Education Act 2013

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Education Act 2013


Act 25 of 2013





C
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EDUCATION ACT 2013


Education Act 2013 Arrangement of Sections





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C
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EDUCATION ACT 2013

Arrangement of Sections

Section

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY 9

1 Short title and commencement............................................................................... 9
2 Interpretation .......................................................................................................... 9

PART II - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION 14

3 Right to Education in Tonga ................................................................................ 14
4 Ministry of Education .......................................................................................... 14
5 Functions of the Ministry ..................................................................................... 14
6 Appointment of the Minister ................................................................................ 15
7 Functions of the Minister ..................................................................................... 16
8 Appointment of the Chief Executive Officer ....................................................... 16
9 Functions of the Chief Executive Officer ............................................................ 17
10 Appointment of staff of the Ministry ................................................................... 17
11 Delegation of Powers of the Minister and Chief Executive Officer .................... 18
12 Divisions of the Ministry ..................................................................................... 18
13 General Functions of a Deputy Chief Executive Officer ..................................... 19

PART III – FINANCIAL PROVISIONS 20

14 Ministry budget .................................................................................................... 20
15 Establishment of the Procurement Division ........................................................ 20

PART IV - THE ADVISORY COUNCIL 21

16 The Advisory Council for Education ................................................................... 21
17 Constitution .......................................................................................................... 21
18 Resignation and vacancies of membership .......................................................... 22
19 Meetings of the Council ....................................................................................... 22
20 Procedure at meetings .......................................................................................... 22

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21 Chief Executive Officer to report ......................................................................... 23
22 Sub-committee of the Council .............................................................................. 23

PART V - CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS 23

23 Establishment of Government schools ................................................................. 23
24 Minister to have control ....................................................................................... 23

PART VI - PRINCIPAL TEACHERS OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS 24

25 Boards of Governors or Advisory Committee ..................................................... 24
26 Regulations under this Part .................................................................................. 24

PART VII - MANAGING AUTHORITIES 24

27 Registration .......................................................................................................... 24
28 Responsibilities and functions .............................................................................. 24
29 General Managers ................................................................................................ 25
30 Offence ................................................................................................................. 25

PART VIII - PRINCIPAL TEACHERS OF NON-GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS 26

31 Registration .......................................................................................................... 26
32 Minister may refuse to register ............................................................................. 26
33 Offence ................................................................................................................. 26

PART IX - CONTROL OF NON-GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS 27

34 Classification of schools ....................................................................................... 27
35 Establishment of non-government schools ........................................................... 27

PART X – SCHOOL MANAGEMENT 30

36 Health and safety in schools ................................................................................. 30
37 Corporal Punishment prohibited .......................................................................... 31
38 Duty to maintain records, registers and reports .................................................... 31
39 Notification of the Chief Executive Officer of notifiable diseases, natural

disasters or health and safety issues ..................................................................... 31
40 Medical and dental care examinations ................................................................. 31
41 Transfer of student ............................................................................................... 32
42 Inspection of schools and teachers ....................................................................... 32
43 Closing of schools ................................................................................................ 32
44 Offences and penalties ......................................................................................... 33

PART XI - CURRICULA AND EXAMINATIONS 33

45 Establishment of the Curriculum Development Unit ........................................... 33
46 Functions of the Head of the Unit ........................................................................ 34
47 Functions of the Curriculum Development Unit .................................................. 34
48 Guiding principles for curriculum development, content and review .................. 35

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49 Minister to approve curricula ............................................................................... 36
50 Examinations ....................................................................................................... 36
51 Committees .......................................................................................................... 36
52 Examinations conducted by overseas examining authorities ............................... 36

PART XII – HIGHER EDUCATION 37

53 Higher Education Commission ............................................................................ 37
54 Responsibilities of the Ministry ........................................................................... 37

PART XIII - RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION 38

55 Arrangements in non-government schools .......................................................... 38
56 Minister to arrange in government schools .......................................................... 38

PART XIV – INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 39

57 Information Management System ........................................................................ 39

PART XV – TONGA GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIPS 40

58 Tonga Government Scholarships ......................................................................... 40
59 Bonded Scholarships ............................................................................................ 41
60 Scholarship Conditions ........................................................................................ 41
61 Notification of Bonded Scholarship in the Government Gazette ........................ 41
62 Scholarships Committee ...................................................................................... 42
63 Constitution of Scholarships Committee ............................................................. 42
64 Procedure at meetings .......................................................................................... 42
65 Public Notice of Scholarships and administrative arrangements ......................... 43

PART XVI – REGISTRATION OF TEACHERS 43

66 Interpretation ........................................................................................................ 43
67 Scope of this Part ................................................................................................. 43
68 Person shall register to teach................................................................................ 44
69 Functions of the Chief Executive Officer under this Part .................................... 44
70 Powers of the Chief Executive Officer under this Part ........................................ 45

APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION 45

71 Power to register .................................................................................................. 45
72 Application for registration .................................................................................. 45
73 Criteria for registration ........................................................................................ 45
74 Notice of Chief Executive Officer's decision ....................................................... 46
75 Registration fee .................................................................................................... 46
76 Certificate of registration ..................................................................................... 47
77 Duration of registration ........................................................................................ 47
78 Extension of registration ...................................................................................... 47
79 Renewal of registration ........................................................................................ 47
80 Provisional registration ........................................................................................ 48
81 Reports from employers on provisional registrants ............................................. 48

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82 Cancellation of provisional registration ............................................................... 48
83 Limited authority to teach .................................................................................... 48
84 Cancellation of limited authority .......................................................................... 49

APPEALS 49

85 Right of Appeal .................................................................................................... 49

COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION 50

86 Complaints ........................................................................................................... 50
87 Disciplinary action on conviction ........................................................................ 50

OFFENCES AND PENALTIES 51

88 Unregistered person not permitted to teach .......................................................... 51
89 Unregistered person not to be employed .............................................................. 51
90 Notification of sexual allegations ......................................................................... 51
91 False or misleading information or document ...................................................... 52

REGISTER OF TEACHERS 52

92 Chief Executive Officer to maintain a register of teachers .................................. 52

REGULATIONS UNDER THIS PART 53

93 Regulations ........................................................................................................... 53

ANNUAL REPORT TO MINISTER 54

94 Annual report on teacher registration ................................................................... 54

PART XVII - FEES 54

95 Fees to be prescribed ............................................................................................ 54
96 Crediting to fees ................................................................................................... 54

PART XVIII - MEDICAL INSPECTION 55

97 Medical inspection ............................................................................................... 55

PART XIX - COMPULSORY EDUCATION 55

98 Compulsory school age ........................................................................................ 55
99 Parent's duty to have child educated .................................................................... 55
100 Exemption from attending school ........................................................................ 56
101 Regular non-attendance at school ........................................................................ 56
102 Minister to regulate .............................................................................................. 57
103 School Attendance Officer and powers ................................................................ 57
104 Offence ................................................................................................................. 57

PART XX – EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION 58

105 Responsibilities of the Ministry ........................................................................... 58
106 Service providers operating early childhood education centres to be

licensed ................................................................................................................. 59

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107 Funding of certain early childhood services ........................................................ 59
108 Payment of fees for attendance of children at Early Childhood Education

Centres or kindergartens ...................................................................................... 60
109 Transitional provisions ........................................................................................ 60
110 Regulations under this Part .................................................................................. 60

PART XXI – SPECIAL NEEDS AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATION 62

111 Principle of inclusiveness .................................................................................... 62
112 Responsibilities of the Ministry in relation to children with special needs ......... 62
113 Equal rights to early childhood, primary and secondary education ..................... 63
114 Enrolment of student with special needs.............................................................. 63
115 Regulations under this Part .................................................................................. 63
116 Commencement of this Part ................................................................................. 64

PART XXII – TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND
TRAINING 64

117 Responsibilities of the Ministry in relation to TVET .......................................... 64
118 Cooperation with Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board

and TVET service providers ................................................................................ 65
119 Cooperation with Employers ............................................................................... 65
120 TVET Advisory Committee ................................................................................. 65

PART XXIII – INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY 66

121 Responsibilities of the Ministry ........................................................................... 66
122 Budgetary support for this Part ............................................................................ 67
123 Information Communications Technology Advisory Committee ....................... 67

PART XXIV – STAFF DEVELOPMENT 68

124 Staff Development for Ministry employees ......................................................... 68
125 Study Assistance for Staff Members .................................................................... 68
126 Eligibility for staff development and study assistance......................................... 69
127 Equity ................................................................................................................... 69

PART XXV – HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE MINISTRY 69

128 Responsibilities of the Ministry ........................................................................... 69
129 Responsibilities of Ministry Employees .............................................................. 70
130 Regulations under this Part .................................................................................. 70

PART XXVI - REGISTERS 70

131 Minister to maintain a Register of schools .......................................................... 70
132 Minister to maintain various registers .................................................................. 71
133 Land and Assets Register ..................................................................................... 71

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PART XXVII - REGULATIONS 72

134 Regulations ........................................................................................................... 72

PART XXVIII - LEGAL PROCEDURE 73

135 Opinion of Magistrate to be held to be true age of child in absence of
definite evidence .................................................................................................. 73

136 Officer may obtain copy of certificate of birth ..................................................... 73

PART XXIX - GENERAL 73

137 Unsuitable publications ........................................................................................ 73
138 Copyright over Ministry publications .................................................................. 74
139 Penalty for disturbance ......................................................................................... 74
140 Saving ................................................................................................................... 74
141 Signification of documents ................................................................................... 74
142 Transitional provisions ......................................................................................... 75
143 Consequential Amendments ................................................................................. 75




Education Act 2013 Section 1





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C
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EDUCATION ACT 2013

Act 25 of 2013

AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION

I assent,

TUPOU VI,

26
th
February 2014.



BE IT ENACTED by the King and Legislative Assembly of Tonga in the

Legislature of the Kingdom as follows:

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY

1 Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Education Act 2013.

(2) This Act shall come into force when it is published in the Gazette, except for

Part XXI which shall come into force on a date proclaimed by the Minister

and published in the Gazette.

2 Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —

“Advisory Council” means the Council established under the provisions of

Part IV of this Act;

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“Authorised officer” means any public officer authorised for the purpose by

the Minister;

“Board of Governors” means a Board established under the provisions of

section 25 of this Act;

“Certificate” for the purposes of Part XVI, means a certificate in the

prescribed form authorising a person to teach;

“Certificate of recognition” means a certificate of recognition in the

prescribed form, issued in accordance with the provisions of Part XVI of this

Act;

“Certificate of registration” means a certificate of registration in the

prescribed form, issued in accordance with the provisions of Part XVI of this

Act;

“Chief Executive Officer” means the Government chief executive officer

responsible for education and training;

“child” means for the purposes of Part XIX of this Act, any person who is of

compulsory school age;

“compulsory school age” subject to section 100, means any age between 4

years and 18 years;

“control” means in relation to any school the management thereof in

accordance with the provisions of this Act;

“controlling authority” means —

(a) in relation to a government school the Minister;

(b) in relation to any other school the Managing Authority;

“curriculum and curricula” each means all activities of the school in which

the students participate and includes all text-books and teaching materials

used in implementation of the school’s curricula;

“early childhood education” means the formal teaching of young children

by people outside the family setting and consists of activities and experiences

that are intended to effect developmental changes in young children prior to

their entry into primary school;

“early childhood education centre” means premises used regularly for the

education or care of ten or more children under the age of 5, by the day or part

of a day, but does not include premises where all the children present are –

(a) members of the same family in the care of a member of the family;

(b) members of the same family in the care of a caregiver who is not acting

for gain or reward; or

(c) premises used for the education of children for any period not

exceeding ten hours a week;

“educational institution” means –

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(a) an early childhood education centre;

(b) a school; or

(c) a tertiary education institution;

“government school” means –

(a) a school that is funded by the Government and includes a government

established early childhood education centre, primary school, secondary

school, special school or institute of higher education; and

(b) is maintained out of public funds and controlled by the Minister;

“Higher Education” means formal education that is offered as a progression

from secondary education and includes technical and vocational training and

education;

“hostel” means any boarding establishment run in conjunction with a school;

“inclusive education” means the process of strengthening the capacity of the

education system to reach out to all learners and students and as an overall

principle, guiding all education policies and practices starting from the fact

that education is a basic human right and the foundation for a more just and

equal society;

“information communications technology” or “ICT” means the use of

technology to assist in more efficient management systems and analysis of

information and for the purposes of this Act refers to the use of computer

systems including internet and email, telephones and facsimiles;

“licence” for the purposes of Part XX means a license issued to an early

childhood education centre once it is registered under this Act;

“managing authority” means any person or body of persons registered by

the Minister in accordance with the provisions of section 27 of this Act as a

controlling authority to be generally responsible for schools under their

control; and for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to

applications for the establishment of schools and registration or recognition of

schools, includes any person or body of persons proposing to be a controlling

authority so responsible;

“medical inspection” includes the physical examination of a student or

students and the consideration of all matters affecting the health of such

students;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for education and training;

“Ministry” means the Ministry responsible for education and training;

“non-government school” is any school other than a government school

established in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

“parent” in relation to any student includes a guardian and every person who

has the actual custody of the student;

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“persons with disabilities” includes those who have long-term physical,

mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various

barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal

basis with others;

“post basic education” means education and training offered in various

settings (formal, non-formal and informal) for students –

(a) aged 19 or more;

(b) who have completed secondary education to Year 13;

(c) whom are no longer attending secondary school;

(d) whom are not owned and maintained by a religious society for the

purpose of theological training;

“prescribe” means —

(a) prescribe by means of a Notice in the Government Gazette;

(b) prescribe by means of a memorandum signed by the Minister; and

(c) prescribe as a regulation made under the provisions of this Act;

“principal teacher” means in relation to any school, the teacher in charge of

the school;

“recognised institution” for the purposes of section 73(1)(a) means an

institution that has been registered and accredited by the Tonga National

Qualifications and Accreditation Board or by an equivalent body abroad;

“recognised school” means a non-government school granted a certificate of

recognition under the provisions of this Act;

