Education in Tonga

Joined Commonwealth: 1970

Population: 104,000 (2009)

GDP p.c. growth: 2.9% p.a. 1990-2009

UN HDI 2010: world ranking 85

Net primary enrolment: 99.2% (2006)

Adult literacy: 99.0% (2006)

There are nine years of compulsory education starting at age six. Net primary enrolment was 99.2%; more than 95% of primary students attend state schools, while about 90% of secondary students attend church schools (2006). Net enrolment ratio for secondary is 60% and gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined is 82.4% (2006). The school year starts in February.

Tonga is a partner in the regional University of the South Pacific, which has its main campus in Suva, Fiji Islands, and a campus at ‘Atele, about 7km from Nuku’alofa, where some 1,400 students are enrolled per semester for preliminary, foundation and degree courses, using the university’s distance-learning facilities. Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 99% (2006).

The government’s long-range strategy for development of the education system over 15 years aims to improve equity and quality in order to achieve universal education to year 8; increase the capacity of further education and training; and improve the administration of education through training and better facilities.