The Hon. Prime Minister and Minister for Education and Training , Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva opened a two day Training workshop for Tongatapu Primary Schools Principals on the Right to Quality Education at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre on Monday 18 April 2016.
In his opening address, the Hon. Prime Minister said that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 proclaims that education is a fundamental human right and further encourages the full development of the human personality and strengthening of respect and peace. The Education Act 2013 Section 3(i) stipulates that every child in Tonga shall have the right to receive a quality education. His responsibility as Minister is to ensure that the law in implemented and achieved.
He reminded principals that their position is significant to support the provision and achievement of quality education. “Quality education is not just about high levels of academic achievement but about preparing a child to fully engage as a productive member of the society, to have respect and understanding for each other, to build peace, be creative, innovative, honest and industrious.”
He also said that his objective as being a Minister for Education and Training is to make a difference. He said hiring an Information Technology (IT) expert to develop a software to integrate student assessment results and to track student performance to tell how each child is progressing from Class 1 to the end of secondary education was to ensure quality education and life-long learning for all.
He acknowledged the assistance from the UNESCO for hosting the two day workshop and allowing capacity building and empowerment of Principals, giving them the opportunity to gain knowledge on educational reforms and to share best practices that will advocate the achievement of our common goals for education for the benefit of children of Tonga.
The agenda for UNESCO funded workshop includes Global Agenda for Education and alignment to Educational Development in Tonga; the Education Act 2013 and Expected role of Principals to support the implementation of the Act, particularly on the Right to Quality Education; Educations in areas of gender equality, culture, sports, climate change and health; monitoring and evaluation and expected role of Principals to support and implement, sharing of best practices in primary schools and sharing workshop proceedings and knowledge with their teachers.
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