29 Jun 2005

Multi-million dollar boost given to Tongan education system

8:50 pm on 29 June 2005

Tonga says a multi million dollar boost to its education system by New Zealand and the World Bank comes after an in-depth study of education needs in the kingdom.

New Zealand has boosted its education aid spending in Tonga to nine point nine million US dollars over the next three years, with a one million US dollar top up by the World Bank.

Improving the quality of education services at the primary level -- up to year eight -- is the immediate focus.

Tonga's Acting Education Minister, Viliame Takau, says the deal follows a thorough assessment of education by Tonga's Government, New Zealand and bank in 2003.

"The result of the study identified certain areas of education in Tonga that need development, and three broad areas were identified: One is the further development of quality basic education, and the second broad area was the need to develop skill trainingand the third broad area is the development of the whole system of education --- administration and management of education."

Mr Takau says assistance will cover government and church-run schools.