Akoola stands for successful pupils. The name was coined by the founder Kalino Latu from the Tongan words ako and ola. Ako refers to a pupil. The common phrase which commonly heard and it carries this meaning is kau ako meaning pupils. It was also used in the Tongan version of the Holy Bible to refer to Jesus Christ’s 12 Apostles. Ola means to succeed or be successful. The word ola has a cultural significance and commonly used in presenting fish to the royalty. The presenters normally presented the catch and said: Ko ‘emau fekalei mai’ ‘o ‘omai ‘a e ola ‘o e fāngota’. We have come with the results of our fishing. It also means happy result or successful issue.
We see our task at Akoola as to provide for the fullest possible development of each child for living morally, creatively, and productively in a democratic society. We want to be part of children’s education and to prepare them to become good, well-rounded people. The parents play a significant role in their children’s moral growth, and this is at the heart of this online teaching mission.
According to the 2018 census there were 82,389 Tongans living in New Zealand, a more than 25% population increase since the beginning of the 21st century. Tongans make up 1.5% percent of the total New Zealand population. A total of 64% of Tongan adults have a formal secondary school or post-school qualification. A total of 80% of Tongans live in Auckland. That population will keep growing. As more Tongans move into tertiary education and the professions, they will take on new attitudes, ideas and identities.
Akoola was established in New Zealand in 2021 by its founder, Kalino Lātū. It was part of the Ta’angafonua Trust’s mission to acknowledge and reflect changes in our culture while preserving, describing and developing the best aspects of traditional Tongan culture.
It is our purpose, at Ta’angafonua to preserve and sustain Tongan and English language as bilinqual language for Tongans, create digital teaching and learning resources and materials that assist with educating, informing and entertaining Tongans in New Zealand and around the globe.