Hopes for leaders in Tonga seeking solution for the school rivalry are high following todayʻs peaceful final game between Liahona High School and Tonga College with the president of the Tonga Secondary Schools Principal Association (TSSPA), Fr ‘Aisake Vaisima expecting students to keep to that spirit during this coming weekend.
Liahona since the last 23 years had today won the final game with 22 scores againts Tonga College team with only 15 scores.
The final between the two schools’ 1st XV was postponed following the attack by Tupou College students on a residence in Tofoa, Tongatapu, Tonga Islands on Thursday 18. More than 100 students arrested but released on bail early this week and three adults charged with aiding damage to a house.
One Tonga College student hospitalised but in a stable condition and a former Tonga College student is in a critical condition.
The incidence prompted TSSPA to postpone the final for all school rugby grades tournament scheduled for Friday 19. The decision was strongly backed up by the Ministry of Education and Police.
A TSSPA Meeting called on July 24 to discuss school violence was adjourned for the following day after the principals divided on whether to go ahead with the school rugby tournament finals or not.
The next meeting agreed for the final to be held only on condition that no spectators allowed except for the parents and guardians of those students in the team. A move TSSPA took as a step forward in trying to prevent school fights.
Fr. Vaisima told Kaniva News this evening the finals, on Tuesday and today Thursday 1st “went very well without any incidence”.
He said, “it was a great sigh of relief for all of us yet we are still crossing our fingers that there would be no fighting tomorrow Friday 2.
“It has been quite a common occurrence for fighting to take place on Fridays since this is the day that most students would be congregating in town after school.
“At the same time the Police will be working together with Prefects of the Schools in patrolling various areas of Nuku’alofa on Friday.
“It is part of the current leadership training for the Prefects of the Schools which is organized and run by the Tonga National Leadership Development Forum funded by AusAid through the Pacific Leadership Program.
I sincerely hope that these activities will help out in the efforts to keep the peace among schools in Tonga”, Vaisima said.
Liahona students joined a fight that broke out on July 11 after Tupou College lost to Tonga College on the 1st XV semifinal.