24th April 2017 The Government of Japan and the Upper Room Primary School celebrated the handover of a new classroom facility funded through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects, GGP on Thursday, 20 April 2017.
His Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga commissioned the new classroom facility during a handover ceremony held at the Upper Room Primary School, in Ha’ateiho. Present at the ceremony were Lord and Lady Tu’iha’ateiho, Hon Sione Vuna Fa’otusia, People’s Representative into the Legislative Assembly for Tongatapu Constituency # 7 who is also Minister for Justice and Minister responsible for Prisons, Hon. Rev. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, Minister for Revenue and Customs and Minister for Commerce, Consumer, Trade and Innovation and Labour along with Hon. ‘Akosita Lavulavu, Parents and Teachers and the students of the Upper Room Primary School.
His Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata was greeted with a speech in Japanese by the school principal Ms. Lute Finau, an ex-scholarship recipient who and had studied for 2 years in a Japanese university.
In his keynote address, His Excellency congratulated the completion of the project and emphasized that education has always been a high priority for the GGP schemes in Tonga. In Tongan language, His Excellency noted that the nature of Japan’s GGP project works more like the Tongan saying “Si’i ‘a ‘uha,” meaning the assistance may be small in size compared to other Japanese Government schemes, but its significance is extensive like a “small rain” as it directly addresses the needs of the local communities. After the keynote address, His Excellency unveiled the memorial plate of the new building and went on a tour of the 4 new classrooms, along with the distinguished guests.
Mr. Vaisima To’a, Communication Office of the Upper Room Primary School PTA in his vote of thanks highly acknowledged the assistance from the Ambassador and the Government of Japan. “We can’t thank you enough for funding this project to enable the future of Upper Room Primary School.”
Upper Room Primary School was officially granted as a Primary School in 2014, seven years after it was established as a Kindergarten. The Parents and Teachers Association, PTA sought for Japan’s assistance to accommodate the growing number of students and the shortage of the classrooms, prioritizing a safer and healthier educational environment. (kindly refer to attached Project Factsheet for detail of assistance.)
Japans Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects was introduced in 1990 to response to various development needs in developing countries, and to date have granted over 270 projects in different sectors throughout Tonga. The assistance epitomize Japan’s commitment to support efforts by the People and the Government of Tonga to achieve its National Strategic Planning Framework, and also hope to strengthen the warm and close relations between the people and the Government of Japan and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga.
Issued by the Embassy of Japan Tonga