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NZ launches Tonga Educational Support Activity (TESA)

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 16/07/2019

The government of New Zealand is funding a special program for Tonga focusing on literacy and numeracy for government primary school levels.

NZ’s High Commissioner to Tonga – HE Tiffany Babington launched the Tonga Educational Support Activity (TESA) in partnership with Auckland Uniservices Limited and the University of the South Pacific.

In her remarks, Tiffany highlighted the need to improve education in primary schools in these areas.

“Despite recent interventions in selected Tonga’s primary schools, there are concerns that the current primary school system’s ability to maintain and enhance quality and equity for all students. Specific concerns relate to a perceived decline in teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy across the primary school system. A strong foundation in literacy and numeracy can enable successful transition to secondary schools for students and open pathways required for lifelong learning. In addition, the most powerful investment that we can make to increase education outcomes for students is to build the capacity of teachers and principals.”

Meanwhile, Education Minister – Hon. Penisimani Fifita acknowledged the support from the government of NZ towards Education as it will empower and equip teachers in the primary schools to improve teaching of literacy and numeracy in the primary schools.

“The Ministry of Education and Training recognizes the critical role of education in all aspects of life. However, the strength of basic education particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy are foundational to everything else. Without strong literacy and numeracy foundation, future learning success in even participating in higher levels of learning, will be jeopardized. This means a cement of further improvement in literacy and numeracy is a highly relevant goal for this activity and I am indeed grateful that the government of New Zealand has chosen to support Tonga in these particular areas.”

The two-year program is worth 2.8million NZD or equivalent to more than 4 million pa’anga.

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