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Government-operated ECE Centre officially opened at GPS Veitongo

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 10/02/2020

The Minister for Education highlighted the importance of early childhood education as he marked the opening of a government-operated early childhood education Centre – preschool at the Veitongo Government Primary School earlier today.

Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni emphasized early childhood education was one of the issues his ministry were looking to address this year and this new initiative – the establishment of government ECE Centre’s at the Government Primary Schools was in accordance with the Ministry’s Education Act 2013 mandate that the compulsory school age starts from age 4.

The minister says they acknowledge the importance of the early childhood age and the need to intervene early to establish a firm foundation for the children in education that would also address other challenges the ministry faces such as school drop-outs – and they are hoping to close the gap by investing a little more time, a little more effort into early childhood education.

Various surveys conducted by the Ministry have shown that only 30 percent of children attend pre-schools whereby the Ministry is targeting the other 70 percent for similar opportunities.

Of the 42 pre-schools in Tongatapu, 19 of them are all in the central area in Nuku’alofa and they are under private or church management.  The first early childhood education Centre established in Tonga was in 1965.

For the first time in more than half a century of preschool existence in Tonga, government last year established an ECE Centre at Kolonga for the Eastern district and the ministry is looking to build on that momentum to ensure the continued progress in this area.

© Radio and Television Tonga News