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2019-2020 school year has ended for public schools — including ASCC

Education director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga
ASDOE and ASCC instructed to deliver a plan for the 2020- 2021 terms

Pago Pago, AMERICA SAMOA — Gov. Lolo Matalasi has declared the current school year 2019/2020 officially closed and for local Education Department (ASDOE) and the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) to come up with plan of the delivery of education for students in the new school year.

Both public and private schools as well as ASCC have been conducting educational services online since late March this year, when the first COVID-19 declaration was issued by the governor. And there have been questions from parents about whether public schools will re-open classes for the rest of the current school year which ends next month.

At last Sunday’s ASG coronavirus task force meeting the governor declared that the current school year is now closed and for ASDOE and ASCC to provide plans in two weeks time dealing with delivering education to students in the new school year 2020/2021.

The plans are to be submitted to the newly appointed small-committee for review and input before it’s presented to the task force, he said.

Members of the new committee, are acting Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Taase, task force chairman Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, Health director Motusa Tuileama Nua, LBJ Medical Center chief executive officer Faumuina John Faumuina, the Governor’s authorized representative Fiu J. Saelua, and Dr. Fred Uhrle of the local federal Veterans Affairs Clinic.

ASCC Spring 2020 graduation was held last Friday where the Board of Higher Education for the college held a conferring of degrees and certificate ceremony, which was taped and aired that evening on KVZK-TV.  Also in attendance were senior ASCC faculty and president Dr. Rosevonne M. Pato.

“On behalf of the board, the faculty, the staff and administration of ASCC, we wish all Spring 2020 graduates a very successful future,” Dr. Pato said during the 10-minute ceremony. as the list of the 67 graduates were published in last Friday’s Samoa News edition.

“Although this is not the traditional way of presenting our graduates with their achievements and acknowledging all that they have completed, it is a time to celebrate your completion, and we would like to congratulate and wish you the best of luck,” she said.

ASCC issued a notice on dates and times of when graduates are to pick up their degrees and certificates at the college campus. The earlier winter graduation was carried out the same way due to the measles outbreak emergency declaration.

For public high school graduations, Education director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga announced earlier that graduations “will be virtual”. KVZK-TV will be recording the graduation ceremonies and ASDOE is working with the state-run broadcaster to also stream it on social media.

Graduation schedule for each high school is as follows: Manu'a- June 12; Samoana- June 15; NVTH- June 16; Leone- June 17; Tafuna- June 18 and Fagaitua- June 19.