3 Feb 2014

School in cyclone-hit Ha'apai returns today

8:18 am on 3 February 2014

School students in the cyclone-hit islands of Ha'apai in Tonga are expected to return to school today following Cyclone Ian.

The category-five storm badly damaged or destroyed 13 out of the 17 primary and secondary schools in Ha'apai three weeks ago.

The Tongan Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, says some students will attend school in tents, churches, or double-up in classrooms.

Mr Vaipulu says the government will help fund church schooling and for government schools it will waive fees altogether.

"We've arranged church halls and tents where the school has been totally blown off and Cabinet have just approved that all students don't have to pay school fees, and for church schools government will subsidise that."

Samiu Vaipulu.