The U.S. Embassy in Apia held an educational program on the U.S. presidential elections for sixty-five students from four different schools including Pesega College, Robert Louis Stevenson School, Leififi College and Vaiala Beach School.
The event was a three-hour program introducing elections and voting in the United States; an impromptu debate; Questions and Answers, and concluded with a Mock Election.
Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Lee Yoo provided a brief overview of the U.S. elections process and encouraged students to take an interest in learning about the democratic process.
When asked about their experience, one Leififi College student noted, “Learning about the American election was exciting, especially knowing the importance of voting and how our vote can affect who is elected, this is the same for when we get to vote for Samoa’s election in the future.”
A Vaiala Beach School student said, “This was empowering, and a great experience, it is a reminder that we must be informed about our nation and future candidates, especially for Samoa.”
One teacher commented that the impromptu debate session was the best event, as this is not practiced in Samoa during elections, “it was a good experience for students to select a leader from their group, and trusting their leader to be informed on matters that affect the nation, especially since the topics and questions were unspecified.”
In addition to the election focused program, the U.S. Embassy engaged with students on considering the United States as their destination for future study, distributing information on how to prepare for college and be better informed on the education system and curriculum offered in the United States. The teachers and students expressed their sincere gratitude.
The program was facilitated by staff of the U.S. Embassy in Apia and the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture.