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'Apifo'ou College gets new technical facility

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

From left: 'Atumalo Kaufusi, Filo 'Akauola, Soane Vahe and HE Mr Yukio Numata

A new classroom building for the ‘Apifo’ou College’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training facility (TVET) was commissioned on Thursday, 9 June.

Funded with $195,722 pa’anga under Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects, the building was opened by Japanese Ambassador HE Mr Yukio Numata and Cardinal Mafi. It has two classrooms, a teacher’s room, storage with bathroom facilities and one 10,000 litre water tank.

The facility will facilitate the teaching of electrical, construction, automotive and plumbing skills.

The Ambassador said the facility is a practical chance for young students in all parts of Tonga to equip themselves with valuable trade skills for entering the workshop. He said the high drop out rates in the secondary education level, a problem in Tonga, may be related to the heavy focus on the academic education and not enough on employment related skills.

"TEVT programs have been identified in developed countries as a positive way of tackling both increasing school drop out rates and youth unemployment. I am confident this new TVET facility, young people will have a wider range of opportunities to choose from for their future and aspire to become responsible citizens."

Acting Principle ‘Atumalo Kaufusi expressed their thanks to Japan for funding the building which will enrich and empower their students.

At ‘Apifo’ou like all Catholic schools one of our missions is to educate everyone and mold them to become holistic and successful Christian persons. We also need to cater and provide the necessary resources to facilitate their talents and many have opted to take the alternate path, the technical, vocational and educational training division here, he said.