So these schools don't pay teachers? That's unfortunate. Don't do
fundraisers? With remittances so high...why not? They don't have a budget?
Can the church not provide one, however meager? They don't have committees?
Is that good? It's not apparent to me. The article says they
work on faith. Hmmm. Feels...I dunno. There are real needs that aren't
being addressed though, I feel like. Also, the article states:
"Other than a light curriculum that most schools don't use — most
of the time in class is spent in singing and simple lessons created by the
mothers — the only resources have come from two unexpected
sources."So...no budget, an unused curriculum. No teachers. What
about this is preschool in any way? Singing songs isn't the only thing to a
pre-school education. I'm confused.
The Mum's Preschool initiative was put in place by the Pacific Area
leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (along with three
other additional study helps) because of somewhat unique needs in that area to
supplement the Church's globally deployed Self-Reliance courses. While the Mum's Preschools don't charge students (be they Church
members of friends of other faiths) the school are not without cost. We largely
used the donated supplies as a seedbed to help startup the schools (just two
boxes of rationed supplies) because there was little to nothing otherwise. The
real support to run these no charge schools comes from the impoverished families
providing merger supplies and homemade materials, where mothers and grandmothers
come together to plan lessons and activities to support head start learning
activities on their donated time and effort. Some in Samoa cannot afford to
send their children to preschool or any school for that matter. Note: As
Self-Reliance grows in Samoa - next year becomes the final year with plans for a
supply container to go down.
''supplies like paper, pencils, markers and books. '' Samoa
is a Garden of Eden, or if not, comes close. As a tropical island, the rains
fall twice a day, usually mid afternoon, and before dawn. The school books
mildew in the 100% humidity, same for paper, anything mildews that isn't
plastic or glass. Air conditioning is rare because Samoa relies on fuel oil,
usually from Indonesia, which makes the cost of electricity about ten times
higher than in California. So few dare run air conditioners throughout their
homes or fales. To dry things, they may have a closet with a light bulb or two,
to generate a little heat to perhaps dry the closet contents. TVs and radios are
left on day and night, so the bit of heat keeps them circuits dryer, than
otherwise. So, to expand education, something must lower the cost of
electricity, so air conditioners can keep things dry, and to expand to provide
libraries. Use the Pacific ocean current and submersible hydrogenerators for
electricity, expand air conditioners, dry out the books, and watch the students
why can't this program be accepted for what it is wonderful parents are
involved also and the certificates are acceptable by the local government
I served in Church leadership in The Pacific Area, which includes Samoa and
Tonga. I saw at first hand, the good that is done on education, by The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Parents, including those not members of
our Faith, want their children to be in our schools, not because of cost, free
or otherwise, but because they are seen as being superior to other available
schools. The Church investment in these schools stems from our recognition that
good education is vital for self-reliance and the economic independence of
individuals and families. That should be the main focus of what is happening
here, not whether or not it is free. All such initiatives should be welcomed
for what they are, and what they do.Referring to free education as
being “socialist” in nature, is misappropriation at best. Many
members of the Church across the world are in education systems that are
provided “free” by the State, but this is about accessibility, not
political pedantry. I have obenefitted from such an educational system, as have
my children, but I am as far from being a Socialist as one could get. The only
label we should attach to this is “good”.
Brave Robin,Give us a reason to believe government can create a
program for the poor that will be successful. By successful we could
expect--efficient, not financially wasteful, not politicized, not a
redistribution program, and actually educates.
The church had extensive educational institutions throughout the Pacific,
including the Church College of New Zealand. They need to bring back the
educational emphasis in poor areas.Glad to see this is happening in
Samoa. Now, start more educational programs where the church is growing fastest
- Africa. The Church needs a BYU-Africa. Quit letting the
bean-counters get in the way of prudent educational initiatives.
@Brave Sir Robin:I was one of two who answered your question so I must be
one of those engaging in mental gymnastics."Is free education
for the poor a good idea, or is it not?" Yes, it is.But government
isn't free. In our present case, those being educated will have to pay off
the debt incurred for their education in the future. So it isn't free.But the LDS church and these mothers in Samoa are providing free
education for the poor that really is free.
It may be useful to help and support the teachers/organizations affected by this
improvement. They are likely also part of the equation.
Free education in the U.S. is taken for granted, thus underappreciated. Bravo to
the mothers and families for doing the best they can with what they have!
