TONGA EDUCATORS DEAL WITH TEACHER SHORTAGE

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Students perform poorly in reading and math

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Radio Tonga News, Jan. 22, 2009) - One of the biggest challenges schools faced in 2007 and last year was a shortage of teachers in both primary and secondary schools.

According to Education Director, Dr. Viliami Fukofuka improvement is shown in the financial year of 2007-2008 with an intake of more than 50 teachers.

He added that the government also provided additional assistance this year when they created and provided 62 teaching positions.

For the 2009 academic year, the ministry plan to address this problem as it affects students performance in the classroom.

Viliami says one of the issues raised during the 3 day retreat that the ministry holds annually is to monitor areas where students are performing poorly.

The South Pacific Board of Examinations have reviewed the literacy level and found that reading and mathematics had the lowest scores.

Although there are many development implemented for the betterment of education but if this problem is not addressed in the primary level, this may prove to be more difficult when they enter secondary schools.

The Australian and NZ government are working together to review the school syllabus this year. Not only that but to donate new textbooks and to train the teachers as well.

According to the survey carried out to analyse the exam results, class students were a concern as only 71 percent performed above average while the rest were below satisfactory level.

Mathematics and Reading will be given more attention this year to improve learning and also student performance...ends.

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