“registered school” means a non-government school granted a certificate of

registration under the provisions of this Act;

“registered student” means, in relation to any school, a student registered as

such in the register kept in accordance with regulations made under this Act

but does not include any student who has been withdrawn from the school;

“school” means any institution in which not less than 5 students receive

regular instruction by way of personal tuition or any assembly of not less than

5 students for the purpose of receiving any such regular instructions or any

institution or place from which a regular instruction emanates or is imparted

to students by means of correspondence, but shall not include —

(a) any institution or assembly in which the instruction is, in the opinion of

the Minister, wholly or mainly of a religious character;

(b) any institution owned and maintained by a religious society for the

purpose of training persons —

(i) for the ordained ministry; or

(ii) for admission to a religious order under the direction of or

associated with such religious society:

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Provided that any class, division or section of any such

institution or assembly, in which instruction is, in the opinion of

the Minister, wholly or mainly devoted to secular subjects shall

be deemed to be a school;

(c) any institution or assembly the principal purpose of which is to impart

instruction in games or sport; or

(d) any institution or assembly which may be wholly or partially exempted

from the provisions of this Act by the Minister;

“school health officer” includes any Medical Officer, Assistant Medical

Officer, Dental Officer, Health Sister, District Nurse or any other person

appointed by the Minister of Health with the prior agreement of the Minister,

to act as a school health officer;

“service provider” means the body, agency, or person who or that operates

an early childhood education centre;

“special education” means education or help from a special school, special

class, or special service;

―staff development‖ refers to the range of activities that improve individual

staff skills and knowledge in ways that improve their ability to undertake their

job and which increase job satisfaction, performance and staff retention;

―staff development activities‖ includes tertiary qualifications, training

courses, workshops, programmes, coaching, mentoring and conferences;

―student‖ means a person of any age for whom education is provided under

the provisions of this Act and any person enrolled on the register of any

school or tertiary education institution;

“technical and vocational training and education” or “TVET” refers to

those aspects of the educational process involving, in addition to general

education, the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition

of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to

occupants in various sectors of economic and social life;

“universal basic education” refers to the whole range of educational

activities that aim to meet the basic learning needs of students, which in the

case of Tonga is provided through early childhood education (for children

aged 4-5), primary education (Year 1 to 6) and secondary education (Year 7 to

13);

―unsupervised access to children‖ in relation to a licensed early childhood

service, means access to any child that is not supervised by, or otherwise

observed by, or able to be directed (if necessary) by, any one or more of the

following –

(a) a registered teacher or holder of a limited authority to teach;

(b) an employee of the Ministry on whom a satisfactory police vet has been

conducted within the preceding 3 years; or

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(c) a parent of the child;

―vocational training‖ means short-term training in specific occupationally

related skills; and

―walking distance‖ for the purposes of Part XIX means 3 kilometres

measured by the most direct available route.

PART II - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

3 Right to Education in Tonga

(1) Every child in Tonga shall have the right to receive a quality education.

(2) Every child shall have the right to access educational and vocational

information and guidance.

(3) Educational and vocational information shall be made available in the Tongan

language and the English language.

4 Ministry of Education

There shall be a Ministry of Education under the direction and control of

the Minister.

5 Functions of the Ministry

The Ministry is responsible for —

(a) improving equitable access to and improving quality of universal basic

education for all children in Tonga from age 4 to age 18;

(b) improving access to quality of post basic education and training in Tonga;

(c) improving the administration of education and training so that the quality of

educational performance is enhanced;

(d) provision of quality teachers, through pre-service and in-service training of

teachers;

(e) registration and certification of teachers;

(f) inspection, assessment and appraisal of teaching and non-teaching staff;

(g) establishing and reviewing national educational standards;

(h) developing curriculum and instruction materials;

(i) conducting nationwide student testing, research and planning for programme

and performance improvement;

(j) licensing and certification of schools;

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(k) monitoring and evaluation of boards of education and other school authorities;

(l) overseeing Higher Education institutions and developing policies to improve

the quality, coordination, management, responsiveness and outcomes of

Higher Education in Tonga;

(m) ensuring that Minimal Service Standards are established, maintained and

implemented for the health and safety of students and staff in schools and on

school grounds;

(n) increasing the use of information and communications technologies for

teaching and learning, and in the work of the Ministry;

(o) development of the Education Management Information System (EMIS) and

other initiatives, for the improved system of school records, creation of

student profiles, maintenance of a land and assets register, scheduling and

dissemination of information;

(p) building strategic management capability to ensure that executive

management within the Ministry is innovative, flexible and responsive in

discharging responsibilities;

(q) creating a performance culture which reflects a high level of team work,

harmony and collaboration, and which builds organizational capability;

(r) ensuring efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery by Ministry

employees and all education providers;

(s) pursuing the national development goals of the Government as they relate to

education;

(t) actively seeking bilateral, multilateral and international assistance to support

the educational goals of the Government;

(u) accounting for donor funding and meeting reporting obligations to donor

agencies and development partners;

(v) forging strong relationships with executive stakeholders, agencies and

communities to ensure that strong relationship management drives the

activities and actions of the Ministry;

(w) development, maintenance and sustainability of infrastructure, facilities,

resources and the school environment of government schools; and

(x) establishing and maintaining a land and assets register.

6 Appointment of the Minister

(1) The Minister shall be appointed in accordance with clause 51(2) of the

Constitution.

(2) The Minister shall retain his position until the appointment ceases pursuant to

clause 51(3) of the Constitution.

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7 Functions of the Minister

(1) The Minister is responsible for carrying out functions –

(a) under this Act or any other Act;

(b) pursuant to clause 51 of the Constitution; and

(c) in accordance with lawful directives of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

(2) The Minister is primarily responsible for –

(a) overseeing the establishment, development and implementation of

educational policies;

(b) providing policy advice to Government; and

(c) co-ordinating efforts with Government agencies, regional organisations

and development partners for the provision of quality education and

educational services in the Kingdom.

(3) The Minister will exercise control over the administration of all Government

and non-Government schools in the Kingdom on behalf of the Government.

All acts done under the Minister’s direction or authority shall be deemed to

have been done by the Government.

(4) The Minister may from time to time from public funds, establish or maintain

or make grants-in-aid to, or advances on loan in respect of non-

government schools in consultation with the Minister of Finance.

(5) In the exercise and performance of the powers and duties conferred or

imposed on him under the provisions of this Act, the Minister shall have

regard to the general principle that, so far as is compatible with the provision

of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public

expenditure, and having regard to the aptitudes and interests of students

themselves, students should be educated in accordance with the wishes of

their parents.

(6) It shall be the duty of the Minister to present to the Legislative Assembly an

Annual Report on the condition and progress of education for the year just

ended.

8 Appointment of the Chief Executive Officer

(1) The Public Service Commission, in consultation with the Minister, shall

appoint a Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry.

(2) A person appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer shall possess at

least –

(a) a Masters Degree in an area relevant to the position;

(b) seven years experience in a senior executive position in the educational

sector in the Kingdom,

or as prescribed by the Public Service Commission from time to time.

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(3) In addition to the qualifications in subsection (2), a person appointed to the

position shall meet key competencies and capabilities established by the

Public Service Commission for Chief Executive Officers of Government

Ministries.

9 Functions of the Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer shall be responsible and accountable to the Minister for



(a) the performance of his functions under this Act, as well as statutory functions

of a Chief Executive Officer under the Public Service Act;

(b) the effective administration of the Ministry and proper execution of the

Ministry’s functions set out in section 5 of this Act;

(c) the creation and maintenance of full and accurate records of the Ministry’s

functions and activities, which should include administration files, academic

records, staff and student profiles, land and assets, school and administration

buildings, statistical information relating to staff and students and any other

information that the Minister deems appropriate;

(d) ensuring that the Ministry’s recordkeeping and information management

policies meet best practice guidelines and stand up to external scrutiny;

(e) ensuring that effective measures are put into place to prevent illegal records

manipulation, interference or disposal; and

(f) ensuring confidentiality of Ministry and school information, records and

documents by establishing protocols to prevent their unauthorised release.

10 Appointment of staff of the Ministry

(1) Except for the position of Chief Executive Officer, the Minister shall, in

consultation with and on the recommendation of the Staff Board, appoint staff

of the Ministry as the Minister may deem necessary.

(2) The Staff Board shall consist of the following members –

(a) the Chief Executive Officer (as Chair);

(b) one representative from the Ministry (nominated by the Chief

Executive Officer);

(c) one representative from the Public Service Commission (nominated by

the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Service Commission); and

(d) one independent representative (nominated by the Minister with the

approval of Cabinet).

(3) Except for the position of the Chief Executive Officer, the members of the

Staff Board shall hold office for a period of 3 years, after which they shall be

replaced by new members, appointed in accordance with subsection (2).

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(4) The power of appointment in subsection (1) includes the power to –

(a) recruit;

(b) promote; or

(c) transfer;

the employment of staff of the Ministry, in a manner that is consistent with

criteria established for the exercise of those powers by the Public Service

Commission under the Public Service Act.

(5) As appropriate, the Minister may recommend to the Public Service

Commission to discipline or terminate the employment of a staff member.

(6) The appointment of staff in a school other than a government school shall lie

with the Managing Authority of such school.

11 Delegation of Powers of the Minister and Chief Executive Officer

(1) Subject to section 13E(1) of the Public Service Act, the Minister or Chief

Executive Officer may delegate one or more of his powers to another

employee in the Ministry.

(2) A delegation shall be –

(a) made in writing;

(b) communicated to the person to whom the power is delegated and other

employees of the Ministry;

(c) state clearly the functions and powers that are being delegated; and

(d) state clearly the effective date for the delegation of powers.

(3) A delegation by a Minister or Chief Executive Officer will continue in effect,

even if the person who made the delegation is no longer in office.

(4) A delegation will end when it is revoked in writing by the Minister or Chief

Executive Officer in office.

(5) The Minister will maintain a register recording the powers that have been

delegated, the person to whom the powers have been delegated and the

duration for the delegation.

12 Divisions of the Ministry

(1) The Minister may organise the Ministry into such Divisions or offices as the

Minister deems appropriate, for the effective discharge of the duties and

responsibilities of the Ministry.

(2) The Minister shall ensure that each Division has sufficient resources, whether

human or financial, to carry out its functions.

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(3) The Minister shall appoint Deputy Chief Executive Officers to be responsible

for designated Divisions of the Ministry.

(4) Specific functions of Deputy Chief Executive Officers shall be determined by

the Minister and set out in written policies and regulations of the Ministry.

13 General Functions of a Deputy Chief Executive Officer

In addition to the specific functions allocated to a Deputy Chief Executive Officer

under section 12(4), a Deputy Chief Executive Officer will be responsible for the

following general functions –

(a) overseeing the general administration of the Division, managing staff,

directing work of the division and advising and reporting to the Chief

Executive Officer and Minister as required;

(b) advising the Chief Executive Officer on budgetary and human resource

requirements, outputs of the Division and how the work of the Division might

be improved;

(c) advising the Chief Executive Officer on staffing issues, including

recommendations for promotion, demotion, transfer, disciplinary action or

termination of employee contracts;

(d) overseeing the review of the Division’s written policies and advising the

Chief Executive Officer if policy, legislative or regulatory amendments are

required for each Division;

(e) reporting to the Chief Executive Officer on developments or challenges in his

Division and recommending how challenges might be overcome;

(f) ensuring that each employee –

(i) undertakes an induction process and is provided with a copy of relevant

laws and regulations of the Ministry and any information relevant to the

employee’s position;

(ii) understands how his functions relate to the overall objectives of the

Ministry and national educational goals of Government; and

(iii) carries out his functions effectively, in accordance with this Act and

laws governing employees of the Public Service;

(g) analysing the development needs of the Division and individual staff

members, and, with the approval of the Minister, ensuring that each staff

member has a current development plan to meet those needs;

(h) proposing sufficient budgetary provision for staff development within each

Division and ensuring that staff members are released for approved activities;

(i) as appropriate, mentoring and counselling staff within the Division; and

(j) advising on and promoting staff development opportunities and supporting the

application of new knowledge, skills or abilities within the workplace.

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PART III – FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

14 Ministry budget

The Ministry shall allocate a percentage of its allocated budget for expenditure on –

(a) special education and the Ministry’s responsibilities under section 112;

(b) early childhood education and the Ministry’s responsibilities under section

105;

(c) staff development needs;

(d) procurement of new resources and equipment, and their replacement; and

(e) maintenance of buildings and facilities.

15 Establishment of the Procurement Division

(1) There is hereby established a Procurement Division for the Ministry.

(2) The Minister shall appoint a Senior Officer as Head of the Procurement

Division and such other officers as are required for the efficient performance

of the tasks of the Division.

(3) Functions of the Procurement Division shall include –

(a) monitoring and ensuring effective compliance by officers of the

Ministry with the Public Procurement Regulations and regulations and

policies of the Ministry governing procurement;

(b) providing technical assistance to Ministry staff through the

dissemination of procurement technical guidance notes;

(c) preparing standard documents to be used in connection with the

Ministry’s procurement processes and activities;

(d) requesting and receiving information, records or documents from

officers within the Ministry who are involved in the procurement

process;

(e) developing, promoting and supporting training and professional

development of officers involved in the Ministry’s procurement

process, including adherence to the highest ethical standards; and

(f) maintaining and updating a database of bidders and suppliers who, by

reason of having seriously neglected their obligations to the Ministry or

having provided false information about their qualifications, have been

suspended or debarred by the Government Procurement Committee

under the Public Procurement Regulations from participating in public

procurement.

(4) In carrying out his functions, the Head of the Procurement Division shall

maintain regular contact with the Procurement Division of the Government,

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ensuring that the Division establishes and maintains an up to date register of

instructions and processes from that Division, for efficient and effective

processing of Ministry purchases and payments.

(5) The Ministry shall comply with the financial management procedures and

rules governing procurement set out in the Public Finance Management Act

2002 and Public Procurement Regulations and Instructions promulgated under

that Act.

(6) From time to time, the Ministry may develop appropriate regulations and

financial procedures to govern the financial matters of the Ministry, provided

that they are not inconsistent with the Public Finance Management Act 2002

and Public Procurement Regulations and Instructions promulgated under

that Act.

PART IV - THE ADVISORY COUNCIL

16 The Advisory Council for Education

For the purposes of this Act there shall be an Advisory Council to be styled ―The

Advisory Council for Education‖ and the Council shall, subject to the provisions of

this Act, be a consultative body to advise the Minister on —

(a) education policy and planning;

(b) the provision and organisation of educational facilities in the Kingdom;

(c) proposed legislation affecting education;

(d) any educational matters submitted in writing by not less than three members

subject to the provisions of section 19 of this Act; and

(e) any other educational matters referred to the Council by the Minister.

17 Constitution

(1) The Council shall consist of the Chief Executive Officer as an ex-officio

member and such and so many others as the Minister may from time to time

appoint, provided always that the Council shall include a representative from

each of the Managing Authorities.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every appointed member shall hold

office for 2 years from the date of the member’s appointment, but shall be

eligible for re-appointment, unless the member sooner dies, resigns or is

removed from office by the Minister.

(3) The Chairperson of the Council shall be appointed by the Minister or, in the

Minister’s absence, such other member as the Council shall elect to be

temporary chairperson.

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(4) The Secretary to the Advisory Council shall be an authorised officer assigned

for the purpose by the Minister.

(5) The Minister may, after consultation with such Managing Authority as may be

concerned, revoke the appointment of any member.

(6) Every appointment, resignation or revocation of a member from the Council

shall be notified in the Government Gazette.

(7) No act or proceeding of the Council, or of any committee of the Council, shall

be questioned and invalidated on account of any vacancy among the members

of the Council, or any of its committees or of any defect in their appointment.

18 Resignation and vacancies of membership

(1) A member of the Council who is an elected or appointed as a member of the

Legislative Assembly shall cease to be a member of the Council, but shall be

eligible for re-appointment to the Council once he ceases to be a member of

the Legislative Assembly.

(2) A member may resign from office by giving notice in writing to the Minister,

but the member shall be eligible for re-appointment at a future time.

(3) A member may apply to the Minister for a leave of absence, following which

the Minister may appoint a similarly qualified person to the Council for the

duration of the member’s leave of absence.

19 Meetings of the Council

(1) The Council shall meet at such times as the Minister may decide and in any

case not less than 3 times a year at intervals of not less than 14 weeks:

Provided that special meetings of the Council shall be convened by the

Chairperson upon receiving a requisition to do so, signed by not less than 3

members and endorsed by the Minister; provided further that such requisition

shall state the object for which the meeting may be summoned.

(2) The Minister may, at his sole discretion, convene a special meeting of the

Council and may preside over any such meeting.

20 Procedure at meetings

(1) At least half of the number of members shall form a quorum.

(2) Recommendations of the Council at meetings thereof shall be made and

recorded by the majority vote of members present and voting.

(3) The Chairperson of a meeting shall have an original and a casting vote.

(4) The Council may regulate its own procedure insofar as the same is not

prescribed by or under the provisions of this Act.

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(5) The Council, with the approval of the Chairperson, may invite any person to

attend any meeting of the Council and such person may take part in

proceedings of that meeting but shall not be entitled to vote:

Provided that persons so co-opted shall be persons with special knowledge or

experience required by the Council in the discharge of its duties.

21 Chief Executive Officer to report

The Chief Executive Officer shall have a duty to report to the Council on the action

taken by the Minister or by the Chief Executive Officer on any matter on which the

Council has advised the Minister.

22 Sub-committee of the Council

(1) The Council may, subject to any restriction imposed by the Minister, appoint

committees with power to co-opt, from time to time, persons with special

knowledge or experience required by the committees in the discharge of their

duties:

Provided that there shall be not less than 2 members of the Council on every

such committee and provided further that the Chief Executive Officer shall be

ex-officio chairperson of every such committee.

(2) The Council may authorise such committees to consider educational matters

which the Council may refer to them and to report to the Council thereon;

provided that any matters so referred by the Council are related to matters

which have been referred to the Council in accordance with the provisions of

this Act.

PART V - CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

23 Establishment of Government schools

The Minister may from time to time with the consent of the Cabinet, establish new

government schools in any locality; provided that due regard is had to any

educational facilities that are already provided by any other school already

established in the locality.

24 Minister to have control

The Minister shall have control within the provisions of this Act of all government

schools and may adopt a system of classification similar to that which he may adopt

for non-government schools as provided under section 34(1) of this Act.

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PART VI - PRINCIPAL TEACHERS OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS

25 Boards of Governors or Advisory Committee

If, in the opinion of the Minister, the establishment of a Board of Governors, or an

Advisory Committee, would be in the interest of any government school or group of

government schools, he may by notification in the Gazette, establish a Board of

Governors or an Advisory Committee for that school or group of schools with such

membership, powers, duties and functions as the Minister may prescribe.

26 Regulations under this Part

The Minister may make regulations regarding the functions, powers and duties of a

Board of Governors or Advisory Committee and to regulate their meetings and

procedures.

PART VII - MANAGING AUTHORITIES

27 Registration

(1) The Management of every non-government school or group of schools shall

be vested in a properly constituted controlling authority and herein and

hereafter referred to as the ―Managing Authority‖.

(2) Every such Managing Authority shall submit to the Minister its title, for

registration, and any other information the Minister may require concerning

its constitution.

(3) The Minister shall register every such Managing Authority, but may refuse to

register it if, after consultation with the Advisory Council, he considers such

Managing Authority to be not properly constituted as a controlling authority

or if it includes amongst its members any person who would be debarred from

being a Principal Teacher under section 32 of this Act.

28 Responsibilities and functions

(1) Each managing Authority shall be responsible for the management and

organisation in accordance with the provisions of this Act of all the schools

under its control.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, registered Managing Authorities shall

admit or appoint as the case may be, transfer, suspend or dismiss the students

or members of staff of the schools under their control and shall deal with all

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matters relating to establishment, management, organisation and

discontinuance of such schools.

(3) All Managing Authorities shall supply to the Minister such information,

concerning their schools and matters related thereto as the Minister may from

time to time request or require in pursuance of the duties and functions

conferred or imposed on under the provisions of this Act.

29 General Managers

(1) Every Managing Authority shall appoint a General Manager to be the

executive of the Managing Authority and shall submit the General Manager’s

name, and if he is appointed ex-officio his title, to the Minister for

registration.

(2) The General Manager shall be the corresponding manager of the Managing

Authority and shall receive and deal with all correspondence with the Minister

on the functions and responsibilities of the Managing Authority referred to in

section 28 of this Act:

Provided that all acts done by a General Manager shall be deemed to have

been done by the Managing Authority.

(3) Without prejudice to a person’s duties as General Manager, as provided in the

last preceding subsection, a General Manager may also be, subject to the

provisions of this Act, Principal Teacher of a school or group of schools.

(4) The Minister after agreement with the Managing Authority concerned may

refuse to register as General Manager any person who would be debarred

from being a Principal Teacher under the provisions of section 32 of this Act.

30 Offence

(1) Any person or body of persons who form a Managing Authority or manage

schools or assist in the management of schools as if they were a Managing

Authority when they are not registered as such, shall be guilty of an offence

and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 and in

default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months.

(2) Any person who functions as General Manager or assists in performing the

functions of a General Manager when he is not registered as General Manager

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not

exceeding $5000 and in default of payment to a period of imprisonment not

exceeding 6 months.

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PART VIII - PRINCIPAL TEACHERS OF NON-GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS

31 Registration

Every Managing Authority shall appoint a Principal Teacher for every school or

group of schools under its control, to assist the Managing Authority in the fulfilment

of its duties and responsibilities in section 28 of this Act, and shall submit his name,

and if the Principal Teacher is appointed ex-officio, his title, to the Minister, for

registration, and may give to its Principal Teachers directions, not inconsistent with

the provisions of this Act, as to their duties and functions:

Provided that all acts done by a Principal Teacher shall be deemed to have been

done by the Managing Authority.

32 Minister may refuse to register

(1) The Minister after agreement with the Managing Authority concerned may

refuse to register as Principal Teacher, any person who has been or is liable to

be prohibited from managing or assisting in the management of a school.

(2) The Minister shall have power by notice in writing to the Managing Authority

concerned, to prohibit any person from being a Principal Teacher or assisting

in the management of any school or group of schools if the person —

(a) has been convicted of any offence involving dishonesty, fraud,

violence, or moral turpitude;

(b) is an undischarged bankrupt; or

(c) was Principal Teacher or in any way participating in the management of

any school any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraphs (a), (c)

and (d) of section 43(1) of this Act arose, in consequence of which the

school was closed under the powers conferred by that section.

33 Offence

Any person who functions as Principal Teacher or assists in the management of a

school or group of schools when not registered as Principal Teacher or after he has

been prohibited from doing so under the provisions of the last preceding section

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding

$5000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding

6 months.

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PART IX - CONTROL OF NON-GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS

34 Classification of schools

(1) The Minister after agreement with the Managing Authority concerned may

adopt a system of classification with appropriate nomenclature for

distinguishing —

(a) different types of schools according to the nature or form, or highest

form, of education provided therein respectively; and

(b) different classes, standards or forms within schools according to the

stage and nature of education provided therein respectively.

(2) Any Principal Teacher of a school or any member of a Managing Authority

who, with intent to mislead, wilfully publishes any written matter or wilfully

causes any matter to be broadcast suggesting that the school is of a type or

classification other than that in which it is, for the time being, classified under

this Part of this Act, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a

fine not exceeding $5000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6

months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

35 Establishment of non-government schools

(1) The Minister may, after consultation with the Advisory Council, apply the

provisions of this section in part or in whole, to any school in existence before

the coming into force of this Act as if it were a school to be established under

the provisions of this section.

(2)

(a) Any person or body of persons desirous of establishing a

non-government school shall first apply in the prescribed manner and in

the case of any application, under which the proposed school does not

conform wholly to conditions prescribed under this Act, the Minister

may, in approving such application impose such conditions as he thinks

fit.

(b) After approval being given, and at the due time as prescribed by the

Minister, the applicant shall apply for a prescribed certificate of

registration or recognition as the case may be.

(3) For the purpose of this Act, the establishment of a school, without prejudice to

the generality of that expression shall be deemed to include —

(a) the provisions of any nature or form of education in any school, being a

nature or form of education different from the nature or form of

education falling within the classification in which the school is, for the

time being, classified;

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(b) the adoption by the Managing Authority of any school, by any means,

in relation to the school, of a different nomenclature from that in which

that school is, for the time being classified;

(c) the re-opening of any school which has remained closed for a

consecutive period of 6 months or more;

(d) the transfer of management or change of controlling authority of any

school, whether such transfer or change takes effect by way of

partnership or otherwise;

(e) the transfer of a school to a new site;

(f) any new or additional classroom or other building for instructional

purposes to be constructed after the establishment of the school has

been approved;

(g) the construction or purchase or renting of a building to be used for the

purpose of conducting a school.

(4) The Minister after agreement with the Managing Authority concerned may

refuse any application for approval of the establishment of a school if he is

satisfied that —

(a) the number of potential students in the area capable of benefiting from

the facilities offered by the proposed school is too small to warrant the

establishment of such a school;

(b) the proposed site or premises is unsuitable or inadequate for the type of

school sought to be established;

(c) the proposed school will not be in the best interests of education in

relation to the best use of government funds, or otherwise;

(d) adequate provision already exists for the type of education which it is

proposed to give in the school; or

(e) the proposed Managing Authority or proposed Principal Teacher or any

proposed assistant in the management of such school is prohibited or is

liable to be prohibited from serving in such capacity under the

provisions of section 27(3) or section 32 of this Act as the case may be.

(5) Where the Minister has refused his approval under the provision of the last

preceding subsection the applicant for such approval may, within 30 days of

the date of such refusal, appeal to the Cabinet whose decision shall be final.

(6) The Minister may refuse an application for a certificate of registration or

recognition if, in his opinion, there has been a breach —

(a) of any prescribed condition of registration or recognition; or

(b) of any condition imposed by the Minister when approving the

application under subsection (1) of this section.

(7) The Minister may, when issuing a certificate of registration or recognition,

classify the school in a category which may be provided therein and shall

specify in such certificate any condition thereof which may be prescribed

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from time to time or such conditions which the Minister thinks fit to impose in

accordance with subsection (2)(a) of this section.

(8) The Minister may cancel the certificate of registration or recognition as the

case may be, of any school which he is satisfied has remained closed for a

period of 6 consecutive months.

(9) The Minister, may, at any time, cancel the certificate of registration or

recognition of a school which has ceased or failed to conform to the

conditions prescribed or imposed by the Minister, for such a school under

subsection (2)(a) of this section.

(10)

(a) The Managing Authority of any registered or recognized school shall

be specified in the certificate of registration or recognition of such

school and when any change of Managing Authority occurs, within 3

months of such change, the Minister shall be informed thereof in

writing and the certificate shall be returned for endorsement thereon of

the change of controlling authority.

(b) The provisions of the last preceding paragraph shall be deemed to be a

prescribed condition of any certificate of registration or recognition.

(11) (a)

(i) A certificate of registration or recognition shall be returned to the

Minister within 14 days of his request therefore being received in

writing, to be endorsed to give effect to the powers of the

Minister prescribed by this section or under this Act;

(ii) The provisions of the last preceding sub-paragraph shall be

deemed to be a prescribed condition of any certificate of

registration or recognition.

(b) The Minister may, instead of endorsing any such certificate, cancel the

same and issue another in its place.

(12) The Minister shall, in every case where a certificate of registration or

recognition is endorsed or cancelled, or replaced by a different certificate,

make suitable amendments or entries in the register maintained by him under

the provisions of section 131 of this Act.

(13) The Minister or any authorised officer may, without notice, visit, enter and

inspect, any place in which there is reason to believe that a school is being

conducted, approval for the establishment of which has not been registered or

recognized under this Part of the Act:

Provided that no inspection of any staff living quarter shall be carried out

except with the prior permission of the occupier of such quarter.

