School Prefects in Tonga “roll out the mat”

Tongatapu high school prefects, from the Tongatapu Prefect Association (TPA), assembled at Queen Salote College on May 18,  to mark an initiative on how to reduce the on-going   number of fights among high school students.

Some colleges in Tonga especially Tupou College and Tonga College have a long history of fights that have been dragged on for more than a century.

Association’s information officer, ‘Anitelū Toe ʻapi told Kaniva News that the day began with a prayer service under the theme – One for All and All for One.

He said the initiative came after a retreat hosted by the Tonga National Leadership Development (TNLDF) Forum in partnership with the Secondary School Principals Association. There, it was decided that all Tongatapu prefects should meet to take positive actions to ensure peace and stability among schools.

Toeʻapi said the principal of Tonga College, Kalafitoni Latu was nominated to be in charge of the Association assisted by the TNLDF to follow up a development program set out for the prefects  to make joint efforts with all schools to appropriately resolve the fights.

Although this is the first time for all prefects of all high schools in Tongatapu to come together in trying to find solution for the school fights, the move was not new.

There have been similar assemblies and prayer services carried out by Tupou College and Tonga College before but fighting between these two schools persisted from time to time.

Last Saturday just after this prayer service,  Tonga College students allegedly hurled stones at a Tupou College bus where 3 students were injured. The next evening about  a hundred of students from Tupou College arrived in the village of Veitongo to take revenge and to fight Tonga College students said to have been camping out in the area. Villagers intervention helped prevent the fight and arrests of several students were made when police arrived.

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