ʻATENISI INSTITUTE

An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

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Futa Helu library

Nov. 2022 – Dialogue with US Peace Corps Post re Deployment of Response Experts for Key Projects

missing picture:  CD Kristofer Stice.jpg

Incoming director of Peace Corps' Tonga Post, Kristofer Stice

Since its inception in 1975, the University faculty has welcomed several U.S. Peace Corps volunteers, including our current dean, Dr Michael Horowitz from 1997 until 1999. But over the past decade Peace Corps’ Tonga Post retreated from tertiary education, focusing on improving the English language skills of primary school students.

On a recent visit to campus, however, incoming director Kristofer Stice alerted the University to a supplementary programme the Post intends to sponsor in the coming years – Peace Corps Response [PCR]. Instead of typically recruiting recent university graduates for two-year immersion, PCR deploys veteran professionals for short-term assignments that can be catalysed in as little as three months. Best of all from ‘Atenisi’s perspective is that PCRVs may be routed to tertiary academies.

There are several tantalising projects on ‘Atenisi’s to-do list, including the revival of the al fresco Lily Pond café as a performance venue, the equipping of the Velt science laboratory, and – in partnership with Tongan Law Society president Sione Fonua LLB – the launching of an undergraduate curriculum in civil law.

The University is looking forward to dialoguing with the Tonga Post regarding whether PCRVs might be available to jumpstart key items on its development agenda.