The education system in Tonga was very different from that of ours here in Canada. Even though I’ve always acknowledged how privileged we are, it wasn’t until we were on that first bus ride in Tonga where it became so much more real to me. We learned that elementary schooling was free; however, any further education would require tuition. It broke my heart to think that some of the children we met on Atata Island might not be able to afford to attend school in the future.
Throughout the trip, I realized that I take my education for granted. Many times, I will complain about deadlines and the amount of stress that comes with them. However, with only ten days we had spent on that little island of Atata, I have gained a better grasp of the bigger picture. Unlike how it is in Canada, not everyone in Tonga is given an equal chance to fulfill their dreams.
After witnessing first-hand the differences between a developing country’s system of education and that of my own, I’ve come to realize to cherish and treat school as a luxury.