Offence

(14) Any person who —

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(a) proceeds with the establishment of a school, approval for the

establishment of which has not been granted;

(b) maintains a school which has not been registered or recognized under

this Part of this Act;

(c) manages or assists in the management of any such school, or of any

school the registration or recognition of which is cancelled under the

provisions of this section; or

(d) manages or assists in the management of any school in which to his

knowledge any publication or periodical publication which is for the

time being declared to be unsuitable for use in schools by the Minister

under the provisions of section 139 of this Act or any copy thereof, or

extract therefrom, is used as part of the instruction provided in such

school,

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not

exceeding $5000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not

exceeding 6 months and to a further fine not exceeding $100 for each day on

which the offence continues after conviction therefor.

PART X – SCHOOL MANAGEMENT

36 Health and safety in schools

(1) This Part shall apply to all Government and non-Government schools, at all

levels of education in Tonga.

(2) A Managing Authority, Principal or head teacher shall ensure that each school

complies with standards prescribed in the Minimal Service Standards adopted

by the Ministry, including the requirements for health and safety in schools.

(3) If the Minister is satisfied that, having regard to the nature of the site or to any

existing buildings on any school or to other special circumstances affecting

the school premises, it would be unreasonable to require full compliance with

the prescribed standards relating to health and safety in schools, the Minister

may waive all or any of such prescribed requirements.

(4) Where it appears to the Minister that the premises of a school do not conform

with the prescribed requirements, the Minister may order the Managing

Authority, Principal or head teacher of such school to execute within a

reasonable period, such specified works as are necessary to secure

compliance.

(5) If the Minister is satisfied that an order under subsection (4) has not been

carried out within the specified period, the Minister may order the closure of

the school.

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37 Corporal Punishment prohibited

(1) A person in a school or on any school premise shall not –

(a) verbally abuse any student; or

(b) use force (whether by way of correction or punishment) against any

student.

(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) shall include an employee, agent, or

volunteer of the Ministry, Managing Authority or school.

38 Duty to maintain records, registers and reports

The Managing Authority, Principal Teacher or head teacher of every school shall

keep and maintain the following documents to ensure the health and safety of

students of the school —

(a) student health records available to the school;

(b) accident register;

(c) safety and emergency procedures;

(d) reports of hazardous circumstances; and

(e) notifiable diseases register.

39 Notification of the Chief Executive Officer of notifiable diseases,
natural disasters or health and safety issues

(1) The Managing Authority, Principal Teacher or head teacher of a school shall,

on the prescribed form, notify the Chief Executive Officer immediately of the

occurrence of a notifiable disease, natural disaster or health and safety issue

within the school.

(2) A notifiable disease is a disease which is listed as notifiable by the Ministry of

Health under the Public Health Act.

40 Medical and dental care examinations

(1) From time to time, Government approved health officers will carry out

authorised medical and dental examinations of students. Prior to such

examination, the Managing Authority, Principal Teacher or head teacher shall

ensure that the school has informed and received the written consent of a

child’s parents or guardians.

(2) After a medical or dental examination, a child’s parents shall be consulted if

there is a need for further action.

(3) A copy of the health officer’s report shall be provided to the Principal Teacher

and included in a child’s medical file.

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41 Transfer of student

When a student transfers to another school, the Managing Authority, Principal

Teacher or head teacher shall provide the new school with the student’s complete

record, which shall include the student’s profile, medical file, and dental record.

42 Inspection of schools and teachers

(1) The Minister or any authorised officer may, with due notice to the Managing

Authority concerned –

(a) visit, enter and inspect any school; and

(b) inspect, assess and appraise the work of any teacher in such school.

(2) For the purpose of this section a school shall be deemed to include any part of

such school and any building used in connection with it, including workshops,

dormitories, kitchens, sanatoria, hostels and all auxiliary buildings.

43 Closing of schools

(1) If, as a result of an inspection carried out in accordance with this Part, the

Minister is satisfied that —

(a) any school is conducted in a manner which is calculated to be

detrimental to the physical, mental or moral welfare of the students

attending, or that any instruction has been imparted to any student,

which is prejudicial to peace, good order or good government of the

Kingdom;

(b) the premises of any school do not and cannot at reasonable expense be

made to conform with the prescribed requirements relating to health

and safety;

(c) the basic curriculum prescribed or approved by the Minister is

persistently and materially departed from in any school;

(d) any publication or periodical publication which in accordance with the

provisions of section 35(14)(d) of this Act, is for the time being

declared by the Minister unsuitable for use in schools or any copy or

extract, is, or has been, after the date of such declaration, knowingly

used or referred to in, or in the course of, or as part of the instruction

provided in any school;

(e) any school is not for the time being registered or recognised under and

in accordance with the provisions of Part VIII of this Act;

(f) any person is managing or assisting in the management of any school

after having been prohibited from serving in such capacity under the

provisions of section 32 of this Act; or

(g) it is not in the best interests of education in relation to the best use of

government funds, or otherwise to keep any school open,

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the Minister may, after consultation with the Advisory Council and the

Managing Authority, order the closure of the school.

(2) The Managing Authority of any school may, at any time, request the Minister

to close such school and, in such event, the Minister may order the Managing

Authority of such school to close the school.

(3) Any school ordered to be closed under the provisions of this section and

which has remained closed for a period of less than 6 months may be

reopened at the discretion of the Minister after consultation with the

Managing Authority responsible for that particular school.

(4) When a school has been ordered to be closed under any of the provisions of

this Act, the Managing Authority of such school may, within 30 days of the

date of such order, appeal against such order to the Cabinet whose decision

shall be final. Pending the disposal of such appeal, the Minister may, in his

discretion, permit the school to remain open.

44 Offences and penalties

(1) A person who –

(a) keeps open or reopens otherwise than in accordance with the provisions

of this Act a school ordered to be closed under the provisions of this

Part; or

(b) manages or assists in the management of any such school,

commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not

exceeding $10,000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a period not

exceeding 12 months, and to a further fine, not exceeding $100 for each day

on which the offence continues after the conviction.

(2) A person who exercises corporal punishment on a student in breach of section

37 commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction –

(a) to a fine not exceeding $500 for a first offence; or

(b) to a fine not exceeding $1,000 for a second and subsequent offence, or

to a term of imprisonment of 6 months, or both.

PART XI - CURRICULA AND EXAMINATIONS

45 Establishment of the Curriculum Development Unit

(1) There is hereby established a Curriculum Development Unit for the Ministry.

(2) The Minister shall appoint a Senior Officer as Head of the Unit and such other

officers as are required for the efficient performance of the tasks of the Unit.

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(3) The Minister may from time to time employ qualified consultants and

technical experts to assist with the work of the Unit.

46 Functions of the Head of the Unit

Functions of the Head of the Unit shall include the following —

(a) develop policies, criteria and standards for curriculum and assessments of

students;

(b) develop and evaluate curriculum for courses normally undertaken in, or

designed to be undertaken in the school years 1 to 14;

(c) provide guidelines for the modification of curriculum and for the development

of individual learning programmes for children with special needs;

(d) advise or make recommendations to the Minister on any educational policy or

strategy relating to the development of curriculum that will prepare students

for successful transition into employment, tertiary education, vocational

education and training and further education;

(e) oversee the work of staff of the unit to ensure effective performance of their

functions; and

(f) report to, be accountable for, and advise the Minister on any matter for which

the Unit is responsible.

47 Functions of the Curriculum Development Unit

Functions of the Unit shall include but not be limited to the following –

(a) develop a curriculum framework which recognises that all students should

have the opportunity to develop essential values, skills and knowledge

through study in key learning areas;

(b) seek to improve the achievement levels of students through quality learning

and teaching programmes;

(c) provide a structure around which schools can build educational programmes

to suit the needs of their students and to respond to changes in society;

(d) ensure that schools provide learning opportunities that are enriching,

enjoyable and challenging for all students;

(e) facilitate the emergence of schools as learning organisations in learning

communities, each with its own way of combining relevant approaches to

school organisation, curriculum, and teaching and learning within the context

of school-based management;

(f) provide the scope for schools and their communities to respond in innovative

ways to the needs of students situated in the local community and for

engaging with global realities; and

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(g) establish and develop aims for early childhood education, inclusive education,

basic education, secondary school education, higher education and technical

and vocational training to enable young people to realise their potential,

achieve their personal ambitions, and contribute to the society in which they

live.

48 Guiding principles for curriculum development, content and review

Curriculum development, content and review should be guided by the following

principles –

(a) recognition of the uniqueness of the Kingdom, its people and its culture in

providing students with the opportunity to learn about and cultivate an

appreciation of Tongan values, history, culture, beliefs and traditions;

(b) high expectations for achievement and success for all students recognising

that all students can be successful when they are provided with sufficient time

and support in an environment that is conducive to learning;

(c) a high level of teacher professionalism and highly effective teaching to ensure

quality outcomes for students;

(d) programmes are carefully planned and use a range of teaching and assessment

approaches in order to cater for the various learning styles of students;

(e) develop and enforce the implementation of the national language policy;

(f) promotion of the use of Tongan and English languages for construction of

knowledge, skills, values and culture, and for creating and fostering

understanding of self, others, and of the world;

(g) development of the whole person by offering learning programmes that build

upon students experiences, reinforce prior learning, encourage reflection,

facilitate creative and critical thinking, and challenge learner to acquire new

knowledge and skills;

(h) promotion of learning that is relevant, meaningful and useful;

(i) development of learning programmes that take account of and link with the

foundations established through early childhood education and the home, and

that connect with the post secondary education and training opportunities,

providing an integrated approach to learning;

(j) encouraging an understanding of the place that Tonga has in the Pacific and

globally, and the range of political, economic and social relationships and

interactions that the country has in those settings; and

(k) development of learning programmes that are inclusive of all students, and

which recognise and respond to the educational needs and interests of all

students including children with special needs, with disabilities, who are

gifted, and of both genders.

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49 Minister to approve curricula

(1) The curricula in all government schools shall be as determined by the

Curriculum Development Unit and approved by the Minister.

(2) A Managing Authority shall prescribe the curriculum for schools under its

control, subject to prior agreement with the Minister.

(3) The Minister shall determine regular intervals for the review and development

of schools curricula with due regard to evaluations of the existing curricula

and changes in society.

(4) The Ministry will develop and retain a core of curriculum officers in the Unit

with the skills and expertise to review and evaluate curricula continuously.

50 Examinations

The Minister may, with the consent of Cabinet, from time to time institute such

examinations as the Minister shall deem necessary, and may make regulations

concerning the content and conduct of such examinations and the moderation of

results:

Provided that, where a prescribed text is not acceptable to a Managing Authority on

grounds of religious doctrine, the Minister may, after consultation with such

Managing Authority, prescribe an alternative.

51 Committees

The Minister may, at his discretion, establish committees on a temporary basis,

comprising such persons as the Minister may think fit, to advise the Minister on any

curriculum and any examination.

52 Examinations conducted by overseas examining authorities

(1) The Minister shall, from time to time, after consultation with the Advisory

Council, designate overseas examining authorities whose examinations have

been approved as examinations suitable for students in the Kingdom and

suited to the educational need of the Kingdom. The Minister shall promulgate

the titles of such examining authorities by means of notice in the Government

Gazette or otherwise.

(2) The Minister may make regulations governing the arrangements and

procedures to be followed in the administration of such examinations

conducted in the Kingdom:

Provided always that any such regulations shall not be inconsistent with the

examination instructions of the examining authority.

(3) The Managing Authority of any school which presents, or intends to present,

candidates, for any overseas examination other than those promulgated under

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the provisions of subsection (1), shall notify the Minister of such intentions as

soon as possible and in any case at least 2 months before the date of the

examination.

(4) A Managing Authority that fails to give notice pursuant to section 52(3) shall

be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not

exceeding $2000.

PART XII – HIGHER EDUCATION

53 Higher Education Commission

(1) The Minister is responsible for overseeing the establishment and development

of Higher Education institutions in Tonga.

(2) The Minister may establish a body or commission to provide policy advice for

the establishment, development and advancement of Higher Education

institutions in Tonga.

(3) Rules governing the establishment of a body or commission under subsection

(2) shall be promulgated under regulations endorsed by the Minister and

approved by Cabinet.

(4) This section shall not affect the responsibility of the Tonga National

Qualifications and Accreditation Board to register and accredit post

compulsory education providers pursuant to the Tonga National

Qualifications and Accreditation Board Act.

54 Responsibilities of the Ministry

(1) The Ministry is responsible for establishing, and maintaining, a system for

higher education that is —

(a) relevant to the needs of the public and private sectors of the economy;

and

(b) consistent with the economic and social goals, and priorities, of the

Government.

(2) The system shall, among other things, provide for —

(a) formulating policy on higher education, after consulting key

stakeholders;

(b) liaising with the public and private sectors of the economy about labour

market needs and human resources development;

(c) coordinating the long-term development of higher education;

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(d) planning for the funding of higher education, including the recurrent

and development needs of Government educational institutions that

provide higher education;

(e) promoting co-ordination among the various parts of the education

system and educational institutions that provide higher education;

(f) ensuring the prescribed standards of teaching, assessment and grading

are adhered to in order to minimise variability between educational

institutions that provide higher education;

(g) monitoring and evaluating the performance of the system for higher

education in order to ensure the successful performance of all education

activities;

(h) initiating, supporting and conducting research in the area of higher

education, and disseminating the results of the research in order to

enhance the quality and relevance of the system for higher education;

(i) establishing links with international educational institutions to draw

from their experience in the development of the system for higher

education;

(j) guiding the development of new and emerging vocations to meet the

requirements of an ever-changing economy;

(k) developing a culture that fosters entrepreneurial and creative skills; and

(l) encouraging collaboration between business and the providers of

education.

(3) To the extent possible, the Government shall ensure that higher education in

the Kingdom is accessible to all on the basis of capacity.

PART XIII - RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION

55 Arrangements in non-government schools

Provision for religious instruction may be made in any non-government school by its

controlling authority.

