A small team of three teachers and staff members from the Broken Bay Diocese recently travelled to Tonga to help train Religious Education teachers in the Polynesian island nation.
At the invitation of Cardinal Mafi from the Diocese of Tonga and Niue, the teachers visited eight schools, being four secondary schools, three secondary institutes and a primary school, to train their teachers.
Touring the schools in the first week accompanied by the Diocese of Tonga’s Director and Assistant Director of Education the team flew to Vava’u and Ha’apai, two of the main outer islands, before visiting Cardinal Mafi’s home town in the second week.
A rewarding opportunity for all involved with some challenges along the way including even though most of the lessons were in English the students were taught Religious Education in Tongan!
One of the team Clare Dorey, who teaches Religious Education at Mercy Catholic College in Chatswood described it as an “incredible opportunity” and said that the highlight of the trip was meeting so many dedicated teachers who wanted to learn new ways of teaching.”
“And of course our farewell dinner on the last night at the institute, where we were treated like royalty with garlands, speeches, gifts, feasting, singing and dancing,” she added.