New Zealand High Commission Nuku'alofa, Tonga

New Zealand and Tonga celebrate continued partnership in education

New Zealand and Tonga celebrated their continued partnership in education on July 24, 2013.

At Popua Primary School, the New Zealand High Commissioner, Mark Talbot, and the Minister of Education, Dr ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki, met with students to read literacy materials donated by the New Zealand Government. New Zealand and Tonga are also preparing to sign a grant for TOP$12 million to improve basic education in Tonga over the next three years.

The grant for the Tonga Education Support Programme has six components: (1) it will improve the primary school curriculum; (2) it will ensure that all teachers are adequately trained; (3) it will continue grants to schools to support their operations; (4) it will establish quality early childhood education; (5) it will improve access to education of those with disabilities; and (6) it will improve the ability of the Ministry of Education and Training to support the education sector. The Tonga Education Support Programme is jointly funded with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

The New Zealand High Commission Mr Mark Talbot said, “Today’s occasion highlights the close ties between New Zealand and Tonga. Quality education is fundamental for a productive society and New Zealand is proud to be supporting the Ministry of Education Training’s endeavours.”

New Zealand has been supporting the education sector since 2002. In the last two years, joint New Zealand/Australia support has achieved the printing and distribution of 280,000 teacher manuals, student readers and work books, the provision of direct school grants to primary and secondary schools and the training of 28 secondary school teachers in the certificate course at the Tonga Institute of Education.

The funds for the Ministry of Education and Training will come from New Zealand’s bilateral aid programme with Tonga.

ENDS

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