Greetings Your Eminence and fellow 'Apifo'ou Family!
• From the academic side:
- All Forms continue with normal programs: F1’s to F4’s still trying to complete their syllabus. F5’s & F6’s continue with their revision and remedial.
- (IA) Internal Assessments’ are ongoing in the F5’s & F6’s. Some have completed and there are tasks due in the coming weeks. The teachers in these Forms have been working tirelessly to try and complete these tasks for the students (photos). Simply put, without these tasks the chance of passing for many students is slim.
- Afternoon studies started last week and are ongoing. This is one effective strategy to prepare students for the upcoming exams. There’s a Question Box in every classroom & students may drop in there subjects and specific areas of difficulties. It’s more diagnostic and that’s why it directly addresses the needs of the students.
- The program for the afternoon study is that students (about 400) are served with a hot cuppa and a few buns and sandwiches before returning to the classroom. We’re very grateful to the Nuku’alofa Parish as they catered for this week (photos). Next week will be the Hihifo Parish.
- We’re cracking down on truancy and we’re doing random roll-calls up to 5 and 8 times a day. The name of students who run away from school are fed into the computer to serve as evidence. Next year, we’ll re-enroll all the students of ‘Apifo’ou and that’s when we’ll meet with the parents. We’ll present to them the evidence and recommend that their children find another school. We’ve prepared an Agreement Form should they plead for another chance. Should their son or daughter break the rule again then we may have to remove them from our roll.
- The same policy applies to cases of fighting, assault, bully, drugs, etc.
• Extra-Curricular activities
- There are two major events that the students are preparing for: The Social Night for the Forms 5, 6, and 7. It was initially planned to be a Ball for only the Forms 6 & 7. We re-visited that decision and decided to stick to the social as this is a cyclone year. Perhaps next year we’ll try the Ball!
- The other one is the PTA’s day. The students are preparing different items for the event. This event will be held before the break on the 3rd week of September.
- Some of our students are taking part in either national events or representing the country in sports:
a) U18 Rugby - 6 boys
b) U16 Rugby - 12 boys
c) U15 Rugby - 3 boys
d) Badminton - 2 boys
e) Sudo - 2 boys
f) Swimming - 1 boy
g) Rugby League U17 - 5 boys
Rugby League U15 - 3 boys
These boys are currently in Australia as they left last week but will return this week.
- The repair works on the Hall is near completion.
- The workers are moving to the St. John’s Block of classrooms.
- Computer Room: To accommodate the wiring and connection of computers, we’re now using the room where the library was for the 2nd computer room. This will facilitate the effective reception of internet for our computer labs. I’ve requested the Construction Committee to fix up the block that was used for the computer lab, opposite the tennis court, so that the library can move in there. At present the library is being squeezed into the Industrial/Art block.
- I’ve also asked the Committee to attend to the Science Labs as they’re central to the learning of the students.
• Teachers on Duty
- There are marked improvements on the roster of duty for teachers. I've emphasized to the members of the staff the positive impact of onsite presence to the students, both inside and outside the classrooms.
- Hence, teachers are doing morning duties as traffic controllers to ensure the safety of the students; they are posted at the gates during recesses; attend to the duties after school and any other times they’re requested to help, such as checking on the senior students before they begin their classes; some teachers can now be seen leading the picking up of rubbish around the campus.
- There’s a spirit of collaboration among the staff as they now realize that we need a renewed commitment in order to elevate the standards of education at the college. I intend to visit villages and districts to meet and share with parents my desire to bring them on board to play their roles and help the school. Last week I had a chance to talk to some parents in Houma. Next week, I’ll celebrate Mass at 10 on Sunday at Longoteme and there’ll be a session with the parents afterwards.
- Please continue to pray for the school as we entrust this mighty task to the powerful intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary.