Student violence in Tonga – closing boarding schools an option

The escalation in student violence is a major crisis for the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, its General Secretary Rev Dr Tevita Havea says, and he is suggesting that closing the rival boarding schools of ‘Atele and Toloa for ten years might be a way forward for the schools and the country.

He was commenting on last week’s student attack on a house at Tofoa that has left a 22 year old man in a coma and a 15 year old with serious injuries, and 147 students, ex-students and a teacher charged with offences.

“We consider it as a major crisis for the church and also the schools and for the country,” he said. “We have now activated various school activities to see what can be done … to deal with violence in the schools”.

Police Commissioner Grant O’Fee said the attack was a riot and he compared the students’ behaviour to serious gangs in New Zealand.

“Very severe criminal damage. Everything in the house smashed, every single thing that could be smashed was smashed,” he said.

Fr. ‘Aisake Vaisima, the president of the Tonga Secondary School Principals’ Association says the TSSPA has decided that finals for the secondary schools’ rugby tournament 2013 will continue with only “parents and guardians of students in the teams” allowed to attend. He said this decision, “was confirmed by the Ministry of Education and the Directors of Schools Systems”.


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , , ,