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March 17th, 2016

  • 6th National Soroban Competition won by ‘Eua Primary Students
  • The 6th National Soroban Competition held for primary students in Tonga was won by ‘Eua Government Primary School soroban students. The Honourable Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, Prime Minister of Tonga and Minister for Education and Training was the guest of honour at the competition held at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall on Thursday, 17th March 2016. His Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga attended the competition along with Mr. Masao Fujii, Director General of the International Soroban Diffusion Foundation from Japan, Teachers and Parents of almost the 300 finalists.

  • His Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata in his welcoming address congratulated the young competitors, and noted the initiative of His Late Majesty, King Tupou IV in introducing soroban to Tonga in the 1970’s. “Soroban is an ancient counting device which not only helps children improve their mathematical skills by understanding the subject but also improves concentration; and motivates active and positive attitude towards study, no matter what the subject is,” stated the Ambassador.

  • The Ambassador also highlighted the continuous donation of 1,000 of used soroban abacus from Ono city, in Hyogo Prefecture of Japan to Tonga’s Ministry of Education and Training every year since 2010, which has been enabling effective soroban lessons at schools up to today.

  • Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva in his keynote address acknowledge the significant support of stakeholders in implementing soroban, to improve abilities of young students of Tonga. “Children are the future of our small nation and are Tonga’s most important resources. That is why the Government of Tonga and international partners such as the Government of Japan and the International Soroban Diffusion Foundation work together to provide the quality education needed for the nation’s future development and lifelong learning,” stated the Prime Minister.

  • “Soroban is the only numeracy initiative adopted to revive children falling interest and performance in mathematics,” added Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

  • Amongst prizes awarded, is a trip to Japan by the winner of the Class 5 written category, won this year by Sandy Falemaka, from ‘Ohonua Government Primary School of ‘Eua. Sandy will participate in the annual soroban camp in Oze, Gunma Prefecture this August, fully funded by the International Soroban Diffusion Foundation. Taiana Palu from Faleloa Government Primary Schools of Ha’apai won the Class 4 written category. (Kindly refer to complete result of the competition.)

  • The National Soroban Competition is a cultural and educational event co-hosted by the Ministry of Education and Training and the Embassy of Japan. Next year’s competition will be joined by a group of young soroban students visiting from Japan.

  • A reception following the competition was hosted by Ambassador Numata at his residence in ‘Anana, and was attended also by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva. Guests at the reception enjoyed a taste of Japanese food and Japan’s rice wine, “Sake.” The brands of Sake served were from Niigata prefecture and Akita prefecture.

     
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    Welcoming speech by H.E. Mr. Yukio Numata(left)

    (From left)Mr.Masao Fujii,Honourable Samuela Akilisi Pohiva, H.E. Mr. Yukio Numata,Mr. Kikawa(right)

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    Written problem(left)

    Oral problem(right)

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    The final of oral problem(left)

    Teacher's written problem(right)

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    Speech by Honourable Samuela Akilisi Pohiva, Prime Minister of Tonga and Minister for Education and Training(left)

    Ms. Mina Fili received the trophy for 'Eua Government Primary Schools winning the best all round school warad(right)

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    H.E Mr. Yukio Numata, Mr. Fujii, Mr. Hiroshi Kikawa with Sandy Falemaka, winner of the Class 5 Written Category(left)

    H.E. Mr. Yukio Numata and teachers from 'Eua Government Primary School after winning the competition(right)

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    Toast with Sake, H.E. Mr. Yukio Numata along with Honourable Samuela Akilisi Pohiva(left)

    H.E. Mr. Yukio Numata along with teachers and JICA Soroban Volunteers(right)