56 Minister to arrange in government schools

The Minister shall make suitable arrangements for the Ministers of religion of any

denomination or persons accredited by any denominations to visit government

schools for the purpose of giving religious instruction to students of their respective

denominations.

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PART XIV – INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

57 Information Management System

(1) The Ministry shall establish and maintain an Information and Management

System to capture all relevant data in relation to the work of the Ministry.

(2) Relevant data obtained by the Ministry may include the following information



(a) names of employees of the Ministry;

(b) qualifications of employees and work experience;

(c) employee commencement and termination dates;

(d) names of students, academic records and student profiles;

(e) names of schools, lands and assets and school profiles;

(f) gifts, donations or fundraising proceeds received by the Ministry;

(g) research study conducted in the Kingdom and related to education; and

(h) any other information that the Ministry requires to effectively carry out

its functions and which it may lawfully obtain.

(3) Data obtained under this Part may be used by the Ministry for the following

purposes –

(a) informing decision-makers for evidence based decision-making in

relation to achieving the educational goals of the Ministry or education

in Tonga;

(b) directing the Ministry in its management and development goals;

(c) assisting with the Ministry’s reporting obligations to the Cabinet,

Legislative Assembly, development partners and external agencies;

(d) facilitating academic accountability through the analysis and reporting

of academic data;

(e) enabling the Ministry to estimate the real cost of investment in

education in Tonga; and

(f) any other lawful purpose approved by the Chief Executive Officer.

(4) At the time prescribed, every school in Tonga including Government and non-

Government schools at pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary levels,

shall be required to submit the information under subsection (3) to the

Ministry.

(5) The Ministry shall coordinate its data collection processes, to ensure that the

least disruption is made to the work and administration of teaching staff of

schools.

(6) The Ministry shall ensure that all information obtained under this Part is kept

confidential at all times.

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(7) A request for information shall be made in writing to the Chief Executive

Officer before any information is released by the Ministry.

(8) When assessing a request for information, the Chief Executive Officer shall

ensure that –

(a) the person making the request agrees to the condition that if official

data will be quoted in a report or publication, he will promptly provide

a copy of the report or publication to the Ministry; and

(b) releasing the requested information will not contravene any law in the

Kingdom relating to the confidentiality of documents or of information.

(9) The Ministry shall ensure that employees who are responsible for maintaining

the information management system are sufficiently trained and supported in

appropriate use of the Ministry’s information management system.

(10) The Ministry will regularly review procedures to ensure that data obtained

under this section continues to be relevant, useful and meets the Ministry’s

needs.

(11) Rules governing the maintenance of the Ministry’s information management

system may be included in regulations and written policies of the Ministry.

PART XV – TONGA GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIPS

58 Tonga Government Scholarships

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act there may be provided

annually, from public funds, scholarships for the purpose of enabling persons

who have the necessary qualifications to undergo approved courses of

education and training in Tonga and abroad. The scholarships so provided

shall be known as ―Tonga Government Scholarships‖.

(2) Tonga Government Scholarships will only be awarded by the Ministry on

condition that scholarship recipients will return to Tonga to render service to

the country.

(3) The Minister may, with the consent of Cabinet, make regulations with regard

to the granting and holding of Tonga Government Scholarships and of any

scholarships donated by governments and agencies other than the Tonga

Government for award by the Tonga Government:

Provided that such regulations shall apply subject to conditions imposed by

the donating governments or agencies in relation to scholarships donated by

them.

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59 Bonded Scholarships

(1) The Minister shall enter into an agreement under this section with any person

who is provided with a –

(a) Tonga Government Scholarship to undertake tertiary studies abroad;

(b) Tonga Government grant or allowance to undertake teacher training; or

(c) Tonga Government grant or allowance to undertake staff development

programmes in Tonga or abroad.

(2) The agreement shall provide for —

(a) payment by the Ministry to the person of an amount of money on

condition that the person will return to work in Tonga on completion of

the person’s tertiary studies, training, or programme for a specified

period; and

(b) an undertaking by the person that, if he defaults on the condition, he

will repay (in full or on a pro-rata basis, as determined under the

agreement) the amount awarded by the Ministry under subsection

(2)(a).

(3) The Minister shall require that the agreement is signed by a guarantor for the

person, in which case the guarantor is jointly and severally liable with the

person under the agreement.

60 Scholarship Conditions

(1) On completion of his studies, a person with a bonded scholarship is required

to work in the Kingdom, either immediately or within a period approved by

the Minister.

(2) A person under subsection (1) is deemed to have fulfilled his obligations to

the Government when he completes and passes the full course of study,

training or programme for which the scholarship was granted and -

(a) returns to the Kingdom and works in an agency approved by the

Minister for the full duration of the period specified in the agreement;

or

(b) repays to the Ministry in full, the value of the scholarship, allowance or

grant in accordance with the agreement.

61 Notification of Bonded Scholarship in the Government Gazette

If a person who has entered into an agreement with the Minister under section 59 –

(a) fails to complete the course of study for which the scholarship, grant or

allowance was awarded;

(b) completes the course of study for which the scholarship, grant or allowance

was awarded but does not return to Tonga;

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(c) completes the course of study for which the scholarship, grant or allowance

was awarded but on his return to Tonga chooses not work for an agency

approved by the Minister under section 60(2)(b); or

(d) completes the course of study for which the scholarship, grant or allowance

was awarded but does not work for the full term of the bond in an agency

approved by the Minister,

and does not repay the Ministry the full value of the scholarship within the time

specified in the agreement, the Minister shall, by notice in the Gazette, declare that

the bonded scholarship is immediately payable.

62 Scholarships Committee

There shall be a Scholarships Committee whose function shall be, subject to the

provisions of section 58(3), to make the awards of Tonga Government Scholarships

and of scholarships donated by governments and agencies other than the Tonga

Government for award by the Tonga Government.

63 Constitution of Scholarships Committee

(1) The Scholarship Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, a Deputy

Chairperson and such other members as the Minister, with the approval of

Cabinet, may appoint.

(2) Every appointed member shall hold office for a period of three years unless

the member sooner dies, resigns or unless the member’s appointment is

revoked by the Minister with the approval of Cabinet.

(3) A member may resign from the Committee by giving notice to the Minister in

writing.

(4) Every appointment, revocation of an appointment, or resignation of a member

of the Scholarships Committee shall be notified in the Gazette.

(5) The Secretary to the Scholarships Committee shall be an authorised officer

appointed by the Minister.

(6) No act or proceeding of the Committee shall be questioned and invalidated on

account of any vacancy among its members or of any defect in a member’s

appointment.

64 Procedure at meetings

(1) A quorum of any meeting of the Scholarships Committee shall be half of the

number of the members of the Committee.

(2) Decisions of the Committee shall be made and recorded by the majority vote

of members present.

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(3) The Chairperson shall have an original and a casting vote.

(4) The Committee may regulate its own procedure in so far as the same is not

prescribed under the provisions of this Act.

(5) The Scholarships Committee may invite any person to attend any meeting of

the Committee and each person may take part in the proceedings of that

meeting but shall not be entitled to vote.

65 Public Notice of Scholarships and administrative arrangements

The Minister shall give adequate notice, through press and radio and any other

suitable media of scholarships that are available, and shall prescribe administrative

arrangements governing the submission of applications and the procedure to be

followed by the Committee in dealing with applications and the granting of awards.

PART XVI – REGISTRATION OF TEACHERS

66 Interpretation

In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires —

“good character” means good character as referred to in section 73(3);

“registered teacher” means a person —

(a) who is registered or provisionally registered under this Part; and

(b) whose name appears on the register in section 92; and

“registration” means registration under section 71, and includes renewal of

registration and provisional registration.

67 Scope of this Part

(1) This Part applies to a —

(a) teacher currently teaching in an early childhood education centre,

primary, secondary or tertiary school, including a Government or non-

Government school;

(b) new graduate holding a Diploma in Teaching who intends to teach;

(c) teacher who is a member of the administration staff of the Ministry but

who intends to teach;

(d) teacher educator in a local training institution;

(e) teacher in a theological school or institution;

(f) retired teacher who has been or will be re-engaged by the Ministry to

work as a teacher; and

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(g) foreign volunteer or consultant who will undertake teaching duties in a

school or training institution in Tonga for a period of more than one

month.

(2) The employer of a person listed in subsection (1) shall ensure compliance

with this Part of the Act.

68 Person shall register to teach

(1) Every employer shall, on or before 30 April each year, provide the Chief

Executive Officer with a form in the prescribed form, listing all persons –

(a) teaching at the school as at 1 April of that year; and

(b) intending to teach at the school after 30 April of that year.

(2) The Chief Executive Officer shall not permit a person to teach at a school in

Tonga unless the person is a holder of a certificate of registration under

section 76 or authorisation under section 83 permitting that person to teach or

practice teaching at a school in Tonga.

69 Functions of the Chief Executive Officer under this Part

In addition to the functions conferred upon the Chief Executive Officer under this or

any other Act, the Chief Executive Officer has the following functions –

(a) the registration of a person qualified to be registered as a teacher under this

Part;

(b) keeping teacher registration in Tonga under continuous review and making

reports and recommendations to the Minister in relation to this;

(c) conferring and collaborating with employing authorities, teacher education

institutions, the teaching profession, teacher organisations and the general

community in relation to standards of courses of teacher education acceptable

for the purpose of teacher registration and to advise the Minister accordingly;

(d) conducting relevant review and research projects for the purpose of this Part;

(e) promoting the teaching profession;

(f) developing, formulating and improving professional teaching standards

attuned to the needs of students and of a professional work force;

(g) developing, formulating and maintaining a code of professional ethics for the

teaching profession; and

(h) making recommendations to the Minister in relation to special projects,

including funding required to undertake such projects.

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70 Powers of the Chief Executive Officer under this Part

In furtherance of his functions under section 69, the Chief Executive Officer with

the consent of the Minister, shall have the power to —

(a) collect prescribed fees for the purposes of this Part;

(b) develop and maintain written policies and instructions which will assist the

general public to comply with provisions under this Part; and

(c) investigate complaints and institute disciplinary action as required.



APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION

71 Power to register

(1) The Chief Executive Officer has the power to grant the registration of a

person as a teacher under this Act.

(2) The power under subsection (1) includes the power to —

(a) refuse registration, renew, vary, suspend or cancel such registration; or

(b) impose, vary, suspend or revoke conditions.

72 Application for registration

(1) A person qualified to be registered as a teacher may, in the prescribed form

and accompanied by the prescribed fee, apply to the Chief Executive Officer

for registration.

(2) The Chief Executive Officer may require a person to provide any further

information he considers necessary to consider the application.

73 Criteria for registration

(1) The Chief Executive Officer shall not register a person as a teacher unless he

is satisfied that the person has —

(a) successfully completed an approved course and holds a qualification

relating to teacher education and training from a recognised institution

in Tonga or abroad, and completed at least one year of full-time

teaching to the satisfaction of the Chief Executive Officer;

(b) contributed to educational practice and has qualifications and

experience that, in the opinion of the Chief Executive Officer, are

sufficient to warrant registration; or

(c) complied with any requirements of the Chief Executive Officer during

any period of provisional registration.

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(2) In addition to the requirements under subsection (1), the Chief Executive

Officer shall ensure that the person is —

(a) of good character; and

(b) is fit to be a teacher, which may include requiring the person to be

certified by a registered medical practitioner that he is medically fit to

be a teacher.

(3) In determining whether a person is of good character under subsection (2), the

Chief Executive Officer should consider —

(a) any conviction of, or charge made against the applicant; and

(b) any behaviour of the applicant that —

(i) does not satisfy a standard of behaviour generally expected of a

teacher;

(ii) is otherwise disgraceful or improper; or

(iii) shows that the applicant is unfit to be a teacher,

even if the matter occurred in another country.

(4) Where the Chief Executive Officer takes into account any matter under

subsections (2) and (3), the Chief Executive Officer shall give the applicant an

opportunity to respond, in writing or orally, to such matter.

(5) The applicant may appear before the Chief Executive Officer with or without

a representative.

74 Notice of Chief Executive Officer's decision

(1) The Chief Executive Officer shall, within 14 days after the date of his

decision on an application, notify the applicant in writing about the decision,

including the reasons for refusal if the application is denied.

(2) The notice given under subsection (1) shall also state the right of the applicant

to appeal the decision and the period of appeal under section 85.

(3) For an approval for provisional registration, the notice shall also state —

(a) additional qualifications or relevant experience required for full

registration; and

(b) the time within which the applicant shall obtain or complete the stated

additional qualifications or experience.

75 Registration fee

(1) A person who is registered, or whose registration is renewed (including

provisional registration and limited authority), shall pay an annual prescribed

registration fee for each year for which the registration is granted or renewed.

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(2) The registration fee in subsection (1) shall be paid on or before 31 December

each year during the currency of the registration, failing which the registration

shall lapse.

(3) The registration fee, once paid to the Ministry, is non-refundable.

(4) All fees collected under this Part shall be accounted for and paid into the

general revenue of the Kingdom.

76 Certificate of registration

(1) If an application for registration (including a renewal or provisional

registration) is granted by the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Executive

Officer shall issue a certificate of registration in the prescribed form.

(2) If a certificate of registration is lost or destroyed, the Chief Executive Officer

may, on payment of the prescribed fee, issue a replacement certificate.

77 Duration of registration

The period of registration shall be 3 years starting on 31 January of the year when

the application for registration is granted and ending on 30 January in the third year.

78 Extension of registration

(1) A person whose registration will expire on 30 January of a particular year or

whose registration has lapsed under section 75(2) may, in the prescribed form

and accompanied by the prescribed fee, apply to the Chief Executive Officer

for an extension of his registration until 31 January of the following year.

(2) An applicant is allowed two such extensions, after which an application for

renewal of registration shall be made.

79 Renewal of registration

(1) A person may, in the prescribed form and accompanied by the prescribed fee,

apply to the Chief Executive Officer for renewal of registration.

(2) The application shall be accompanied by satisfactory evidence of —

(a) ongoing competence; and

(b) any professional development courses or programmes undertaken.

