Education System in Tonga
Not much can be said about education in this string of south pacific islands where as many people have moved away as those who live there. At least education is free and compulsory between ages 6 and 14 and the literacy rate is close to 99%. About 80% of all primary schools are run by missionaries.
There are 22 high schools, 90% of which are run by missionaries too. Those who desire a first-world education for their children are more inclined to send them overseas, especially to Australia where the government there maintains a paternal influence over the affairs of Tonga.
Although there is some post-secondary education in Tonga in the fields of agricultural, medicine, nursing, and teaching, most young Tongan people choose to pursue their studies overseas. As a result many of them now live there especially in New Zealand and Australia, while 25% of their compatriots back home exist below the poverty line.
The University of the South Pacific is a regional university owned in part by Tonga. This institution maintains a presence in the form of the ‘Atele Campus where support is provided to distance-learning students on the islands.