Attaining a quality education can be very difficult in American Samoa. Often schools are overcrowded and scholastic outcomes are low. High enrollments and understaffing make it challenging for well-intentioned teachers to reach individual students and prepare them for higher education. Conscientious parents turn to private schools, which in most cases are unaffordable for average local families.
Ta’iala Academy strives to offer an excellent education at a reasonable rate to help parents make better use of their available income. As with many educational institutions, especially in the South Pacific region, the school must stretch its limited funds to provide appropriate resources for the dedicated, tireless teachers serving the children. Outside sources such as donation and grants are vital to supplement income at the academy.
Instructors at American Samoa Community College observe that most students entering college are not prepared for the challenges of higher education. Besides offering a strong core curriculum, Ta’iala Academy hopes to give students an advantage in real-life skills like problem solving, creative solutions, and technology use to prepare them for college, careers, and success in life.
The small size of the school necessitates a family focus which improves literacy skills of the low-income families in the community. Teachers encourage parent involvement, including reading to their children, discussing assignments, and volunteering in the classroom. Older students willing to participate in a volunteer tutoring program are given the opportunity to review basic concepts, develop teaching skills, and mentor younger students, all while increasing their own self-esteem.
As Ta'iala Academy works towards its goals, the positive results will manifest themselves in increased self-sufficiency for families and individuals and meaningful employment for graduates and their families.