18 Oct 2011

Tongan schools welcome renewable energy project

7:19 pm on 18 October 2011

Tongan schools have welcomed the start of a renewable energy programme that will help address their annual power shortages.

The programme aims to introduce solar power systems to all high schools within three years.

The estimated 3.2-million-US-dollar project is funded through the New Zealand Aid Programme, with in-kind support from community development trusts and the Ministry of Education in Tonga.

Tonga College is one of the schools that is being considered for the pilot project.

The principal, Kafitoni Latu, says there are days in the year when the school has no power because it has spent its funding allocation.

"The problem we face towards the end of the financial year is our funding running out. And we [have to] ask the government to pay it. Although it is very costly, the government must do it because of the importance of the learning of the students."

The principal of Tonga College, Kafitoni Latu