(3) In addition to the requirements of subsection (2), the Chief Executive Officer

shall not renew the registration of a person unless he satisfied that the person



(a) continues to be of good character pursuant to sections 73(2) and 73(3);

and

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(b) meets minimum standards and requirements of the Ministry in its staff

appraisal process.

(4) Once satisfied that a person is eligible for renewal of his registration, the

Chief Executive Officer shall renew the registration for a period not

exceeding 3 years, subject to payment of the prescribed fees.

80 Provisional registration

(1) If the Chief Executive Officer finds that a person applying for full

registration —

(a) does not possess the necessary qualifications and experience for full

registration but is likely to obtain the qualifications and experience

required for full registration; and

(b) is of good character,

the Chief Executive Officer may grant to the applicant a provisional

registration, subject to conditions that the Chief Executive Officer may

determine.

(2) The period of provisional registration shall not exceed 2 years, after which the

applicant shall apply for full registration.

81 Reports from employers on provisional registrants

(1) The Chief Executive Officer may require a person who has been granted a

provisional registration to submit a report, in an approved form, from the

person's employer with respect to —

(a) the manner in which the person has performed teaching duties; and

(b) any recommendations as to the person's suitability for full registration.

(2) An employer may make a recommendation to the Chief Executive Officer for

full registration after a person who has been granted provisional registration

has completed one year of teaching.

82 Cancellation of provisional registration

The Chief Executive Officer may cancel a provisional registration if the person to

whom provisional registration was granted fails to comply with a condition of the

registration.

83 Limited authority to teach

(1) A person shall not practise teaching as a teacher trainee at a school, unless the

person has written authorisation, in a prescribed form, from the Chief

Executive Officer.

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(2) The Chief Executive Officer may grant a teacher trainee a limited authority to

teach at any school in any specified subject, if the Chief Executive Officer is

satisfied that the person —

(a) does not meet the requirements for full registration or provisional

registration but has undertaken appropriate training as a teacher;

(b) is a teacher trainee recommended by a recognised teacher education

college in Tonga or abroad; and

(c) is of good character.

(3) If a person is eligible under subsection (2), the Chief Executive Officer may

grant to that person a limited authority to teach for a period of up to 2 years,

and may extend this for a further period for up to 2 years.

(4) A person or employer who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence

and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.

84 Cancellation of limited authority

The Chief Executive Officer may cancel or suspend a limited authority to teach

issued to a person under section 83 if the person —

(a) is convicted of an offence in Tonga or in another country;

(b) does not qualify for full registration after 4 years; or

(c) the Chief Executive Officer considers it appropriate to do so.


APPEALS

85 Right of Appeal

(1) A person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Chief Executive Officer under

this Part may lodge an appeal, in writing, to the Minister.

(2) An appeal shall be lodged with the Minister within 30 days of the date of

receiving the decision by the Chief Executive Officer.

(3) The Minister may confirm, vary or revoke the decision of the Chief Executive

Officer or grant a new one.

(4) In determining a matter on appeal, the Minister may take into consideration

any evidence or statement relating to the character, academic and general

suitability of the appellant.

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COMPLAINTS AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION

86 Complaints

(1) A person may lodge, in writing, a complaint with the Chief Executive Officer

about the professional conduct of a registered teacher.

(2) The Chief Executive Officer may dismiss a complaint if it is frivolous or

vexatious. In such circumstance, the Chief Executive Officer shall notify the

complainant of dismissal of the complaint.

(3) On receipt of a complaint and as soon as reasonably practicable, the Chief

Executive Officer shall send a copy of the complaint to the —

(a) person to whom the complaint is made against; and

(b) employer of the person to whom the complaint is made against.

(4) The Chief Executive Officer shall carry out an inquiry into the matter in

accordance with procedures set out in written policies and regulations of the

Ministry.

87 Disciplinary action on conviction

(1) A registered teacher who is convicted of an offence in another country shall,

within 28 days of the conviction, notify the Chief Executive Officer in writing

of the —

(a) nature of the offence;

(b) penalty imposed by the court; and

(c) circumstances in which the offence was committed.

(2) On receiving a notice under subsection (1), the Chief Executive Officer

may —

(a) caution the teacher with no further action; or

(b) if the circumstances of the offence render the teacher unfit to teach —

(i) suspend the teacher's registration for any period, and subject to

any conditions considered appropriate; or

(ii) cancel the teacher's registration.

(3) The Chief Executive Officer may, on suspension of the registration of a

teacher pursuant to subsection 2(b)(i), substitute full registration with

provisional registration for any period of time, and impose conditions that the

Chief Executive Officer deems fit.

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OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

88 Unregistered person not permitted to teach

A person who is not registered under this Part and continues to teach in

contravention of section 68, commits an offence and shall be liable upon

conviction —

(a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $5,000; and

(b) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $20,000.

89 Unregistered person not to be employed

(1) A person or institution that employs a person who is not registered or

authorised to teach under this Act, commits an offence and shall be liable

upon conviction —

(a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000;

(b) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $25,000.

(2) A person who is not a registered teacher who enters a school to supervise or

assess the work of a practicing teacher or of a trainee teacher without being

authorised to do so by the Chief Executive Officer, commits an offence and

shall be liable upon conviction —

(a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $5,000;

(b) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.

90 Notification of sexual allegations

(1) Where there is a sexual allegation involving a student and a teacher and the

employer has undertaken measures that has resulted in the dismissal or

resignation of the teacher, the employer shall, within 7 days of making such

decision or receiving the resignation, notify the Chief Executive Officer of the

matters set out in subsection (2).

(2) The notice shall include the following —

(a) name of the employer and school;

(b) name of the teacher;

(c) date the employer gave notice to the teacher of the dismissal or the

employer was given notice of the teacher’s resignation;

(d) date of effect of the dismissal or resignation;

(e) the sexual allegation, particulars of the sexual allegation and any other

relevant information; and

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(f) reasons given by the employer for the dismissal or by the relevant

teacher for resigning.

(3) After considering the notice, the Chief Executive Officer may –

(a) refer the matter to the Commissioner of Police for further investigation;

(b) refer the matter to the Minister with recommendations for an internal

inquiry; or

(c) cancel the registration of the teacher with no further action.

(4) Where a teacher has been convicted under sections 80, 81, 115, 115A, 116,

118, 120, 121, 122, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 132, 133, 136, 137, of the

Criminal Offences Act of a sexual offence by a court, the Chief Executive

Officer shall cancel his registration to teach and record the person’s name on

the teachers’ register in section 92 as not being permitted to teach in Tonga

for an indefinite period.

(5) An employer that fails to comply with the notice requirements under this

section commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction —

(a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding $5,000;

(b) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000.

91 False or misleading information or document

A person who provides the Chief Executive Officer or Minister with —

(a) information that the person knows is false or misleading in a material

particular; or

(b) a document containing information that the person knows is false, incomplete

or misleading in a material particular,

commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding

$20,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years, or both.

REGISTER OF TEACHERS

92 Chief Executive Officer to maintain a register of teachers

(1) The Chief Executive Officer shall maintain a register in which are recorded

the names of all persons who have been registered to teach under section 71,

or pursuant to any other requirement under this Act.

(2) The register should contain the following information —

(a) full name and address of the registered person;

(b) type of registration and conditions, if any;

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(c) particulars of qualifications and experience by which a person is

registered;

(d) information relating to the suspension, cancellation, expiration or

renewal of a registration;

(e) information relating to an allegation or conviction in Tonga or abroad;

(f) date and duration of registration; and

(g) any other prescribed particulars.

(3) The register shall be kept at a place determined by the Chief Executive

Officer, and be available for inspection during office hours by a person who

has paid the prescribed fee.

(4) The Chief Executive Officer may remove the name of a person from the

register if the person —

(a) named on the register has died;

(b) requests that his name be removed from the register if the person is no

longer employed as a teacher;

(c) has not applied for renewal of registration under section 79;

(d) has not paid the prescribed annual registration fee by the due date; or

(e) registration is cancelled under section 71, 82, 84, or 85.

REGULATIONS UNDER THIS PART

93 Regulations

(1) The Minister may make regulations to give effect to the provisions under this

Part, and in particular to regulate —

(a) procedures and requirements for applications;

(b) prescribed forms;

(c) fees, charges and other costs for the purpose of this Part;

(d) the process for an inquiry or appeal;

(e) inspection of, entry or cancellation of a name on the register; and

(f) any other matter provided under this Part.

(2) Regulations may prescribe penalties not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment

not exceeding 2 years, for offences created under those regulations.

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ANNUAL REPORT TO MINISTER

94 Annual report on teacher registration

The Chief Executive Officer shall submit an annual report to the Minister covering

matters under this Part for the preceding year. The annual report shall be submitted

together with a financial report detailing and accounting for teacher registration and

other prescribed fees received under this Part.

PART XVII - FEES

95 Fees to be prescribed

(1) Such fees as may be prescribed by the Minister, with the consent of Cabinet,

shall be payable in government schools.

(2) Any student or potential student in respect of whom any fees are due and

owing may be refused admission or re-admission to school, as the case may

be, or if such student or potential student has been admitted or readmitted may

be excluded from school until all fees due up to the date of such exclusion

have been paid.

(3) The Minister with the consent of Cabinet may remit, in whole or in part, the

fees due in respect of tuition, books, board or medical attention from any

individual student or group of students.

(4) Fees for tuition, books, board or medical attention payable in respect of the

students in any government school shall be payable at such time and in such

manner as may be prescribed.

(5) The parent of a student shall be liable for all fees due in respect of such

student at a government school, whether or not such parent enrolled such

student, and the Minister or the Principal or other person or body by whom

such fees are recoverable may, in his or its own name, institute proceedings

for the recovery from such parent of any such fees.

96 Crediting to fees

All fees in respect of students in government schools shall be accounted for and paid

into the general revenue of the Kingdom.

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PART XVIII - MEDICAL INSPECTION

97 Medical inspection

(1) Every student in attendance at a school shall be liable to medical inspection

and medical and dental treatment by a school health officer:

Provided that if a parent of any student objects to medical inspection or to

medical or dental treatment by such officer, the parent may signify the

objection in writing to the Principal, who may excuse such student from such

medical inspection on condition that the parent agrees to arrange at his own

expense for medical inspection or treatment, as the case may be, to be carried

out by a medical or dental practitioner of the parent’s own choice and, in the

case of inspection, to forward to the school health officer a report of the

results of the examination and agrees that the student may be excluded from

the school in the absence of such reports.

(2) If any student, whether excused from medical inspection by the school health

officer or not, appears to the Principal to require medical inspection, such

Principal may require such student to be medically examined and to produce a

certificate signed by a medical practitioner that the student is free from any

condition liable to endanger the health of others and may exclude such student

from attendance at school until the student has produced such a certificate.

PART XIX - COMPULSORY EDUCATION

98 Compulsory school age

(1) This section shall apply to every child living in Tonga, whether or not that

child is a Tongan subject or otherwise.

(2) Subject to section 100, the age for compulsory education in Tonga is between

4 and 18 years of age. Accordingly a child is deemed to be of compulsory

school age if the child has attained the age of 4 years and has not attained the

age of 19 years.

(3) A government school may charge school fees with the approval of the

Minister and Cabinet.

99 Parent's duty to have child educated

(1) The parent of a child shall ensure that the child is enrolled at a school at the

beginning of the term that starts immediately before the child turns 4 years of

age.

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(2) It shall be the duty of the parent or guardian of every child of compulsory

school age to ensure that the child receives a suitable and efficient education

by regular attendance at a school unless —

(a) there is no school within walking distance of the child's place of

residence;

(b) the parent or guardian makes other arrangements, deemed by the

Minister to be suitable and efficient, for the education of the child;

(c) the child has completed 12 years of education; or

(d) the child is prevented from attending school by sickness or some other

unavoidable cause.

(3) A parent or guardian who does not comply with subsection (2) commits an

offence, unless the parent or guardian has a reasonable excuse and his child

has been exempted from attending school pursuant to section 100.

100 Exemption from attending school

(1) The Chief Executive Officer may exempt a parent from complying with

section 99 if the Chief Executive Officer is reasonably satisfied that –

(a) the child is prevented from attending school due to –

(i) illness or injury;

(ii) the risk of infection to others; or

(iii) a reason that the Chief Executive Officer considers sufficient for

preventing the child from attending school;

(b) the child is of employable age and is being trained in an apprenticeship

or is employed; or

(c) the child has been suspended from school and will either return to the

same school, or the parent is in the process of enrolling the child at

another school.

(2) An exemption under this section may be for a period that the Chief Executive

Officer considers appropriate in the circumstances.

(3) The Chief Executive Officer shall not exempt a child solely on the basis that a

child has special needs.

(4) A decision of the Chief Executive Officer under this section shall be final.

101 Regular non-attendance at school

Notwithstanding proceedings under section 104, where a child is found to be

missing or absent from school on a regular basis, a School Attendance Officer

should endeavour to do the following –

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(a) meet with the parents or guardians of the child to ascertain why the child is

missing school regularly;

(b) inform the parents or guardians of the child of the duty imposed by section 99;

(c) provide recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer on how to resolve

the problems related to that child’s non-attendance; and

(d) assist the parents or guardians of the child to ensure that the child is able to

attend school regularly.

102 Minister to regulate

The Minister shall prescribe from time to time procedures governing the

administration of this Part of the Act.

103 School Attendance Officer and powers

(1) The Minister may appoint School Attendance Officers on a full time or a part-

time basis to enforce the provisions of this Part.

(2) A School Attendance Officer, with the consent of the owner, may enter any

yard, house, building or place between the hours of 8am and 5pm of any day

of the week except Sundays and public holidays to make enquiries as to any

child residing or employed there.

(3) A person who —

(a) wilfully hinders or obstructs a School Attendance Officer in the

performance of the Officer’s duty;

(b) wilfully makes a false representation to a School Attendance Officer

with respect to the age or employment of a child, whether that child is

of compulsory school age or not; or

(c) wilfully refuses to afford to a School Attendance Officer reasonably

requiring it, any information that he possesses as to the age or

employment of a child, whether the child is of compulsory school age

or not,

shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction thereof shall be liable to a

fine not exceeding $1000.

