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Absolutely Albert. As a Christian country, forgotten in all this has been the prayers by churches in Samoa and outside. They have been seeking that the will of God be done in the election. After all, Prime Minister Tuilaepa and our politicians often say all leaders are chosen from above. The contribution by Samoans like yourself residing outside Samoa has been immense. Malo.
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Faafetai Eti. Appreciate your thoughts. There is a lot to thank the HRPP for but there is also a season for everything. One gets the feeling we are beginning a new season as a nation, even if its merely a more robust democratic parliament.
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"Economic Poverty of Household & High Probability of Force-Marriage of Young Females" The low-economic status of the household or society may indirectly create an avenue for the household-member to force their young daughters to get marry to persons with more economic status without her will. However if the female rejects this preposition by family members then there is high-chances of her being subject to violence or assault.
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I'm a year one student of saint Peter Chanel Catholic College of secondary teacher education and I agree that PNG higher education loans program is good because it helps many students coming from poor background.
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Critique of Curtin & Howes’ analysis of APTC Graduate Tracer Survey data Richard Brown is an Honorary Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Queensland. He is also a member of APTC’s Advisory Board. The comments expressed below reflect his personal views only, and not those of the Board. Preliminary remarks In this note I argue that while I welcome Curtin & Howes’ (2021) (henceforth C&H) original and, so far, only longitudinal analysis of data on APTC graduate outcomes, I am concerned that a number of limitations in their methodology give rise to an exaggerated measure of the APTC graduates’ ‘poor’ employment performance. Their analysis splits the sample of graduates into two categories: • “job-seekers”, which they define as those who did not already have a job to return to on graduation, and their measure of APTC’s performance is then based on the success of this sub-group in finding full-time employment within 6–12 months after graduation; and • “job-keepers”, which they define as all those who return to work for the same employer after graduation, irrespective of the level at which they are employed. They find that the employment rate among job-seekers fell from around 80% to 56% between 2011–13 and 2017–19. Although they do not state it, this could be (and is likely to be) interpreted that almost half of APTC’s graduates end up unemployed. In this note I seek to identify the main shortcomings of their study and to demonstrate the extent to which their findings are affected (exaggerated) by the assumptions and methodology of their analysis. I conclude that rather than treating C&H’s study and policy recommendations as in any respect conclusive, it should rather be seen as a welcome contribution to, and invitation to concerned stakeholders to participate in, a process of evidence-based, rigorous and transparent analysis of APTC’s performance and policy options for the future. What’s wrong with C&H’s analysis? My main bone of contention is with their measure of job-seekers. APTC’s annual Graduate Tracer Survey (henceforth GTS) allows the total sample of graduates to be disaggregated into the following sub-categories: (1) those who return to the same job with the same employer (pre-APTC training); (2) those who secure a higher paid position with the same employer; (3) those who find a job with a new employer; and, (4) those who are not in paid employment. In their analysis, C&H treat job-keepers as all those in sub-categories (1) and (2) and job-seekers as all those in sub-categories (3) and (4). Although their analysis includes both full- and part-time employed. In reporting their main conclusions they focus exclusively on those in full-time paid employment (e.g. DP 91, 2021, p.19; this blog [PDF, p.2]). In the rest of this note I address mainly two questions: • Why is this problematic as a measure of APTC graduate performance?How does this categorisation affect the results of their analysis? In relation to the first question: by excluding sub-category (2) graduates from the job-seeker category they are ignoring a large number of APTC graduates who seek and are successful in gaining promotion to a higher paid position (with the same employer) after graduation. Had the same graduate moved to another employer (at the same or higher position) he/she would be treated as a job-seeker. By virtue of choosing to stay with the same employer, the successfully promoted graduate’s employment to a new position is ignored. This distinction is arbitrary and unjustifiable, and affects the allocation of APTC graduates between their two main categories (job-seekers vs. job-keepers) used in all the subsequent analysis. It concerns me that the authors do not acknowledge the implications of their assumptions, leaving the reader to accept their categories and the resulting analysis as an ‘act of faith’. Another questionable assumption is the classification of all those in sub-category (4) – the ‘not in paid employment’ – as unsuccessful job-seekers. This assumes that they were all seeking paid employment (at the time of the survey), and if they were not, this was only because they had opted out of the labour force as ‘disillusioned’ unsuccessful job-seekers. This ignores all those who were not seeking paid employment for reasons other than having become disillusioned, unsuccessful graduates. This would include those who were temporarily not seeking paid employment for reasons, for example, of ill health, parental or other family-related leave, further study, or some informal activity not classified under ‘self-employed’. Again, no matter how small they believe to be the likely number of graduates not actively seeking paid employment for such reasons, ignoring this possibility altogether is unacceptable. Furthermore, C&H’s understanding of ‘successfully employed’ graduates when summarising their findings focuses mainly on full-time employment. Again, there is no discussion of why those employed part-time should be excluded, and thereby effectively grouped together with those not employed at all. The implicit assumption is that they are all involuntarily underemployed, and should therefore not be treated as successful graduates. Turning to the second question, next I show how a refined definition of job-seekers affects the analysis and conclusions. Following from the preceding comments, I would argue that C&H’s measure of job-seekers needs to be adjusted in two respects: (i) all graduates who are successful in gaining promotion to a higher position, whether working for the same employer or a new employer, should be treated equally as job-seekers; and (ii) not all graduates not in paid, full-time employment should be treated as unsuccessful job-seekers.