Don Bosco Alafua
By Mr. Mane
Principal Don Bosco Technical School
Apia, Samoa, 8 May 2019 -- Our Salesian presence in Samoa will soon celebrate its 40th anniversary (November 1979 - August 2019) and our Alafua Don Bosco is known as the mother-house of the Salesian Pacific Delegation (Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand, Delegate Fr Petelo Vito Pau) Salesians.
Today, during the animation visit of the East Asia - Oceania Regional Councillor, Fr Klement, we were happy to once again feel a little bit more part of the worldwide Salesian Family, spread across 136 countries, with more than 14,500 Salesians and almost 300,000 lay mission partners trying to live the Don Bosco Way of Education. In our Valdocco-like family size school there are 22 instructors and teachers, two office staff and 5 Salesians (3 Salesians in practical training included).
There are 198 students of Don Bosco Alafua this year (first year 47 only, and in 2019: 74% increase). This increase of students is due to proactive use of social media, joint action and information sessions in Upolu and Savaii islands with government and mission colleges in 2018. We are also glad to share our growing partnership with the SQA (Samoa Qualification Authority) that accredits our five department skill vocation training programs and also offers scholarships and subsidy for the equipment and school upgrade.
Since most of our students come from not very wealthy families, scholarship programs are very important to us (1st year – SQA 40 scholarships, 2nd year – SQA scholarships for all continuing students, 3rd year students were awarded UN 15 scholarships 2019. Moreover the Samoa Qualification Authority (SQA): guarantee the international (Australia and New Zealand) certification standard for graduates, accreditation of program quality (ongoing program for level II of five sections). Last year also our basic Skill Level program was accredited (one year course). And most of all we are proud that most of the graduates found employment in industries through on-job-training (6 weeks) and our school is working closely with the Industry Advisory Panel.
To sustain our school we are working on production (carpentry and welding) and we are trying to maintain our school building (repainted last year) with school fundraising activity; Government grants are also a good help. Since 1979 we are grateful to the AUL province centre in Melbourne and its Mission Office (ASMOAF) for the continuous support.
Yes, we also have many dreams: We would like a beautiful Don Bosco Statue for the school compound, hopefully already being produced in Samoa by a local artist. We dream also that more of our young people will answer God's call (vocation). The presence of young Salesians is very inspirational for us, this year also including one young Salesian from Vietnam.