In 1994, the Tupou High School Ex-Students’ Association voted to extend the facilities and curriculum at Tupou High School to include business skills training and computer skills training. But well before that, the school with its limited resources had already pursued Computer Skills training for staff and students.
For years, the school’s Form 7 class had computer related course material as part of their studies. Albeit, it was a lot of book knowledge without having seen a real computer.
In 1993, the Principal of the school (John Morris) organised with Ex-Students in New Zealand to purchase computers for students to use. The computers were received in 1994 and the Ex-Students’ in Tonga funded the wiring of one of the library study rooms into a computer class room.
Soon, 6 Macintosh SE/20s linked through LocalTalk to an ImageWriter II were proudly displayed as the school’s foray into the Information Age.
The fever of the new equipment gripped staff, students, ex-students and the general public. Even sooner, dawned the realisation that the school was inadequately prepared to provide computer courses. There was a lack of teaching material, a lack of computer programs to run, a lack of computers, … there wasn’t even a teacher who could manage or supervise students.
The Ex-Students Association and the PTA [1996, 1997] are raising funds, soliciting sponsors for a proposed new facility to house technology advancements for students at the school:
- a computer classroom for University Entrance students (Form 6)
- a computer classroom for completing students
- a computer classroom for commercial studies, and
- a language studies laboratory for english.
During the ‘95/‘96 Christmas vacation period the school raised funds through a tour to the USA. During the ‘96/‘97 Christmas vacation period representatives visited Australia. Collecting approximately $200,000 in each trip the ex-students are well on the way to providing new facilities for the school and will continue to work with supporters in the island and overseas.
In 1997 Tupou High School had one student volunterily sat the Tonga School Certificate Computer Studies curriculum. Without local support, the student faired very poorly. Indeed the school did have computers in use by administration, but no one in administration could assist the student.
In 1998 the Ex-students Association funded the purchase of IBM PC compatibles (Pentium 166Mhz) from New Zealand and in March the 1st group students to prepare for the Form 5 Tonga School Certificate were supervised by Ms. Fe'ao Fifita. The Principal, in an effort to include Form 6 students, organised the acquisition of further computers but for 1998 the effort was too late and Form 6 students did not sit the 1998 PSSC Computer Studies program.
The examination results were disappointing for students who although faired well knew they had not been fully apprised of all the computer studies materials students at other schools were given.
In 1999 Tupou High School has its first set of students to sit for the Form 6 PSSC Computer Studies examination. Supervising teacher: Mr. 'Etuate Manuofetoa.