Copyright 2022 - Ministry of Education and Training


The Ministry is responsible for the administration and management of Education and Training in Tonga as a whole. In the last twelve months it has made every effort to create an environment in which all education systems, communities, schools, teachers, students, donor and development partners, and the Ministry can work together in partnership and in harmony to achieve maximal benefit for all students at all levels, and in which all students can equitably access quality education that is relevant and sustainable. Through more efficient management and effective use of its communications linkages, relationships, and information systems, and through strengthening of professional development and capabilities, and ethical conduct and behaviors, education was able to be more responsive to emerging social and economic issues, and to better meet the diverse needs of different communities, employers and the private sector, and the wider society. The Ministry’s responsibilities during this period were manifested through its five programme areas:

(i) Leadership;

(2) Administration;

(3) Quality Assurance;

(4) Schools;

(5) Post-secondary Education.

Office of the Chief Executive Officer - Ministry of Education and Training


Chief Executive Officer Profile


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Dr Tangikina Moimoi Steen, CEO for Education and Training.

Dr Tangikina Moimoi Steen began her career as a Science and Mathematics teacher at Queen Salote College in 1976, 1987 and part of 2014.

From 1988 to 1999, she was employed by the South Australian Institute of Technology (now the University of South Australia) as a Senior Tutor/Lecturer in Mathematics and Computing Studies.

In her Non-Government Organisation work in Australia, Steen was the Vice-President of the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC), the peak advocacy body for the ethnic and multicultural community broadcasters.

Her PhD study explored the problem solving strategies that students use when they encounter difficulties in learning and using IT.

The office of the Chief Executive Officer is managed and operated by the Chief Executive Officer, assisted by three staff.

  1. Chief Education Officer for Administration – Mrs Lola Baker Tokotaha
  2. Senior Education officer and – Mr. Almadin Tukutau
  3. Personal Assistant officer – Mrs. Afuhia Kaloni

Overview of the Strategic Plan

The broad strategy for the development of the education sector is based on the adoption of the two strategic goals, which were stated in Section 15 of this report.

Achieving the Vision

As previously stated, the Ministry of Education has primary responsibility for the implementation of the Ministry of Education‟s Corporate Plan which was revised to incorporate the changes made under the Tonga Education Lakalaka Policy Framework, and which guided further revision to the Education Policy Framework 2004-2019. The Lakalaka Policy Framework currently provides the overarching framework that is guiding the Ministry‟s vision for education, while the Corporate Plan is the immediate vehicle that is driving and giving impetus to the changes in the education system over the next three years.


Events organized by the Office of the CEO

  1. To be announced...

  Language Policy

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Education is one of the most valuable assets a person can possess. Well-informed, educated, skilled, professionally experienced, and ethical people of integrity are fundamental to society’s development and well-being. It is through education that individuals can achieve fulfilment, attain goals, and improve living standards. Education in Tonga encourages people to think and work for themselves, and to actively contribute to the welfare and development of their communities and society. The Ministry seeks to find the right balance between the meeting the needs of the individual, groups, and Tongan society as a whole. Our vision for education in Tonga is:

“The people of Tonga will achieve excellence in education that is unique to Tonga.”

 Achieving the Vision

The Ministry of Education has primary responsibility for the implementation of the Ministry of Education’s Corporate Plan which was revised to incorporate the changes made under the Tonga Education Lakalaka Policy Framework, and which guided further revision to the Education Policy Framework 2004-2019. The Lakalaka Policy Framework currently provides the overarching framework that is guiding the Ministry’s vision for education, while the Corporate Plan is the immediate vehicle that is driving and giving impetus to the changes in the education system over the next three years.



The mission of the Ministry of Education is as follows:


“To provide equitable, accessible, relevant, and sustainable quality education for all Tongans that will enable Tonga to develop and become a learning and knowledge society.” 




Office of the Minister for Education and Training

MINISTERIAL PORTFOLIO:Minister for Education and Training.

