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Papua New Guinea: Literacy and Numeracy Project

Student Soke Andrew from Anglicare PNG’s Adult Literacy Program in Papua New Guinea. © Ivy Wang/ ABM, 2019.

© Anglicare, PNG. Used with permission.

Help someone in Papua New Guinea learn to read

In 2020, in spite of COVID-19, the Anglicare Adult Literacy program trained ten new teachers (making a total of 104 across the country). They also enrolled 250 new Literacy, Language and Numeracy students during the past year, a total of 2,200 in all (based on numbers who attend more than 75% of the time). Another two new Adult Literacy Schools were started, bringing that total to 66 schools.

Gervina, from West New Britain, is a recent graduate of the program.

The third child in a family of nine children, Gervina had to leave school at grade 6 because her parents were unable to continue paying her school fees, and she was sent home by the Board of Education. It is a familiar story.

She had presumed she was too old (she is 30) to go back to school, even though she always wanted to complete her education. But one day, the priest at her local Catholic church announced that the new Adult Literacy school was open for enrolments.

“I know that God sees my desire and responds to my need to be educated,” said Gervina. “I was the first to arrive to enrol.” Gervina said she didn’t mind if other people criticised her for going back to school.

Because she’d done six years of primary education, she could already read and write, and so was put into the fourth level of the program.

“I learnt a lot of new things, especially in mathematics. I learnt about percentages and fractions. I also learned life skills such as different kinds of baking.”

The principal of Poinini Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) was present when Gervina graduated with a Certificate of Adult Literacy, and she was one of five selected to bridge into a Certificate of Tourism and Hospitality course.

“I was very nervous about sitting the entrance exam, and I knew that some of the other applicants 

had attended high school up to grade 10 or 11. But the lessons taught in the Adult Literacy classes were very helpful, because most of the questions had been referred to in the topics I studied. Most of the questions were to do with Mathematics.

“When I heard I’d got in, I was speechless! Tears of joy were running down my cheeks.”

Gervina will continue her studies until she completes her Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism. She then hopes to work in the hotel or tourism industry.

Your donation to this project will enable many more like Gervina to pursue their dreams of furthering their education through the Papua New Guinea Language, Literacy and Numeracy program.

» In 2021 the Literacy and Numeracy Project needs $59,700 (tax-deductible)



Feburary 2021 - ABM publishes an interview with Anglicare Adult Literacy graduate, Anosa Imase, who aims to become a teacher at the end of his studies. Read more





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  • Alternatively, for donations by cheque/money order (made out to the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia), telephone or email, view contact details here. Please don’t forget to include the project name and/or code PG005ED with your payment details.

Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.

 Australian Aid logo    This project receives partial funding from the Australian Government.
Community Development badge  This is part of the Community Development Program: Learn more about ABM's Programs