104 Offence

A parent or guardian who fails to perform the duties imposed by section 99 or fails

to fulfil any requirements prescribed under section 100 of this Act commits an

offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 in the case

of a first offence and $1000 in the case of every ensuing offence.

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PART XX – EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

105 Responsibilities of the Ministry

(1) The Ministry shall ensure that all children in Tonga who are 4 to 5 years of

age have access to education at an early childhood education centre.

(2) In overseeing the provision of early childhood education in Tonga, the

Ministry shall ensure the following —

(a) production and dissemination of culturally appropriate developmental

learning resources;

(b) provision of quality pre-service teacher training at the Tonga Institute

of Education;

(c) provision of quality in-service training and professional development

programmes for existing teachers at the early childhood level;

(d) incentives to improve the qualifications of teachers in the early

childhood sector, such as financial subsidies (through the scholarship

system) for access to the University of the South Pacific and other

tertiary institute courses in early childhood education for people

intending to work in this area in the community;

(e) support for the development of new early childhood centres in areas

where there is no provision, and expansion of the sector to improve

access for vulnerable and disadvantaged children;

(f) development of learning and development standards for early childhood

education curriculum.

(g) development of good quality teaching and learning resources;

(h) establishment of remuneration and conditions for early childhood

education teachers;

(i) development of coherent and holistic national policy and planning

frameworks for the development of the sector;

(j) establishment of coordinating bodies at national level to provide

leadership for development of the sector;

(k) establishment and strengthening of cross-sectoral partnerships with

relevant Ministries and non-government organisations working in the

early childhood education sector;

(l) strengthening of partnerships and an increase in community

participation in the early childhood education sector;

(m) establishment of a national database to collect accurate disaggregated

data from the early childhood education sector;

(n) support for parent education initiatives; and

(o) facilitating and undertaking an analysis of the long-term implications of

providing a subsidy for enrolments in early childhood education.

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(3) The Minister shall appoint qualified staff to act as early childhood education

officers responsible for overseeing the implementation of provisions and

enforcing regulations promulgated under this Part.

106 Service providers operating early childhood education centres to be
licensed

(1) A person or service provider who is operating or intending to operate an early

childhood education centre in Tonga shall be registered pursuant to

regulations promulgated under this Part.

(2) An early childhood education classroom which is operating within the

premises of a registered school shall be registered pursuant to subsection (1).

(3) A person or service provider who operates an early childhood education

centre without holding a valid licence commits an offence and shall be liable

upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or a term of imprisonment

not exceeding 6 months, or both.

107 Funding of certain early childhood services

(1) Each year, the service provider of a licensed early childhood education centre

may be entitled to receive from the Ministry a general grant or one or more

discretionary grants out of money –

(a) appropriated by the Legislative Assembly;

(b) assigned by the Ministry; or

(c) provided by donors.

(2) The amount of each grant will be determined by the Minister, subject to the

approval of Cabinet.

(3) The Ministry may from time to time determine the means by which the

amount of grant may be calculated or ascertained.

(4) A grant may be —

(a) paid subject to conditions which the Minister, with the approval of

Cabinet, specifies in writing; or

(b) awarded for purposes specified by grant conditions.

(5) A service provider shall ensure that —

(a) where a grant has been paid subject to conditions, the conditions are

complied with; and

(b) if a grant has been awarded for purposes specified by the Minister or

donor, the grant is used only for those purposes.

(6) The Minister may withhold transfer of a grant in whole or in part if the service

provider –

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(a) is not licensed for the current year;

(b) fails to comply with requirements under subsection (5); or

(c) fails to comply with conditions of provisional or full registration of the

centre pursuant to regulations promulgated under this Part.

108 Payment of fees for attendance of children at Early Childhood
Education Centres or kindergartens

A registered service provider that is the holder of a current licence may charge a fee

in respect of the attendance of any child at any early childhood education centre or

kindergarten that it administers.

109 Transitional provisions

Existing early childhood centres

(1) The manager of an early childhood education centre that was operating

immediately before the commencement of this Part –

(a) shall within 30 days of the commencement of this Part, apply to the

Chief Executive Officer for registration of the centre; and

(b) will be granted provisional registration for a period of 1 year.

(2) Before the expiration of the period of provisional registration, the service

provider shall apply for full registration of the centre pursuant to regulations

promulgated under this Part.

(3) The Minister may prescribe a fee for registration under this section.

New early childhood centres

(4) The manager of an early childhood education centre that intends to operate as

an early childhood education centre after the commencement of this Part –

(a) shall apply to the Chief Executive Officer for full registration of the

centre pursuant to regulations promulgated under this Part; and

(b) may be granted full or provisional registration by the Chief Executive

Officer if the service provider meets criteria established by this Part and

prescribed under regulations.

110 Regulations under this Part

(1) The Minister may make regulations to give effect to the provisions under this

Part, and in particular to —

(a) licensing of service providers to provide early childhood services of

any kind;

(b) criteria for the granting, transfer or suspension of licences;

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(c) management and control of licensed early childhood education centres;

(d) duties of service providers;

(e) inspection of an early childhood education centre;

(f) curriculum of an early childhood education centre;

(g) assessment of teachers at an early childhood education centre;

(h) prescribing forms, fees and charges under this Part;

(i) process for the appeal of a decision by the Ministry;

(j) prescribe for transitional matters not provided for under this Part; and

(k) any other matter which is deemed appropriate by the Minister for the

effective implementation of this Part.

(2) Regulations made under section (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of

the following —

(a) prescribe minimum standards relating to premises, facilities,

programmes of education, practices in relation to children’s learning

and development, staffing and parental participation, child teacher

ratios, health and safety requirements, implementation of the

curriculum framework, communication and consultation with parents,

and the operation or administration of these services to ensure the

health, comfort, care, education, and safety of children attending

licensed early childhood education centres;

(b) authorise the Minister, after consultation with relevant stakeholders, to

prescribe criteria to assess compliance with the minimum standards

imposed by regulations and publication of such minimum standards in

the Government Gazette;

(c) limit or regulate the number of children who may attend licensed early

childhood education centres;

(d) provide for the grant, duration, expiry, renewal, suspension, transfer,

reclassification, and cancellation of licences of one or more specified

kinds for service providers;

(e) prescribe records to be kept by service providers in respect of children

attending licensed early childhood education centres; and

(f) regulate qualifications to be held by employees of early childhood

education centres.

(3) Regulations made under this Part may prescribe penalties not exceeding

$5,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years, for offences under the

regulations.

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PART XXI – SPECIAL NEEDS AND INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

111 Principle of inclusiveness

Every child under the age of 19 years has a right to access quality education in

Tonga, irrespective of the child’s gender, religion, socio-economic status, physical

condition and location.

112 Responsibilities of the Ministry in relation to children with special
needs

For the purposes of improving the access to quality education in Tonga for children

with special needs, the Ministry shall focus on providing the following —

(a) reviewing the school curriculum to ensure that it caters adequately for

children with special learning needs, and make available appropriate learning

materials and equipment for special education;

(b) provide incentives to improve the qualifications of teachers in the special

education field, such as financial subsidies for supporting access to special

education programmes for teachers of special needs children offered by

tertiary education providers, and making provision for training of special

education teachers at the Tonga Institute of Education;

(c) facilitating a baseline survey to ascertain the nature, number and extent of

children with special needs (including those children currently attending

schools, and those whose needs are too acute and who do not attend school);

(d) establishing a central database with detailed information about people

(including children and adults) who have special learning needs, having due

regard to privacy considerations;

(e) providing assistance for special needs children in existing schools through —

(i) a special needs component in all pre-service teacher training;

(ii) providing teachers of children with special needs with professional

development opportunities and targeted in-service training to assist

them to help children with special needs; and

(iii) training of teacher aides who could provide individual assistance to

children with special learning needs;

(f) capacity building at all levels, addressing both short and long term needs;

(g) policy development in the area of special needs and inclusive education;

(h) enhancing budgetary allocations for school, TVET and community

development in inclusive education strategies and approaches in service

education for classroom teachers and TVET trainers for working with

different categories of the special needs population; and

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(i) improving Ministry databases to identify and track special needs children in

communities.

113 Equal rights to early childhood, primary and secondary education

(1) Except as provided under this Part, a child with special educational needs

(whether because of disability or otherwise) has the same right to enrol and to

receive an education at a Government school as a child who does not.

(2) The right to receive an education under subsection (1) includes education at

the early childhood, primary and secondary levels.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall affect or limit the effect of provisions under

this Act or regulations relating to the general enrolment, suspension,

expulsion, and exclusion of students.

114 Enrolment of student with special needs

(1) If satisfied that a person under 19 years of age should receive special

education, the Chief Executive Officer shall require the written agreement of

the child’s parents that the child should be enrolled, before directing that the

child be enrolled at a particular Government school, special school, or special

class.

(2) Where there has been an agreement or direction by the Chief Executive

Officer under subsection (1) the child shall be allowed to enrol at the school

or class concerned.

(3) A parent who, more than 1 month after a direction is given by the Chief

Executive Officer under subsection (1), fails or refuses to comply with the

direction, commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not

exceeding $500 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 month, or both.

(4) No child shall continue to be enrolled at a school or class except pursuant to a

written agreement or direction under subsection (1).

115 Regulations under this Part

(1) The Minister shall with the consent of Cabinet, promulgate regulations

establishing guidelines for early childhood education centres and schools in

relation to –

(a) identification and assessment of students with special needs;

(b) modification of teaching programmes for students with special needs;

(c) level of training in special education for all teachers or any category of

teacher;

(d) provision of facilities, materials and resources for students with special

needs;

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(e) transfer of students with special needs into mainstream classes; and

(f) use, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and accountability for

donor funds.

(2) The Minister may also promulgate regulations for any other matter which the

Minister may deem necessary for the provision of a quality education for

students with special needs.

116 Commencement of this Part

This Part will come into force on a date proclaimed by the Minister in the

Government Gazette.

PART XXII – TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
AND TRAINING

117 Responsibilities of the Ministry in relation to TVET

(1) The Ministry shall endeavour to provide learning pathways for all students,

including TVET programmes, apprenticeships and opportunities for students

from forms 4 to 7 and at post basic education levels.

(2) The Ministry should ensure that students wanting to engage in TVET at these

levels have the opportunity to —

(a) participate in activities that occur outside formal school settings, such

as community development training and other non-formal short

courses;

(b) participate in ongoing work experience, apprenticeships and other part-

time employment which may be categorised as TVET;

(c) participate in formal technical, vocational, or life skills training options

outside the school; and

(d) obtain a range of generic skills required in the work force including

general experience and competence in the use of information

technology.

(3) The Ministry should ensure provision of quality vocational courses and

programmes through –

(a) establishment of occupational standards;

(b) training and employment of qualified instructors;

(c) provision of necessary resources and equipment for TVET training; and

(d) establishment of quality assurance processes and mechanisms.

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(4) The Ministry should encourage access and equitable participation in TVET of

students from disability groups, lower-income families, rural areas, outer

islands, and of girls.

(5) Schools giving students the TVET opportunities shall not allow these in any

way to negatively impact on the delivery of basic formal education.

118 Cooperation with Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation
Board and TVET service providers

In pursuing the objectives for TVET under this Part, the Ministry shall liaise with

the Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board and external service

providers to ensure that there is a seamless transition from secondary school

vocational training to post-basic vocational training for students who intend to

pursue formal vocational qualifications in Tonga or abroad.

119 Cooperation with Employers

(1) The Ministry shall assist in providing a link between employers and training

providers who provide vocational training. It shall work closely with

employers to identify the skills and training needed for respective types of

employment and seek to provide adequate resources for training providers so

that they can offer students courses in relevant fields.

(2) The Ministry shall enable employers to have greater input into the mix of

skills required of students and graduates of tertiary education institutions.

(3) The Ministry shall actively seek opportunities for on-the-job training in the

workplace based upon regular consultation with employers. Training systems

should not operate in isolation of labour market demand and with little or no

employer participation.

120 TVET Advisory Committee

(1) The Minister may establish a TVET Advisory Committee to provide policy

advice for the establishment of –

(a) a Vocational Qualifications Framework; and

(b) minimum standards for the provision of TVET programmes in schools.

(2) The Ministry, in consultation with the TVET Advisory Committee should

focus on providing the following -

(a) developing a flexible system, responsive to changes in the national and

global environment;

(b) serving secondary school age students with a range of aptitudes and

interests and providing equal opportunity and support for alternative

pathways;

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(c) developing an appropriate and integrated qualifications framework that

allows students who are pursuing non-academic areas to gain credit and

recognition which could be applied to further education;

(d) ensuring that secondary school age children who may wish to emigrate

abroad as adults have the skills and competencies required in a global

economy;

(e) ensuring that service providers meet agreed policy standards and that

students and taxpayers receive value for money; and

(f) ensuring that the system is sufficiently flexible to accommodate

changes in the labour market and economy, and that the Ministry has

the required information and flexible options to redirect areas of focus

and support in response.

PART XXIII – INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS
TECHNOLOGY

121 Responsibilities of the Ministry

(1) The Ministry shall seek to provide an education system that provides all

students with up to date skills in the use of information and communications

technology and that the system uses available technologies to maximum

advantage in planning, management, and the delivery of educational services.

(2) In implementing information and communications technology in the

education system, the Ministry should ensure that it —

(a) works closely with industry groups so that the needs of the Tongan

economy and private sector for skilled personnel are met;

(b) provides wider access to information communications technology

training at all levels within the Ministry and schools, to develop

competence among teachers and ensure that students are competent in

the use of information and communications technology;

(c) makes electronic resources available to schools, particularly schools in

rural areas and in outer islands;

(d) evaluates and adopts as appropriate new information communications

technology-based opportunities for delivering instruction in areas of

multi-grade teaching, distance education, assessment and remediation,

and meeting special needs; and

(e) effectively integrates information and communications technology into

the operation of the education sector through development of the

Education Management and Information System (EMIS), Schools’

Management and Information System (SMIS) and other initiatives, for

improved systems of school records, scheduling and dissemination of

information.