[1] By way of illustration I use the GTS data from 2019 to compare the results using the two sets of definitions and measures, C&H’s and mine. (Later I apply my measures to the 2013 survey to estimate changes over time.) Table 1: GTS survey data (2019) If we then compare the results it can be seen that using C&H’s definition, in 2019 66% of job-seekers were employed, and, excluding those in part-time employment, only 59% were. In comparison, my adjusted definition shows that at least 75% were employed (full-time and part-time) assuming all those not employed were indeed unsuccessful job-seekers. (If we were to assume, for example, that half the 145 not employed were not actively seeking work for reasons other than being disillusioned job-seekers, the employment rate would increase to 80%.) Repeating the same recalculation for the 2013 GTS survey, using my refined measures and assuming all not employed were unsuccessful job-seekers, I find that approximately 80% of job-seekers were in paid employment. While this supports C&H’s main contention that the percentage of ‘successful’ APTC graduates has fallen, the extent of this decline is nowhere near as drastic as they assert; “... that in 2011–2013, three-quarters of APTC job-seekers were employed at the time of the tracer surveys, but by 2017–2019, only slightly more than half” (DP 91, 2021, p.9). In other words, while my analysis shows a decrease in the percentage of job-seekers in employment over this time period, the magnitude is substantially less; viz. in the order of 5 percentage points rather than the 22 percentage points they claim. Moreover, it needs to be stressed that this decline, in percentage terms, occurred in the context of a rapidly growing annual cohort of APTC graduates. Over the same time period the number of graduating APTC trainees rose from 692 to 1,603; a 132% increase. A decline in employment among job-seekers of 5 percentage points could be considered relatively small in the context of this 132% increase in the number of new graduates over the same time period. Do other GTS data support C&H’s findings? C&H make it explicit that their paper focuses exclusively on actual employment data as their preferred approach to gauging APTC graduate success. However, it is interesting to ask why it is that other data, based on responses to questions from the same GTS surveys, do not lend support to C&H’s main contentions. For example, from the 2019 survey, of all respondents: • 89% reported it ‘Easy’ or ‘Very Easy’ to find work; • 8% reported it ‘Difficult’ ‘or ‘Very Difficult’; and • only 3% reported that they could not find work in the same area as their APTC training. Further: • 96% reported that their training ‘Improved employment prospects’; • 91% reported ‘Improved current employment position’; • 96% reported ‘Increased job ease and satisfaction’; and • 95% reported ‘Improved sense of job security’. Finally: • 43% reported that they had gained promotion after graduation; and • 49% reported that they were earning more after graduation. The obvious inconsistency between these assessments and responses about actual employment as reported by C&H is worth at least noting for further investigation, but should not be ignored completely in a paper that uses GTS survey data to assess APTC graduate performance. Conclusions Longitudinal analysis of APTC’s GTS data is welcomed, especially if it provides credible, evidence-based analysis and assessment of APTC’s performance as a basis for discussion of APTC’s policies. I argue that such analysis and policy debate should be based on a common understanding among relevant stakeholders of the appropriate criteria and measures of success best suited to assessing APTC’s training objectives, outcomes and policies. Transparency and rigour would obviously also be required. Unfortunately C&H’s study falls short of these in a number of respects. 1. Their use of a questionable measure of graduate success: especially in relation to the definition of a job-seeker, their restriction of ‘success’ to full-time paid employment, and, their treatment of the ‘not employed’. 2. Their lack of transparency in failing to: a. adequately justify the definitions used or to even acknowledge the possible implications of alternative assumptions and definitions for their main findings; and b. provide details of the raw numbers from the surveys on which their categorisations and disaggregated analysis are based. (An appendix with the relevant data allowing the reader to understand and replicate their results would be appropriate.) 3. Lack of appropriate checks of robustness, such as the sensitivity testing of the main results to alternative measures and assumptions. 4. Failure to use or even acknowledge other data from the same GTS surveys that report feedback from graduates on their job search, employment, income, etc. While such data are obviously less objective than actual employment status data, it would have been informative had the authors compared their findings with graduates’ reported experience, especially as these are not supportive of the authors’ findings. In this note I have sought to demonstrate that applying alternative, and in my opinion more acceptable, criteria and measures of employed job-seekers would not provide the same level of support for the somewhat alarmist conclusions the authors have drawn. I would favour an approach that encourages further evidence-based discussion of the way forward for APTC, grounded on a clearly articulated understanding of APTC’s main objectives and assessment criteria, and drawing on rigorous and transparent analysis of the available data. C&H’s paper should be treated as a most welcome initiation of such a process, but by no means providing conclusive evidence to inform the direction of APTC and DFAT’s future training policy in the Pacific islands. _______________________________ [1] Although part-time employed are not treated explicitly as unsuccessful graduates, by limiting their analysis to full-time employed only C&H are effectively relegating part-time employed to the same status as not employed. Their results indicate that in 2019 approximately 7% of their job-seekers were part-time employed, with only 59% ‘successfully’ employed full-time. They only cite this full-time employed figure in the remainder of their analysis and in other presentations including this blog, and ABC Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat interview by Richard Ewart (19 Feb 2021).
