Government shuts down Tokomololo and Ngeleʻia Side Schools

Two government funded schools in Tonga were told to shut down next year as part of the Ministry of Education’s  move to make sure it provides proper education for foreigners’ children.

Ngeleʻia and Tokomololo Side Schools were told to merge with Tonga Side School in Nukuʻalofa.

The closings were expected to save the government’s budget and resources so it can improve running the school.

The Tonga Side School was established decades ago in a bit to teach foreign children in English on Tongan curriculum with a palangi perspective.

The only Tongan children allowed to enrol were those of the royals and the nobility.

But the policy was apparently loosen recently allowing the public to enrol their children and this was why Tokomololo and Ngeleʻia schools were opened in early 2000s.

The Ministry however faced criticisms after allowing Tongan students to enrol while there were schools for them available throughout the kingdom.

Tongan parents vied to send their children to the Side School in the hope they could get better education because of the English teaching and curriculum.

But internal reports by the Ministry found most of these Tongan children  suffered academically and were unsuccessful when they enrolled at secondary schools because they did not understand English well while they were taught at the side school.

Tonga Broadcasting Commission report says the closing was made because the Ministry also wanted to “downsize” the number of students taught at these levels.

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