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(3) In carrying out its functions under subsection (2), the Ministry shall have due

regard for and ensure the safety and protection of students from cyber crime.

(4) The Ministry will seek capital investment from the public and private sectors

to achieve the potential benefits that information communications technology

may generate.

122 Budgetary support for this Part

The Ministry budget to support the use of information communications technology

shall be comprised of —

(a) budgetary support from the Government;

(b) funds appropriated by the Legislative Assembly;

(c) external assistance from donors;

(d) industry assistance; and

(e) assistance from regional or international organisations in the information

communications technology sector.

123 Information Communications Technology Advisory Committee

The Minister may establish an Information Communications Technology Advisory

Committee to provide policy advice on the use of information and communications

technology in the education sector, and to assist with the following —

(a) development of an information and communications technology education

policy for Tonga;

(b) development of a policy and planning framework for the Education

Management Information System and Schools’ Management Information

System, to improve data and information collection and retrieval systems for

the provision of accurate, timely, and relevant data for informed decision-

making within the Ministry and at all levels of Government;

(c) development of a system for the collection and analysis of information on

information communications technology educational uses and ―best practice‖

elsewhere;

(d) dissemination of information on information communications technology

options to school managers, linked with criteria and a system of competitive

grants under which schools and other institutions could pilot test and evaluate

information communications technology solutions;

(e) analysis of the cost-effectiveness of information communications technology

delivery modalities, with special emphasis on the costs and benefits of

substituting technology for labour, and the potential impact on salary savings

relative to costs;

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(f) analysis of the capacity and costs associated with maintaining and supporting

information communications technology hardware and software, and

establishing appropriate schedules for equipment depreciation and

replacement; and

(g) facilitating investment in human resource capacity development and skill

development.

PART XXIV – STAFF DEVELOPMENT

124 Staff Development for Ministry employees

(1) The Ministry shall strengthen the capability and effectiveness of teachers and

staff through continuous staff development.

(2) Staff development activities shall be aimed to assist the Ministry by —

(a) developing a workforce that is skilled and appropriately qualified with

the capacity to fulfil functions and goals of the Ministry;

(b) enhancing the performance, effectiveness and efficiency of staff

members for the delivery of high quality educational and administrative

services;

(c) facilitating the recruitment and retention of high quality staff;

(d) maintaining and increasing job satisfaction;

(e) developing the ability of staff to initiate and respond constructively to

change; and

(f) providing support for career advancement.

125 Study Assistance for Staff Members

(1) The Ministry shall support and encourage staff members to attain formal

qualifications related to enhancing performance in current or future roles.

(2) Study assistance is a privilege granted at the discretion of the Ministry in the

interests of appropriate development for the staff member and overall

organisational performance.

(3) The Ministry shall identify certain areas of priority for the granting of study

assistance, such as for the development of early childhood education,

inclusive and special needs education, technical and vocational training and

use of information and communications technology.

(4) Study assistance may be comprised of a financial grant, payment of tuition

fees or leave to attend classes and examinations.

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126 Eligibility for staff development and study assistance

A permanent staff member who has worked within the Ministry for a continuous

period of –

(a) one year or more shall be, with the approval of the Minister, eligible to take

part in staff development activities;

(b) two years or more shall be, with the approval of the Minister, eligible to apply

for study assistance;

(c) three years or more shall be, with the approval of the Minister, eligible to

apply for a Tongan Government Scholarship under Part XII.

127 Equity

Staff development activities and assistance shall be provided and allocated on an

equitable basis, and where appropriate, should accommodate specific needs of

under-represented groups.

PART XXV – HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE MINISTRY

128 Responsibilities of the Ministry

(1) The Ministry shall endeavour to provide a safe and healthy environment for

its employees, contractors and members of the public within Ministry

facilities.

(2) The Chief Executive Officer has the overall responsibility for the effective

management of health and safety policies within the Ministry.

(3) To the extent possible, the Chief Executive Officer shall —

(a) maintain an effective programme to ensure that all workplace hazards

are systematically identified and appropriate measures introduced to

control those hazards;

(b) establish, review and monitor evacuation procedures for the Ministry

and schools in the event of a natural or man-made disaster;

(c) ensure that all employees have the opportunity to participate in health

and safety programmes in the development of safe practices for the

Ministry;

(d) ensure that current information relating to health and safety issues is

made available to all Ministry employees; and

(e) encourage Ministry staff to set a high standard of health and safety

management by personal example.

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129 Responsibilities of Ministry Employees

(1) Every Ministry employee shall be responsible for promoting a safe and

healthy environment for themselves, their students and as well as those

involved in, or affected by, the Ministry’s activities.

(2) Every Ministry employee shall -

(a) immediately report all accidents and incidents to their Deputy Chief

Executive Officer or the Chief Executive Officer;

(b) carry out their work in a way that does not adversely affect their own

health and safety or that of others;

(c) remain informed and abide by Ministry health and safety rules, policies

and procedures; and

(d) when available, undertake training or instruction in health and safety

programmes to ensure they are competent to carry out their health and

safety responsibilities within the Ministry.

130 Regulations under this Part

The Minister shall, with the consent of Cabinet, promulgate regulations for the

health and safety of Ministry employees, students, contractors and members of the

public utilising Ministry facilities.

PART XXVI - REGISTERS

131 Minister to maintain a Register of schools

(1) The Minister shall maintain a register in which shall be recorded in suitable

format all government and non-government schools and such register shall

record in respect of each school its name, the locality in which it is situated,

its status whether ―government‖ or ―recognised‖ or ―'registered‖ its

classification and the name or title of its controlling authority and any other

information which in the opinion of the Minister is relevant for the purpose of

registration.

(2) The Minister shall remove from such register any school that is closed under

the provisions of this Act.

(3) The Minister, shall, at convenient intervals, publish in the Gazette a list of

schools for the time being registered under the provisions of subsection (1) of

this section and of any schools which have been closed or the registration or

recognition of which has been endorsed or amended or cancelled under the

provision of this Act.

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132 Minister to maintain various registers

(1) The Minister shall maintain separately and in a suitable format, registers as

follows —

(a) a register in which is recorded the name or title of every Managing

Authority approved by the Minister for registration in accordance with

the provisions of section 27 of this Act;

(b) a register in which is recorded the name or title of every General

Manager approved by the Minister for registration under the provisions

of section 29 of this Act;

(c) a register in which is recorded the name or title of every Principal

Teacher approved by the Minister for registration under the provisions

of section 31 of this Act;

(d) a register in which is recorded the name of land and assets of the

Ministry pursuant to section 133 of this Act;

(e) a register recording any powers of the Minister or Chief Executive

Officer that have been delegated pursuant to section 11 of this Act; and

(f) any other register prescribed by this Act.

(2) The Minister shall record on the relevant register any Managing Authority or

any General Manager or any Principal Teacher or any teacher who is

prohibited under the provisions of this Act from being a Managing Authority

or a General Manager or a Principal Teacher or a teacher as the case may be.

133 Land and Assets Register

(1) The Minister may, with the consent of Cabinet, make regulations for the

establishment and maintenance of a Land and Assets Register for the

Ministry.

(2) The Land and Assets Register should, among other things, contain the

following information –

(a) details of physical assets and chattels owned by the Ministry in Tonga;

(b) details of land leases of the Ministry with dates of commencement and

expiry;

(c) details and locations of offices and administration buildings of the

Ministry in Tonga;

(d) details and location of all Government schools in Tonga; and

(e) copies of leases of the Ministry with relevant maps of leased lands.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) should provide approved processes for the

acquisition and disposal of assets of the Ministry, together with prescribed

forms.

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(4) Any changes to the information in subsection (2) shall be recorded in the

Land and Assets Register.

PART XXVII - REGULATIONS

134 Regulations

The Minister may, with the consent of and subject to any directions which Cabinet

may make, revoke and vary regulations for any purposes for which regulations may

be made under this Act with respect to any or all of the following matters —

(a) establishment, administration, management and closing of schools;

(b) classification of schools;

(c) methods of selection for admission to schools;

(d) inspection of schools including the curriculum and syllabi to be followed;

(e) arrangements and procedures to be followed for the administration of overseas

examinations under the provisions of section 52;

(f) conditions governing the recognition or registration of schools;

(g) conditions of certificate of recognition or registration;

(h) conditions of service including appointment, transfer, suspension and

dismissal of teachers in Government schools;

(i) providing for and regulating the making and maintenance of grants-in-aid to

non-government schools;

(j) management of staff and students, including procedures dealing with school

violence by and against students;

(k) minimum requirements for building and equipment used in schools and for

the health and safety of students, and the requirements for differently

classified schools as may be necessary;

(l) approving the plans of any new school to be established under section 35 of

this Act;

(m) the manner in which application shall be made for the establishment of

schools in accordance with the provision of section 35 of this Act;

(n) form of certificates and licences for teachers who have been registered to

teach;

(o) improving conditions subject to which certificates and licences for teachers

who have been registered to teach may be issued, specifying the qualifications

required for certificated and licensed teachers and prohibiting a teacher not

holding any such certificates or licence from teaching in any particular class,

standard or forms in any school or classification or type of school;

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(p) specifying the time and the manner in which fees for tuition, books, board or

sports shall be payable in respect of government schools and providing for the

commission of the whole or any part of such fees;

(q) providing for and regulating the compilation and production of proper

accounts of income and expenditure of schools and of controlling authorities

of schools;

(r) providing for the procedure to be adopted by the Advisory Council and any

Board, Committee or other body constituted, appointed or established under

the provisions of this Act; and

(s) forms to be prescribed for the purposes of this Act and of regulations made

under this Act.

PART XXVIII - LEGAL PROCEDURE

135 Opinion of Magistrate to be held to be true age of child in absence of
definite evidence

Where the age of any child is required to be ascertained in any judicial proceeding

under this Act the adjudicating Magistrate on production of the child before the

court and on considering any evidence of age that may be adduced and the

appearance of the child and in the absence of clear testimony to the contrary may

declare and note on the proceedings what in his opinion is the true age of such child

and such age shall for all purposes connected with that proceeding be taken to be the

true age of such child at that time.

136 Officer may obtain copy of certificate of birth

The Minister shall be entitled to obtain from the Registrar of Births, certificate copy

of any entry in any register in his custody with respect to the birth of any child.

PART XXIX - GENERAL

137 Unsuitable publications

The Minister after consultation with the Advisory Council may, by notice in the

Gazette, declare any publications or periodical publication to be unsuitable for use in

schools, and such a declaration made in respect of a periodical publication may

include all past and future issues thereof. For the purpose of this section, the

expression ―publication‖ shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 2 of the

Prohibited Publications Act and ―periodical publication‖ shall mean a publication so

defined which is issued periodically or in parts or numbers at intervals, whether

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regular or irregular; and such a declaration as aforesaid shall be deemed to extend to

all copies, in whatever language, of such publication or periodical publication.

138 Copyright over Ministry publications

Subject to copyright and intellectual property right laws of Tonga, the Ministry will

have copyright over all works published by an employee, contractor or volunteer

working in or for the Ministry in the course of their employment.

139 Penalty for disturbance

Any person who maliciously disturbs any school or who insults or abuses any

teacher in the presence or hearing of the children assembled in school or in the

school grounds shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a fine not

exceeding $2,000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for any period not

exceeding two months.

140 Saving

No defect or invalidity in the appointment of any member of any Council, Board,

Committee or other body, constituted, appointed or established by or under the

provisions of this Act shall prejudicially affect or render invalid any proceedings of,

or the exercise of any functions, by, any such Council, Board, Committee or other

body.

141 Signification of documents

(1) Any order notice, approval, disapproval or document made or issued by any

Council, Board, Committee or other body established, appointed or

constituted by or under the provisions of this Act may be signified by the

Chairman or secretary of such Council, Board, Committee or other body, or

by any member thereof duly authorised in that behalf, and any order, notice,

approval, disapproval or document purporting to be so authenticated shall be

deemed, until the contrary is proved, to have been made or issued by the

Council, Board, Committee or other body on whose behalf it purports to have

been made or issued.

(2) Any order, notice, approval, disapproval, certificate, licence or other

document made or issued by or under the provisions of this Act purporting to

have been made or issued by the Minister shall be deemed, until the contrary

is proved, to have been made or issued by the Minister.

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142 Transitional provisions

The following provisions will apply with respect to the commencement and

implementation of certain provisions in this Act —

(a) the provisions relating to age of compulsory education in section 98(2) will

not commence until the Minister, by notice in the Gazette, declares that the

Ministry is ready to implement and enforce this provision;

(b) the provisions relating to Teacher Registration in Part XIII will not commence

until the Minister, by notice in the Gazette, declares that the Ministry is ready

to implement and enforce those provisions;

(c) upon issuance of the notice by the Minister in the Gazette in paragraph (b), all

teachers currently teaching in schools will be granted provisional registration

for one year on lodgement of an application for provisional registration and on

payment of the prescribed fee. A provisional registration will only be

extended with the approval of the Chief Executive Officer;

(d) a teacher granted provisional registration under paragraph (c) shall lodge an

application for full registration within the first six months of the date of the

notification in the Gazette; and

(e) a trainee teacher undertaking teaching practice at the commencement of Part

XIII is deemed to have been authorised by virtue of section 83 on lodgement

of an application for limited authority to teach and on payment of the

prescribed fee.

143 Consequential Amendments

(1) The Education Act (Cap. 86) is hereby repealed.

(2) Section 2 of the Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board Act is

amended by deleting the number ―14‖ in the definition of ―post compulsory

education‖ and replacing it with the number ―19‖.

(3) Section 12 of the Public Service Act is repealed and replaced with the

following new section 12 –

“12 Employee matters to be under Act

All appointments, promotions, disciplinary matters and

terminations in respect of the Public Service shall be made in

accordance with this Act and any written policies of Government

as directed by Cabinet, provided that employees of the Ministry

responsible for education and training below the position of

Chief Executive Officer shall be dealt with under the Education

Act.‖





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Passed by the Legislative Assembly this 16
th
day of October 2013.

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