Project Update PNG Church Partnership Program Adult Literacy Project
In Simbai, Adult Literacy learners acquire small business skills…and get to bake and sell doughnuts.
Around the world, almost 750 million adults, two-thirds of them women, are illiterate. In Papua New Guinea, although the figures are certainly improving, 51% of adult women remain illiterate.
Target 4.6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals states: “by 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy”.
Literacy and basic numeracy are critical for many aspects of modern life, from running a small business, to knowing what is happening in the news, to having the confidence to participate in meetings, to being able to communicate with your children’s school.
Anglicare and the ACPNG have been running Adult Literacy Schools for more than 15 years, many in very remote parts of the country.
One such school is Simbai Adult Literacy School, located in the Western Highlands, part of Madang Province. This is one of the longest-running schools in the Anglican church program. As a testimony to its success, one of the teachers in this program is themselves a graduate of the school.
As well as learning reading, writing and basic numeracy, the students participate in what is called ‘Life Skills Training’.
Anglicare PNG reports that 19 learners recently participated in Life Skills Training in Simbai. On this particular day, the skills being taught included:
Having these experiences enables the learners to put their learning into practice. It also gives them a chance to feel what it’s like to run a small business, and to imagine developing a small business of their own.
From the produce sold on the day these learners were able to make K160.50 (about $70). This money was put towards a small feast to be held at the close of their training.
Everyone was happy and commented that this was a very simple and successful training that suits their way of living, and it has given them skills that will help them in terms of longer term economic sustainability, as most of the learners applied their skills to developing a small business.
Similar training took place at other Anglicare Adult Literacy Schools in the region, including Kinibong, Kumbruf, Suosu, Krevin, Womok, Watabung, Ainong and Aikram. Learners from these schools have also expressed similar sentiments, noting that the impact of putting into practice what they had learnt was really life changing.
There is an increasing demand for Adult Literacy in Simbai and nearby villages. And the Life Skills component of the program has enabled lives to change for the better.
Anglicare Papua New Guinea Inc, a development arm of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG), implement their Adult Literacy Program with funding from ABM’s supporters and the Australian Government-funded PNG Church Partnership Program (#CPP).