China and the village of Sapapali’i Savai’i have begun a relationship that will transcend generations to come.
This follows a visit to the village by China’s Ambassador to Samoa, Wang Xuefeng, where he presented Sapapali’i Primary School with 30 “Guangdong Huizhou Friendship scholarships.”
“This scholarship is funded by the people’s government of Huizhou city in Guangdong Province of China,” said Mr. Wang.
“This year altogether about 120,000 tala will be given to more than 1,000 students from low-income families in 20 primary schools and 10 colleges all over Samoa as well as 20 normal students from N.U.S.
“Today, the 30 students in Sapapali’i Primary School are the first group of recipients of this Friendship Scholarship. Although the amount for each student is not big, we are happy that more families in need are covered so that more students will be able to concentrate on their study.
“I hope you will study hard and find a good job when you grow up so that you can do more for your family, your community and your society.”
The Guangdong Huizhou Friendship Programme honours an M.O.U between Samoa and China signed on 11 November 2015.
The scholarship programme is for three years and is part of the Chinese government’s ongoing assistance in improving education in Samoa.
The programme’s purpose is to assist students with financial challenges to ensure that their financial constraints will not be an obstacle in gaining an education.
“This fund will be distributed in terms of scholarship awards to support students and cover their school fees.
“There are three levels that will be covered, which are the primary level, college level and tertiary level.
1105 students from 20 primary schools and 11 colleges, as well as 20 tertiary students from university will be assisted by this programme.”
Sapapali’i Primary School was built in 2013 and is one of the ten primary schools built by the Chinese government.
Ambassador Wang also donated science kits, reading books, volleyballs and netballs, teacher's teaching supplies and student stationery.
“Over the past 40 years since 1978, China has achieved remarkable economic and social achievements which have caught world attention.
“One important experience that we learn in the course of our development is that education must will given the highest priority.
“Besides the great efforts that we have been making in education for ourselves, China is also helping other developing countries including Samoa in their social and economic development and education is definitely one of the priorities in Chinese foreign aid policy.in addition to building school for Samoa, we also help the capacity building in education sector.
“For example, we send several Chinese language teachers and science teachers to Samoa to help improve the teaching in science and language in schools.we provide opportunities for principals and teachers from Samoan colleges and primary schools to go to China for training programs.
“In June this year, Chinese Embassy sent 11 young students from N.U.S to go to China for a 10-day trip and they visited several big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. We have also set up several computer labs in some colleges for students to practice their computer skills. Generally speaking, this China Guangdong (Huizhou) Scholarship is part of the long-term aid in education from the Chinese government part of the scholarship is for the normal students at N.U.S in the hope that they will become the better future teachers in all schools to teach more children all over Samoa.”