Greetings your Eminence and fellow Apifo'ou Family!
~ This is week 6 of Term 1, and we're conscious of the time as it appears to move faster!
~ 1st Assessment: The staff and students are gearing up to our first common Assessment which will be held in wks 9 & 10. This exercise will be 40% which will then be added to the Mid-Year exams. The students are well aware of how vital these assessments are. This serves also as a yard-stick to measure the progress of the students.
~ 1st Internal Assessment: Next week I'll embark on the first internal assessment of teachers. Sometimes, this is known as Verification Visit. Basically, it's assessing the work of the teachers to ensure that their Workbook, Lesson Plans, and students' exercise books are aligned to the Scheme of Works (SOW) and Prescriptions.
This exercise has been enforced since I arrived here at the college. Somehow, it was inconsistent and this year the teachers have displayed renewed commitment to their work. Essentially, once the teachers mastered these pivotal practices it'll make a big difference to the delivery of lessons.
Courtesy Visit from Lord Fakafanua:
On Tuesday, Apifo'ou College was blessed with the visit of the Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Lord Fakafanua. He has been advocating harmonious relationships among schools in Tonga. It was a timely visit as he talked passionately to staff and students about focusing on education, thus ensuring a prosperous future for everyone.
Indeed, this was a rare occasion as the Noble of the land where the college is located, hardly visits us. Lord Fakafanua spent the whole morning at college visiting the new classrooms and chatting with staff and students informally. Photos (001 & 013) show the Hon. Speaker of the House addressed the school assembly, while Fe'ao moe Lotu (Head Prefect) sat with honour and pride. The honorary title was given by Lord Fakafanua himself six years ago to be used by the Head Boy Prefect of the college.
Tonga Parliamentary Reporters' Handbook:
Photo 028 was taken at Parliament House yesterday at the launching of the Parliamentary Reporters' Handbook by Dr. Sione Vikilani.
Last month I was elected to replace the Toloa Principal as President of the Tonga Secondary Schools Principals' Association (TSSPA). In that capacity I'm required at times to attend to such national and formal occasions.
Nonetheless, my focus as President is to push the agendas from Non-government schools:
1. Professional review of the National Curriculum
2. Government Ministries to liaise closely with the Association in matters that may affect the affairs and professions of Principals.
3. Government resources to be shared equally among schools. This seems impossible in its present status, but at least that government considers the plight of non-gov schools.
4. To promote collaboration among school leaders, and funnel down to all staff and students, so to maintain peace and harmony within and beyond the boundaries of our respective schools.
Photo 042 portrays the pathetic conditions of the roads at the college! Fortunately, the road upgrades will begin next week thanks to the generous commitment of the Hon. Minister for Infrastructure, Mrs. Lavulavu. We submitted a letter of request for assistance last year and followed it up this year. Finally, the Hon. Minister succumbed to our persistence!
Subsequently, we have decided to go for Tar Seal in order for this project to last long. The PTA agreed to donate $20 per family towards this worthy course. Likewise, the Letio Apifo'ou has begun a Radio Appeal for contributions from our ex-students' and benefactors both local and overseas.
I echo our humble request for contributions to this much needed project. As you can see from the photo, there are high risks for students as they walk beside the roads since vehicles are dodging the pot-holes and may accidentally hit them.
The college is blessed to have the professional service of our Nurse at the clinic. She's Ms. Gladys Leger, a professional nurse from New South Wales, Australia (photo 036). Since her arrival last year, Gladys has elevated the standards of the clinic to a superior level. You can see from her Monthly Report (Jan-Feb) the quality of her service indicated by her report which is meticulously done.
Ms Gladys' Monthly Report:
The Sports Master, Mr. Taholo 'Anitoni and his Team of coaches and assistants have done well to trim down the squad from 100+ to around 75 athletes. They did trials in 2 Saturdays resulting in the current numbers. This is done purposely as the Squad will march into camp probably next weekend.
On that note may I take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to our ex-students and friends from overseas who have pledged their support to sports this year.
You may have watched or will watch the Live-stream coverage of our weekly Mass today by Letio Apifo'ou. It was led animatedly by Fr. 'Ofa. The combined Brass-band and Rock band took the singing and harmonies to another level!
The first reading of today highlighted Joseph, the man of dreams! I announced to the college today that I'm also a man of dreams! One of my many dreams is to establish a Musica Academy here at Apifo'ou. And today, we witnessed a foretaste of that!
Our prayers are with you all in our 2nd week of our Lenten Journey. Our Secretary from the Provincial House sent us our Index 2021. She made a mistake in wishing us a prayerful Lantern journey. I wrote back and thanked her for highlighting an inherent gift of the Lenten season, "to illuminate and generate light" to others.