Select Page

New Pea Kindergarten in Tonga

New Pea Kindergarten in Tonga

The Pea Kindergarten is the latest addition to the ongoing community ministry to children in Tonga by The Salvation Army. The kindergarten is located in Pea on land owned by the King of Tonga and made available by the Queen, who is a great supporter of the Army and our work with early childhood education.

On a recent visit to Tonga, Territorial Sponsorship Secretary Lt-Colonel Milton Collins visited three kindergartens. The Pea Kindergarten had been renovated, and sponsorship funds had been used to fund equipment to ensure children had all they needed to learn.

Kindergarten Coordinator for Tonga Captain Catherine Walker instigated a coordinated learning programme with developmental milestones assessed for all children attending. All kindergartens have structured learning times, play and outdoor sandpit time, devotions and memory verses, and cover topics like senses, hygiene and healthy food.

The Pea Kindergarten will sit within a community hub in the village of Pea. This is still being built, but it will have a hall, health centre and playground. Previously, the village hasn’t had easy access to early childhood education. This kindergarten is the only one in the village, so it is essential to the community. 

The Salvation Army kindergartens in Tonga are bilingual and have a better teacher-to-child ratio in the classroom than other kindergartens, which means there is more opportunity for teachers to teach a wider range of topics.

‘The programme is designed around Learning Through Play and is very developmentally focused, with varied experiences and a range of resources which children wouldn’t have access to outside of a kindergarten environment,’ said Catherine.

Most kids enjoyed attending, and their parents also responded positively to the learning programme at the kindergarten.

Catherine explained that although this kindergarten is off to a great start in the village of Pea, there is still a lot of work to be done to make more kindergartens accessible for families in Tonga.

‘Early childhood education is still gaining momentum in Tonga and has not been recognised as a benefit to children’s development. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to access a kindergarten for their three- to five-year-old children,’ she said.

Most of the children who attend the kindergarten live in the village of Pea, and most families have found out about it through word of mouth.

There are further opportunities for the parents of the children to get involved with special events and fundraising activities of the kindergarten in the community.

Recent Videos