EDUCATION: Master of Business Administration (MBA) - University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji (2008), Postgraduate Diploma for Managers Requiring Advanced Analytical Skills - Gold Medalist - University of the South Pacific (USP), Suva, Fiji (2007), Master of Science in Computation - Oxford University, Oxford, England (1994), Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computer Science, minor in Mathematics - Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand (1992)


POSITION: : Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

EMPLOYER: Ministry of  Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

POSITION: Chief Executive Officer of Public Enterprises, May 2013 - Oct 2014

EMPLOYER: Ministry of Public Enterprises, Government of Tonga

POSITION: Deputy Team Leader, Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR), Feb - April 2013

EMPLOYER: Asian Development Bank (ADB)

KEY ROLE OF POSITION: Develop technical, economic, social, and environmental criteria for screening investment options under this USD$20 million project.    Incorporate selected adaptation measures into the project design, including institutional arrangements and budget. Support the development of capacity    building programs including staff training of the JNAP Secretariat and SPCR stakeholders;

POSITION: Manager Pacific ICT Outreach Programme (PICTO), 2010 to 2013

EMPLOYER:  Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva Regional Office,Fiji

KEY ROLE OF POSITION: To provide leadership to Pacific Island countries in using ICT as a key tool for development especially in key sectors such as education,    health, and agriculture. To coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the regional Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific (FAIDP).

POSITION: ICT Adviser – Outreach, October 2005 – March 2010

EMPLOYER: Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), Suva, Fiji

KEY ROLE OF POSITION: To provide ICT technical and policy advice to SOPAC Pacific Island member countries. To empower and build ICT capacity of key    
stakeholders in SOPAC Pacific Island member countries

POSITION: Deputy Secretary for Finance – Corporate Services, 2002 –2005

EMPLOYER: Tonga’s Ministry of Finance, Vuna Rd, Nuku’alofa, Tonga   

KEY ROLE OF POSITION: To manage the Corporate Services Division and provide the necessary support to the essential functions of the Ministry

POSITION: Director of Information Technology, 1996-­‐2002

EMPLOYER: Tonga’s Ministry of Finance, Vuna  Rd, Nuku’alofa, Tonga

KEY ROLE OF POSITION: To provide technical and policy advices to His Majesty’s Cabinet on ICT related issues. To computerize the key systems and develop    
appropriate policies and legislations


Member of the NZ Institute of IT Professional; Former Chairman of Board of Directors of Tonga Investment Ltd, Shipping Corporation of Polynesian Ltd; Former Board member of Tonga Cable Ltd, Seastar Ltd, Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (PacCERT), Pacific CHapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC), Asia Pacific Telecentre Network (APTN); Member of Regional ICT for Education Working Group, UNESCAP Expert Group; Chair of SPC Staff Representative Committee (SRC) 2011 - 2012.


The Minister‟s office is responsible for leadership, policy advice, review and development, strategic directions and relationships, and the overall health and wellbeing of the Ministry.

Provision of Ministerial Support Services

Ministerial Support Services is one of the inputs and outputs identified in the Education Policy Framework (EPF) 2004-2019 as being crucial to support the achievement of MEWAC's Goals and Strategic Result Areas (SRAs). The Tonga Education Lakalaka Policy Framework (TELPF) 2012-2017 significantly revised the previous Education Policy Framework and was implemented from 1 July 2012. It has the following Outcomes Objectives:1

Goals Strategic Result Areas

Goal 1:

Raise the standards of education to improve the quality, equitability, relevancy and sustainability of: (a) Universal compulsory basic education (UBE) for all children in Tonga from Age 4 to Age 18 (ECE to Year 13 or Form 7); and, (b) Technical and Vocational Education and Training in both UBE and Post-Basic Education (PBE) years to meet the challenges Tonga faces in the 21st Century.

01 Strong and sustainable Tongan Culture and Language, by developing appropriate policies, and integrating Tongan values, culture, and language into all educational programmes and activities.
02 Excellence in education, by effective and efficient administration and management of, and supporting and improving, compulsory universal basic schooling (UBE) (Ages 4-18).
03 Quality UBE and PBE, by reviewing existing curricula and developing and implementing relevant curricula
04 Quality national educational standards for students, teachers, and teaching and learning environments, by improving existing tools and developing and implementing new and relevant standardised tools for continual improvements of the system.
05 A fully functional and independent Tonga National and Qualifications and Accreditation Board (TNQAB), by providing it with adequate funding and skilled human resources to enable it to fulfil its legislated mandate.

Goal 2:

Strengthen the administration and management of education to maintain the further improve the quality, equitability, accessibility, relevancy, and sustainability of education at all levels.

