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Tongan education will benefit from NZ assistance

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

14 March 2006
Media Release

Tongan education will benefit from NZ assistance

The significant support that New Zealand is providing to education in Tonga will have far-reaching results and provide the platform for a promising future for young Tongans, said Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

“New Zealand, through NZAID, is working in partnership with the Government of Tonga and the World Bank on a $14 million programme to improve the quality and accessibility of basic education in Tonga.

“In a country where lack of opportunity is a real issue, it is impossible to overestimate the value of quality education. Our assistance will help ensure that every child, regardless of family background or circumstances, will attend well-resourced schools," said Mr Peters.

“Today I visited a primary school which will directly benefit from New Zealand’s assistance.

“The results of this support will be a good education environment with better resourced classrooms and well-trained and motivated staff who can help students make the most of their school years.

“New Zealand is the leading donor in the education sector in Tonga. This is an important role and means that New Zealand can be actively involved in the development of young people in Tonga.

“NZAID has committed to the education sector in Tonga in a very significant way. It is especially pleasing that the Tongan Government did not need to take out a large loan to support this project.

“As this project develops over the coming years it should provide a model which other Pacific Island countries can follow to achieve better education outcomes for their people,” Mr Peters said.

New Zealand has a $10 million annual aid programme with Tonga. Priority areas for support are economic and public sector reform, outer island development, education and health.

ENDS

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