Village Rivalries Linked To Recent School Violence In Tonga

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Leadership forum member suggests non-competitive activities

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 5, 2013) – Village loyalties have been identified as a significant factor in increasing cases of inter-school violence in Tonga.

The Tonga National Leadership Forum in conjunction with the Civil Society Forum hosted a workshop on Wednesday which brought together various groups to discuss ways of eliminating violence among youth.

There have been a number of clashes over the past few years between rival schools, often sparked by inter-school rugby matches.

A National Leadership Forum board member Ungatea Fonua Kata, says many secondary schools are located in villages and become part of village life.

She says more needs to be done to break-down rivalries between villages which are rubbing off on students.

"In ensuring that people know each other well in our villages, we need to be mobilising more activities so that our villages know each other better and also within our own districts."

Ungatea Fonua Kata says it’s important inter-village activities take place in a non-competitive environment.

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