Save the Children Australia has announced it will partner with the Tongan Government to ensure children do not miss out on education due to COVID-19.
The Tonga Accelerated Resilience Program (TARP) will deliver flexible and distance learning guides for students, parents, and carers, and preprepared audio and video lessons.
The program will be supported through the technical expertise and technologies developed by Save the Children Australia’s social enterprise, Inclusiv Education, and will be funded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries.
Save the Children Australia’s Deputy CEO, Mat Tinkler said the expansion of programming into Tonga was an exciting opportunity to serve even more children in the Pacific.
“We are thrilled that we can help to strengthen kids’ access to education in Tonga,” Mr Tinkler said.
“This project marks the first time Save the Children has worked in Tonga. We are excited to be learning from and working with local governments, communities and individuals.”
“With extreme weather events increasing in frequency and intensity across the Pacific due to the effects of climate change, we must find new ways to deliver continuity of learning for children.”
While Tonga has been fortunate enough to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak so far, if that were to change, 181 schools could potentially close.
In the event of this happening, the Tonga Accelerated Resilience Program would be ready to support more than 16,000 students.
Inclusiv Education’s Managing Director, Steve Watt said investing in the capacity of teachers to use education technology is one of the most strategic decisions a government can make to shore up its future.
“The Tonga Accelerated Resilience Program will be invaluable in safeguarding the futures of Tonga’s children,” Mr Watt said.
“Scalable education technology in the hands of skilled teachers is key to keeping children connected to learning during challenging times.”
Save the Children has been working in the Pacific for over 35 years and has been supporting governments in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga to respond to the pandemic.