Education in Samoa

Joined Commonwealth: 1970

Population: 179,000 (2009)

GDP p.c. growth: 3.1% p.a. 1990-2009

Net primary enrolment: 99.2% (2009)

Net secondary enrolment: 70.6% (2009)

Adult literacy: 98.8% (2009)

Public spending on education was 5.7% of GDP in 2007. There are ten years of compulsory education starting at age five. As well as state schools, there are several mission schools. Net enrolment ratios are 99.2% for primary and 70.6% for secondary (2009) with a primary female-male ratio of 0.98:1 and secondary ratio of 1.13:1 (2009). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 32:1 and for secondary 21:1 (2009). The school year starts in February.

The principal tertiary institution within the country is the National University of Samoa, which was established in 1984. Samoa was one of the founders of the regional University of the South Pacific, which has its main campus in Suva, Fiji Islands, and the Alafua Campus in Apia, Samoa, where the university’s School of Agriculture and Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture are located. There is virtually no illiteracy among people aged 15-24.

The government’s key long-term objectives for education are to expand early childhood education, to develop a new primary school curriculum and to strengthen the teaching of vocational subjects in order to broaden the range of options for employment and further studies.