@Brave Sir Robin: "But wait...this sounds an awful lot like free
education."No, it doesn't. Free education, like free lunch,
free housing, and free medical care are all terrible ideas. 'That which we
obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly,' remains as true today as when it
was penned in late 18th century."Free schools" have become
little more than baby sitting services, lacking real education, not teaching
young people to think nor even providing marketable skills in far too many
cases. "Free" lunches end up in the garbage can. Govt housing is crime
ridden.These schools require the service of parents (mothers) to
provide education to their children. That isn't free unless you place no
value on a person's time."it's ok if it's the
church's idea, but not ok if it's a liberal government's
idea."And with this question you reveal your fundamental
dishonesty. Of course many things are ok for churches that are not ok for
government. Or did you want UoU or UCLA to adopt BYU's honor code? What
about prayer and scripture study in class?Some are so full of hatred
they cannot recognize any good by a church but must attempt to stir up
discontent at every turn.
BSRWow, the mental gymnastics being done by you to justify your convoluted
position is absolutely dizzying.Free to whom and provided by whom?
I believe free education for all children is essential to a free society. I
also believe that that the best way to provide childhood education is when it is
controlled and operated at a local level, where parents are deeply involved.
The model described in this article is one where local resources are used to
accomplish a simple goal at no cost to the participants, other than their time.
I believe the success of the Samoan preschool program is directly attributed to
its local control. When communities build and control education systems,
success is much more attainable. For that reason, I do not support a system of
education in our country where any level of control is exerted by the national
Wow, the mental gymnastics being done by a few of you to justify your convoluted
position is absolutely dizzying.Can't you just answer the
question? Is free education for the poor a good idea, or is it not?
@Brave Sir Robin - San Diego, CAYour assertion is disingenuous at best.
"Liberal government's idea" of free education is underpinned by
taxes which fill the coffers of "public funds" (converted taxes) and
administered by ever growing bureaucracies, which are expensive and largely
useless. If you are truly in San Diego CA then you see the results all around
you.This model is purely volitional and requires no administration beyond
the local level, and all serve without pay. Yet, somehow, the quality of the
education delivered is deemed preferable by the parents of the students thus the
schools are growing accordingly. Self reliance is a beautiful thing to see and
the results are more durable across more cultures than any other to date.
@Brave Sir Robin:You are correct. Yes, it is one of those ideas
where it is OK if it is done some other way than the government.Socialism by government fiat is a failed idea. But we still have the poverty
and inequity that socialism said it could solve. So we have to find another way
to solve these problems. This is a possible solution.I feel sorry
for the for-fee preschools. They are losing business,. But disruptive models,
do exactly that, they disrupt the existing models. But it is an opportunity to
improve.It may be beneficial for an enterprising PhD student to
study the effects this is happening. I would propose that the older children in
these families who never attended the pre-schools are also doing better
academically, simply because they see that their parents consider education to
be so important.I wonder what the mothers do while they wait for
their children in pre-school. Maybe they are studying on their own, or
participating in some co-operative business ventures?
I love this!But wait...this sounds an awful lot like free education.
And weren't we just railing on Washington yesterday for providing free
education?I suspect this is one of those things where it's ok
if it's the church's idea, but not ok if it's a liberal
government's idea. Did I get that right?
Could donations be sent through the Humanitarian Fund if we designate it for
Samoa Preschools? Or, would another account be better listed?
I was a young in Tonga when the Church opened the new high school in
Vava'u. The experience profoundly affected my life. The
Church has done an amazing job creating great schools and great teachers with
the BYU-Hawaii outreach program which allows men and women to get BYU-Hawaii
credentials via remote learning opportunities.I'd argue that
the Church can further bless it's members with Community College/Trade
School opportunities. As an example, electric power is $0.40 US dollars/KWh,
over 3 times what is paid in Utah. Many people don't have power because of
the cost and their limited incomes. Small windmills using trade winds can give
power for running water in a home that currently lacks running water, gathered
in cisterns. Polynesians are smart and resourceful but they need the higher
level education provided in the trades to teach them how to install and maintain
systems such as small windmills that provide running water and lights. Polynesians (members and good people) profoundly affected my life. If
we can bless them with education I know this part of the world will continue to
bless us too. Visit for yourself to see the amazing effect of the Church there.
Good for those mothers.
This sounds like a great program, is there a way to contribute to these