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By Katalina Uili Tohi

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (July 12, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)---Science receives special treatment today at the University of the South Pacific Center - ‘Atele.

The goal of the Science Day program, launched by director of education Paula Bloomfield, is to boost every facet of science, particularly to increase its popularity as a top academic field of study for secondary school forms 5 and 6.

The head of the University of the South Pacific science department in Suva, Dr. Khan, is in Tonga for the occasion.

He told Radio Tonga news that the program’s goal is to recruit more students to study science subjects, as there has been a marked slide in its popularity throughout the Pacific in recent years.

He said that students have the general belief that science is a hard subject to learn and tend to study such alternatives as the humanities and art subjects.

But, he said, this means a decrease in skilled people in the region in the field of science.

Scholars in science are vital for the development of the region, including Tonga, Dr. Khan said.

Exhibitions, experiments, equipment and general information on many different science subjects are on display at ‘Atele today, and will remain available through tomorrow.



By Katalina Uili Tohi

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (July 12, 2001 - PIDP/CPIS)---Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defense Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata officially opened the Tonga Defense Services new firearms training system and new language laboratory at Taliai military camp today.

A representative of the United States of America, Lieutenant Colonel Cletis R. Davis, as well as members of the Legislative Assembly and other national leaders attended the occasion.

The Prime Minister and guests toured the new facilities and were treated to an exhibition of the firearms training system, which will greatly benefit the training of defense personnel, whose services sometimes are needed abroad.

Parliament adjourned today, making it possible for MPs to participate in the opening ceremony.

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