Literacy Rate In PNG Increases : Read PNG

Papua New Guinea Today | November 13, 2015

PORT MORESBY, November 13, 2015 – Literacy rates in two provinces of PNG have seen outstanding improvements in just three years, according to new results from the READ PNG project, released this week in Port Moresby.

Under READ PNG – a World Bank-supervised, Department of Education delivered project which is funded through a grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the project has seen significant improvement in the early grade reading levels of students in primary schools in Western Highlands and Madang provinces. Initial results from the READ PNG’s Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) intervention indicate that the distribution of reading books and teacher training raised reading and writing fluency to more than 25 percent from a low four percent in these provinces.

The READ PNG project has also provided reading and learning materials to 800,000 students in elementary and primary schools across PNG, together with teacher training and learning resources for teachers.

“This is really an impressive achievement, and we hope to continue to build on this experience with the Department of Education to work together to improve the quality of education in PNG,” said Stefanie Stallmeister, World Bank Country Manager for PNG.

“In basic terms, these results mean that more than one fourth of PNG students in the pilot schools are classified as good readers, indicating there has been a clear, measurable improvement in the quality of schooling since READ PNG began,” said Dr Harry Patrinos, Manager of the World Bank’s Education Global Practice for the East Asia and Pacific region.

Dr Patrinos said that as the quality of schooling in PNG improves, the higher levels of reading, fluency, and comprehension will improve the quality of education of the country and contribute to the overall development of PNG.

“Replicating the results of the READ PNG pilot, while no doubt challenging, can lead to a genuine transformation of the education system,” Dr Patrinos said.

With the READ PNG Project closing in December 2015, the World Bank, in partnership with the Department of Education, are hosting a two-day workshop for key education stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project. The workshop is reviewing the project’s outcomes and achievements, and is intended to discuss the way forward to ensure the project’s achievements are sustainable in conjunction with the PNG Government’s National Education Plan.

The READ PNG project is a PGK51.9 million (US$19.2 million) project funded through the Global Partnership for Education. It was established in 2011 to improve the teaching and learning of reading skills in PNG’s elementary and primary schools. The project focuses on two areas: providing more books and learning materials to classrooms, so that more Papua New Guinean children can enjoy the benefits of reading; and on helping teachers improve their teaching of reading.