Copyright 2018 - Ministry of Education and Training

1. INTRODUCTION 

Ministry of Education and Training (MET) for 2017 continued to focus on the objectives, activities and performance targets set out in its Corporate and Annual Management Plans. These plans are based, in turn, on the Tonga Strategic Development Framework Plan (TSDF) 2011-2014, and the Ministry’s Tonga Education Lakalaka Policy Framework 2012-2017. The Ministry’s Budget for the financial years 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 provide the financial resources required for the effective and efficient implementation of these policies, strategies, and plans.


2. LEGISLATION

The Ministry’s responsibilities are administered in accordance with these principal legislation:

  • Education Act 1974 (Chapter 86) and subsequent amendments (1999, 2000, 2002);
  • Education (Schools and General Provisions) Regulations 2002; and,
  • Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board Act 2004; and,
  • Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Regulations 2010.

The legal mandate of the Ministry of Education, Women’s Affairs and Culture (its title since 2006) derives from the Education Act 1974. The Ministry is structured in accordance with the functions approved by the Minister of Education under the powers conferred on her by the Education Act 1974 and its functions are stipulated below:

  • To ensure the country is provided with skilled and competent manpower needed for sustainable development;
  • To provide policy advice to the Government on primary, secondary and post-secondary education as well as future directions to meet the challenges of the 21st Century;
  • To ensure the effective, efficient, equitable, relevant, and sustainable implementation of the Education Act, regulations, and other Government policies.

3. EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES

The Ministry’s work during this period focused on improving educational outcomes by targeting 3 main areas: (1) students’ outcomes, particularly in literacy and numeracy; (2) teachers’ competencies, especially their classroom performances and interactions with Page 12 of 210 students; and, (3) teaching and learning environments. These outcomes include improving student achievements and the performance of providers of education. Factors that limit student achievement were identified, and strategies and mechanisms were implemented to improve performance. The objective was to improve the educational “health” of the system as a whole.


4. POLICY ADVICE AND IMPLEMENTATION

To establish its leadership role and credibility within the public and wider education sectors, the Ministry provided the Minister and the Government with high-quality policy advice and made concerted efforts to implement that policy efficiently and effectively.


5. RESOURCE DELIVERY, MONITORING AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Regulations need to be enabling and to encourage each school to manage children’s education effectively. The regulations need to focus on accountability and quality assurance. The criteria for determination and allocation of resources should be clear. The Ministry’s role is to deliver resources to schools according to the agreed criteria. It should empower people, rather than trying to control them. The Ministry’s emphasis will shift to monitoring and intervening at an early stage to address emerging problems before they get too serious. During this period, the Ministry performed its responsibilities accordingly.


6. LOCAL EMPOWERMENT

Relationships with local education providers are important. The Ministry needs to work with local communities to help them play a stronger role in the education of their children. The Ministry during this period improved its relationships with stakeholders as manifested through its activities in the six programme areas.


7. STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS

The Ministry of Education worked constructively with other providers of education. Relationships between the Non-Government education providers (especially the Churches) and the Ministry of Education were fostered. Strong links between the industries, education providers, and the Ministry of Education were developed through many joined activities. All parts of the Ministry have been harmonised as cooperative partners that work closely together to achieve common goals. Services provided by the administrative section contributed to the overall effectiveness and capability of the Ministry. Strong links have been forged between the officers developing and implementing educational policy. Property functions have been managed also to ensure that facilities and equipment are adequate and are well-maintained to serve educational aims and aspirations. Relationships with donors and development partners, such as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and the World Bank, continued to strengthen and the Ministry is most grateful for their continuing generous support and contributions in all areas of education, which include budget support, funding for specific projects and programmes, scholarships, short and longterm training, technical assistance, and resources and teaching and learning materials, among others.


 

 

Student Support Services

WHAT IS THE SUPPORT STUDENT SERVICES DIVISION?
Student Support Services Division came into being on January 29, 2004. It consists of the unification of the former Central Guidance and Special Education Units and a School Social Work component at the primary school level.

WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES DIVISION?
To provide ongoing support for all students to maximise their learning potential, do well at school, achieve to their capabilities and develop holistically.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STRATEGIC GOALS OF THE STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES DIVISION?

    • Increase student success by providing support through counselling and specialised intervention strategies for students on extended suspension and other at-risk students.
    • Increase student success by providing specialised services for students with moderate and severe special educational needs as well as mainstreamed students with special educational needs.
    • Increase student success by providing social work services for students with psycho-social and behavioural difficulties at selected primary schools in each educational district.
    • Increase student success by providing support through early intervention, diagnosis and remediation for selected primary schools in each educational district.
    • Increase student success by providing guidance and counselling services for all students at the secondary level.

The Curriculum Development Process

In a broad sense, the curriculum development process includes the design, development, implementation and evaluation of curricula. However, as one examines the process more closely it becomes evident that each component may itself comprise several varied but inter-related activities. The Curriculum Development is charged with the responsibility to operationalise the Curriculum Development Process. Accordingly, the work of the division may be more adequately described as designing, developing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing curricula that are appropriate and relevant to the needs and interests of a developing nation, such as ours.

The Curriculum Development Process

The following is a brief description of these various activities involved in the development of curriculum materials:

Design: This involves all the preliminary work that is carried out to ensure that the curriculum is relevant, appropriate and workable. At this stage, the curriculum is conceptualized and attention is paid to arrangement of the varied components. Considerations include the focus on the philosophical underpinnings, goals, objectives, subject matter, learning experiences and evaluation ; all established in consultation with stakeholders. At present, emphasis is being placed on the learner in curriculum development activities.

Develop: In this stage, curriculum development involves planning, construction and the logical step-by-step procedures used to produce written documents, as well as print and non-print resource materials. These documents may include vision statements, goals, standards, performance benchmarks, learning activities and instructional strategies, interdisciplinary connections, and other integration activities that guide curriculum implementation.

Implement: This is the stage in which all stakeholders become part of the process by making their contribution to operationalise the curriculum as designed and developed. The process is managed by the officers of the Curriculum Development Division. It requires interaction between officers of the division, principals, teachers, parents, students and the general public, all key in the education of the child. Since implementation is a change actvity, the Curriculum Development Division also engages in in-service teacher education through seminars and workshops to facilitate the required alteration of individuals' knowledge, skills and attitude

Monitor: This can be seen as part of the implementation process. It is at this stage that officers visit schools to verify that classroom practice is consistent with the established goals and objectives of the national curriculum. Data is gathered to inform policy and decision making relative to the curriculum. The monitoring activities also capture best practices for generalization and develop the working relationship between officers of the Curriculum Division and school personnel, allowing for technical support at the school level to be provided where needed.

Evaluate: At this stage, officers engage in analyzing data collected on the field to determine the effectiveness of the curriculum design and its implementation as they relate to the child. The process entails comprehensive study of the data with the view of identifying possible deficiencies and root causes that can lead to corrective action. It is the findings from this exercise that directly influence the final stage of review.



Review: The information gained from data analysis is used to guide appropriate adjustments to the curriculum documents. Such adjustments incorporate the strengths and address any apparent weakness of the implemented curriculum. Because of technological developments and the resulting ease with which new information can be shared, continuously evolving curriculum is now possible. Updates, links to resource material and successful teaching and learning experiences can be easily incorporated in curricula. These considerations are all geared towards curriculum improvement and improved student performance in meeting national, developmental and educational goals.

Revised National Curricula Level II
  Health and Physical Education
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  English Language Arts
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