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Thank you Mata'afa Keni Lesa - This is a well prepared & accurate report of Samoa's bureaucratic machine from 1981 to 2021 pin-pointing how the Samoan public felt during that 40yrs!.. In Life when we hear see & smell wrong forceful directions from our leaders, emotional pus is formed in our bodies and an anti government sentiment grow within us due to the piercing powerful cruel words we encountered. Yet this same HRPP government was blessed at the beginning because they did good deeds as well as, which to me blinded them to the truth. They missed the onus here - serve the people not rule them. The report might show a false but qualified and slightly tainted bias against the HRPP for utilizing undemocratically-staged parliamentary bullying to bulldoze changes which needed the public's approval before they were legally implemented into Law. Similar to a lawyer who defends a drug dealer then stumbles into money-laundering - success in one area make these fools think they can do anything they want anywhere. In Parliament as well as. All political leaders sometimes fool themselves by NOT learning to recognize the fact that they are NOT absolute but mere humans like the man on the street, and that true power lies with the people who can vote them out, hence the current election results. The HRPP's fatal error was the miscalculation that they think they are another Samson. And tried to mess with the wrong real power-body directly connected to the Utmost Power in this Universe. As Mata'afa puts it, " poked the wrong bear when they upset one of the strongest pillars in Samoan society, the dominant Congregational Christian Church of Samoa - You can fight the devil but never God! The Alofas for Heaven's sake are offering from believers to help Gods Church, already left-overs from taxed income - so the HRPP doubled taxed the people here. WRONG AGAIN HRPP !!! In the old days as witnessed by France's Revolution as well as other countries, the political heads' who made similar mistakes were hastily met with a specially sharp blade from a political machine known as a guillotine. A fast and swift motion (if you may excuse the bloody pun) passed by the people with the people by the people's majority vote. But who knows for sure? If winning by majority vote at a general election is the pure form of democracy, then the HRPP should go back and learn the fact that having more numbers in parliament does not institute to bulling the BeoBle of Samoa. Its only 5Years away bro. The down side of this result is there will be 2 Rolls Royces. One for Ponifasio and one for The New!!! - Prime Minissssssssssssster! Fiame and a Toyota Camry for the 3rd place getter. Too expensive but at least my emotional pus is leaking out real FAST (Excuse another Pun) I'm having a beer here to the Ex-Prime Minister, a relly of mine from the village of Falevao who did well for Samoa while he lasted. Cheers bro - now we can go fishing every week-end. Fa'a malo to the FAST party who are now record holders in "How to defeat a Politico-Bully" Here is a song for the voters of the 2021 Samoa Election bit.ly/2TicQKl - While this one Bit.ly/2ejmpHf is for the ex-PM of Samoa - this one for you - bit.ly/3fGzPtO Ia 'outou Manuia!
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Thank you so much Mata'afa Keni Lesa for this great write up. We continue to pray for the good of our nation even though we reside outside. Prayers!!
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Well said Mata'afa, You have hit the" nail on the head "with all your comments...and always have, in past Editorials Keep up the good work...
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Sorry Jemma, I have not been able to report many farms to the Fair Work Ombudsman that exploit undocumented as in most cases the workers do not reveal who their employer is as they fear removal for working in breach of their visa. Most of the time I have not met workers at the farm they are working on. In other cases I have dealt with labour hire companies have been the employer and the owner has been able to use a false name so the workers have no idea who they are actually working for. The labour hire licensing laws in Victoria and Queensland have already had an impact on that situation.
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