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Tevita Hala Palefau

Mathematics, Statistics, Finance

Rev. Dr. Tevita Hala Palefau is a Tongan politician and Cabinet Minister.

Palefau was born at his home, Nukuofo I, Tu'anekivale, Vava'u, Tonga on June 14, 1958. He is the oldest son of Kalaniuvalu Peauafi of Tu'anekivale and Koloa and Sokopeti Fakava Havea of Tu'anekivale and 'Ovaka, Vava'u. He started going to school at Tu'anekivale Government Primary School and went on to attend secondary schools at Mailefihi College in Vava'u, St Andrew's School and Tonga High School in Tongatapu. Palefau worked as a teacher at Mailefihi Siu'ilikutapu College in Vava'u before going to the university. He graduated with a BSc and GCEd from the University of the South Pacific in 1985 under the New Zealand Bilateral Aid Scholarship and an PGradDipScEd and MSc from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia under the Australian Government Aid Scholarship before completing his PhD Dissertation titled Perspectives on Scientific and Technological Literacy for Tonga: moving forward in the 21st Century, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada under the Commonwealth of Canada Scholarship. From 1996 to 1997 he was principal of Taufa'ahau Pilolevu College, and from 1997 to 2000 principal of Tupou College. He has been teaching science and mathematics and also served as Head of Science and Mathematics Department as well as Deputy Principal and principal. 1998 he was the manager of Tupou College First XV to the World Secondary School Rugby Competition in Zimbabue. He was odtined Minister of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in 1998. Early 2000 he was the manager of the Tonga National Under 19 Rugby Team to compete at the World Under 19 Rugby Tournament in France. He was appointed to the Tongan Cabinet as Minister of Education in January 2005, as Minister for Education, Sport, Youth and Culture by His Majesty King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV and in 2006 to 2010 he served as Minister for Education, Women's Affairs and Culture.In 2008 he was honour with The Grand Order of Queen Salote Tupou III by His Majesty King George Tupou V.From 2005 to 2010 he was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, His Majesty Privy Council, His Majesty's Cabinet, Tonga Defence Board, Chairman of Tonga National Scholarship Board, Pacific Forum Education Minister's Meeting, Commonwealth Education Minister's Meeting, USP Council, USP Executive Council, UNESCO 35th General Conference, World Global Literacy Conference, Vice-President - World Abacus, Arithmetic and Mental Association, Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga General Conference.

He is married to Siosi'ana Mausia Palefau of Ha'ateiho and has four children, Jone Halakitau'a Ben Palefau, Kaufusihema Palefau, 'Asena Halaevalu Palefau and Analupe Tevisiana 'o Tonga Palefau. Jone is now study for his MBBS degree at the Oceania University of Medicine, Samoa Campus. Kaufusihema, a graduate from Dundroon Military College of Australia and he is now an officer at Tonga Defence Services. He is an Officer In Command for Tonga Detachment to Solomon Island under the Australian Defence Services operation. Asena is studied for her Bachelor of Nursing with Honour at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Analupe is still at Form 7 at Queen Salote College, an all girls high school under the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Department of Education, Nuku'alofa. He is residing at his home "Nukuofo II" in Ha'ateiho, Tongatapu.

He contested the seat of Vava'u 16 in the 2010 election but was unsuccessful. He is now the Vice President of Education at Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.

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