27 August 2015 Over the past decade, the advancement in Tonga’s, Human Development Index, and its high number of Doctorates in Philosophy, in comparison to its population size, has been recognized globally.
Equally acknowledged, has been the raising, of the quality and level of qualification, in nursing, teaching, theology, and a few other key, technical and vocational competency.
Accordingly, it is an immense pleasure, on behalf of the Government, and the People of Tonga, to extend our heartiest congratulations, to each and every one, of today’s graduates. We applaud, your diligent efforts, and exceptional achievement, for which, it is my singular honour, to witness personally.
From the Government’s perspective, this auspicious occasion, is a source of pride, and inspiration, because it personify, the fulfillment, of the strategy, for Outcome Objective Number 5, of the National Strategic Development Framework, which comprise, promoting skill development, in domestic training institutions, and mobilization, of external training opportunities.
Hence, we are indeed grateful, for the immense contribution of the APTC, and the Government of Australia, to complement, and thus complete, the TVET puzzle, so that Stakeholders, and the people of the Kingdom, can see the culmination, of this Outcome.
I note with immense interest, and appreciation, that at least two, of the graduates, are very senior in the public service, and are recognized professionals, in their own right.
Furthermore, there is at least, one female graduate, with a trade qualification, with completion of her Certificate Three (III) in Electro – technology, and is currently using this knowledge, and specialized skills, in a family business.
As you leave with your respective qualifications today, I wish the graduates all the best and Godspeed in your future endeavours and profession. You have become role models for generations to come. I also wish to acknowledge the unfailing efforts and all the assistance of the Australia Pacific Technical College, its management and teaching staff, and all stakeholders from the Public and Private Sectors, as well as the support of families, employers, and colleagues.
I would like to close with a quote from former American President Abraham Lincoln that:
“ Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate, any plan or system respecting it, I can only say, that I view it, as the most important subject, which we, as a people, can be engaged in. ”