06 Equitable GOT and non-GOT education systems, by promoting good relationships and effective partnerships, with support to non-government education systems to improve students‟ outcomes
07 Quality Tertiary Education, by improving coordination of higher education and better aligning it with national human resources development needs and available opportunities in Tonga and overseas.
08 Strong leadership, clear policies, effective and efficient administration, and sustainable funding at all levels of education, by ensuring that quality human resources and policies and adequate fund
09 Effective communications, good relationships, and dynamic partnerships with all stakeholders, by establishing more effective and efficient communications mechanisms and processes, and promoting and sustaining meaningful engagements

The above Goals and Outcomes Objectives (OOs), in addition to the Tonga Strategic Development Framework 2011-2014 and commitments to international and regional educational initiatives, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Education For All (EFA) Goals, and Pacific Education Development Framework (2009-2015) provided the structures within which the Minister's Office operated in 2013.

The overall objectives of the Minister‟s Office were:

1. To provide a clear vision and goals for education in Tonga, which are consistent with the national vision and strategic directions provided under the Tonga Strategic Development Framework (TSDF) 2011-2014;

2. To provide effective leadership to the Ministry to direct its programmes and activities;

3. To enhance MET‟s image and visibility;

4. To provide quality and timely assistance to the Minister in consultation with and in collaboration with other MET Heads of Divisions;

5. To serve effectively as the Secretariat for the Tonga National Commission for UNESCO which is chaired by the Minister;

6. To foster a substantive culture of partnership within MET and with relevant stakeholders to implement the above-mentioned Goals and OOs;

7. To strengthen relations and cooperation with the international community, donors and development partners to enhance programme delivery and impact;

8. To mobilise resources/find new potential sources of funding to supplement Government Funding for the implementation of programmes activities.

The Minister was assisted in his responsibilities by the Chief Executive Officer for Education, Mr. Claude Tupou, and, 9 Deputy Directors, who managed and supervised the following programme areas for the year:

1. HRM, UNESCO and International Affairs (Mrs. Lucy Moala Mafi)

2. Finance (Acting-Mr. Manu 'Aku'ola)

3. Quality Assurance (Mr. Ponepate Taunisila)

4. Secondary School Division (Acting-Mr. Soane Selui)

5.Primary Schoool Division (Mr. 'Isikeli Oko)

6.Tonga Institute of Higher Education (Lady Siʻatu Vaea)

7. Teacher Institute of Education (Ms. Liuaki Fusitu'a)

8. Tonga Institute of Science and Technology (Mr. Nonga Soakai)

9. Policy Planning (Dr. Raelyn Latu Esau)

The Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board, although its funding is under the Ministry‟s allocation, operates independently in accordance with its own Act and Regulations and only reports to the Minister. As with such bodies, it submits its annual report separately from that of the Ministry.

National and Internal Events

The Minister also attended various important national events, and officiated extensively in local activities, including the openings of the Ministry‟s local meetings and conferences, school events, official functions, and radio and television programmes.

Committees which the Minister chaired

The Minister continued to chair meetings which included the

 Standing Committee on Social Services of the Legislative Assembly;

 National Scholarships Committee;

 National Committee Reporting on Rights of the Child;

 MDG Experts Commite;

 Directors of Education Committee;

 Tonga‟s UNESCO National Commission;

 Planning Committee for Tonga‟s Proposed National University.

He is also a member of the Joint Committee of Forum Church Leaders, Parliament, and Government, where she represents Cabinet.

Local and Visiting Delegations

The Hon. Minister also had meetings with donors, development partners, individuals, groups, and organisations, from the local, regional, and international communities, to discuss matters pertaining to Education and Training and to develop mutual goodwill relations.


The year 2016 was a challenging year, not the least of which was the uncertainty in the implementation of the Ministry‟s various programmes caused by the political climate. However, the Ministry continued to provide the services for which it was mandated to ensure that such services continued effectively and efficiently for the people and children of the nation. It also went ahead with the planning and implementation of new policies and initiatives in order to ensure continuous improvements in performance and outcomes. It would not have been able to do these without the technical support and financial assistance of donors and development partners, international and regional organizations, other Government Ministries, non-government education systems, private sector, parents‟ and teachers‟ associations, ex-students, kava clubs, community groups, and other stakeholders. Their contributions continue to be of immense value to the Minister‟s Office, the Ministry, and the whole education sector.