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Lesila Chand, a participant of Tonga Skills’ training, browsing Food Safety and Handling video training on the Tonga Skills’ training site

Enabling remote access to skills training in Tonga

23 Oct, 2020

Tonga Skills for Inclusive Economic Growth has launched a new training platform for its online skills training courses. This initiative was developed to ensure that people in Tonga are able to access skills training when face-to-face training is not available or possible.

The free online training courses include Food Safety and Handling, Traditional Tapa Printing and Product Design – Jewellery Making. The videos are narrated in Tongan and the Tonga Skills training site is able to display instructions and forms in Tongan and English.

The online training courses were developed in response to COVID-19 social restrictions that were introduced in Tonga in 2020, which meant that Tonga Skills was not able to deliver face-to-face group training. 

Use of the online training site was piloted with a sample of participants from previous trainings facilitated by Tonga Skills, including some from remote areas and outer islands with lower internet speed. The pilot proved to be a success with a range of positive feedback indicating that viewers benefitted from the trainings and found it very convenient to be able to access the courses when and where they chose. 

“As a trainer for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (MAFF), I have not fully understood the principles of food hazards, food-borne diseases that cause food poisoning until now. This available resource will help us to share with the people we work directly with in the communities, so they are more aware of these important food safety skills,” said Mikaele Saipa’ia, Senior Officer of MAFF-Vava’u branch.

While internet access and affordability can be barriers to online learning in Tonga, the Tonga Skills pilot demonstrates that online learning delivery is possible and that there are a whole range of benefits and opportunities for skills providers who want to innovate and expand their reach to more Tongan people.

Tonga Skills is planning to produce more skills training videos in the future. The team will incorporate  feedback and comments on the training site to improve their future offerings to ensure online skills training is useful, in demand and can help people to learn new skills.

Tonga Skills is an Australian Government investment, working in partnership with the Tonga Ministry of Education and Training and the Tonga National Qualifications and Accreditation Board to support inclusive economic growth through skills development in Tonga. Scope Global manages Tonga Skills on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

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