to raise the money or have leaders interested in education have the best facilities, while the others fall into disrepair. Samoa does not have property or income taxes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think government school is free there, but Catholic schools requires a school fee.