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Tonga’s first report on accelerating rate of secondary school dropout launched last night

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 14/08/2019

The first report on accelerating rate of secondary school dropout funded by the European Union was launched last night. The report revealed findings of the study undertook by Takiama Ma’a Tonga Incorporated in partnership with the Tonga Secondary Schools principal’s association on the issue, where it revealed Secondary school dropouts alone averaged about 1thousand a year from 2008-2011 and the dropout numbers continued to climb in the years 2012-2015 with an average of 1,200 per year.

The same report also revealed, the secondary school dropout epidemic is being attributed to financial challenges, laxness, peer pressures, coporal punishment, family issues and more.

While launching the report – The Managing Director of Takiama Ma’a Tonga Incorporated, Ms Mele Ongo’alupe Taumoepeau that ”Tonga is greatly indebted to the European Union for funding the first formal attempt in Tonga to account for the escalating dropout rate from secondary schools. –

Also at the program was the Acting Prime Minisiter – Hon. Semisi Sika – where he praised EU on this move.

Speaking at the launch of the initiatives the Team Leader for Climate Change, Energy, and Circular Economy at the Delegation of the EU for the Pacific Mr. Adrian Nicolae said, ”drop out in education is a big loss to individuals and societies in Tonga.

The available data through this study suggest that those who drop out without attaining a minimum education in secondary school are likely to suffer from functional illiteracy.

Illiteracy, on the other hand hinders attainment of national development of the country, a factor which is one of Tonga’s educational objectives.

This is because illiteracy jeopardizes the Government to build a human capital base, which is essential for development in the country. It is therefore, necessary to minimize, or mitigate the secondary school dropouts, as it prevents the school system from achieving its own objectives.

© Radio and Television Tonga News