The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Tonga Campus and Institute of Education created history with the launch of the Bachelor of Arts programme in Pacific Vernacular language in Tongan and Niuafo’ou.
The new programme will begin in Semester 1 of 2019 with the course TG111 titled Tongan and Niuafo’ou 1.
Niuafo’ou is an island in Tonga and its language, although widely understood by most Tongans outside the island, it was recognised as the Niuafo’ouan dialect. Some linguists have classified it as closest to ʻUvean and Tokelauan, in an East Uvean–Niuafo’ou branch
There was a total of 60 courses of which one will be offered every semester and during the summer flexi schools.
The courses will be taught by Professor Konai Helu Thaman, Professor Ahikisa Tsukamoto, Dr. Ana Maui Taufe‘ulungaki, Dr. Seu‘ula Johansson – Fua, Dr. Linita Manuatu, Dr. Melenaite Taumoefolau, Dr. Ana H. Koloto, Ms. Liuaki Fusitu‘a and Mrs. Ana Heti Veikune.
The BA programme in Tongan Niuafo’ou is aimed at skilled teachers, news reporters and journalists, Members of Parliament and those who are mainly using the Tongan and Niuafo’ou languages.
When asked of the benefits of such a programme, Mrs Ana Heti Veikune said that graduates would gain an “enhanced appreciation of our Tongan and Niuafo’ou languages and culture”.
She added that, “The programme would also enable opportunities for in-depth research into the Tongan and Niuafo’ou languages”.
The launching of the new BA programme in Tongan and Niuafo’ou is yet another 50th anniversary milestone for the Tonga Campus community.
Lord Havea Tu’i Ha’ateiho, the Estate holder of the land on which USP’s Tonga Campus sits, officiated over the occasion as the Chief Guest.
Also present was Dr. Massaso Paunga, USP Vice-President, Regional Campuses & Estates & Infrastructure; Dr. Mo‘ale Otunuku, Chief Executive Officer of Ministry of Internal Affairs; The Dean of the Tonga Institute of Education, Principal of Apifo’ou College, Nauru Campus Director, Ms. Alamanda Lauti, Senior Education Officers, and members of the Niuafo’ou community.
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