That’s why the Kingdom of Tonga’s Ministry of Education and Training, Save the Children and GPE have partnered to develop remote learning materials and guidance for students, teachers, parents and guardians.
Funded through a US$750,000 COVID-19 emergency grant from GPE, the Tonga Accelerated Resilience Program (TARP) is supporting Tonga to tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic to develop education systems that are much better prepared for emergencies of any kind.
When Tonga recently recorded its first ever COVID-19 case—almost 2 years after the pandemic began—181 schools in five regions of the country were closed, and more than 21,300 students and 1,600 teachers were affected. With final exams less than a week away, students were forced to learn from home and parents had to step into the role of home teachers.
The TARP was able to mitigate learning loss and disruption for thousands of students by providing them with pilot “learn from home” packages prepared by the project.
Parents were given guidance on how to best support their children to adjust to the lockdown and continue learning. Students were provided with paper-based, TV, radio and online lessons to follow. The project had already been working closely with Tonga’s teachers, providing training in how to respond to a school closure and support children to learn online.
Mosa, age 12, was one of the first students to receive the remote learning materials and chose the HAMA e-Learning platform to access his lessons online. Logging in for the first time, Mosa said, “I feel happy that I may study at home for my upcoming final exams that I’m going to sit tomorrow.”
Mosa was grateful for the support of his family and his teachers. “Thanks to my mom, I could study and learn new things from the topics the teachers have brought to us from the internet,” he said.