Children at an elementary school in Jiwaka Province have celebrated National Book Week with new books which promote literacy and numeracy as well as gender and social inclusion.
The book packs were distributed to Mangana and Kudjip Tea elementary schools by Australia on 6 August and contain 70 different stories and illustrations by Papua New Guinean authors, some featuring girls and children with disabilities as the main characters.
Supported by the PNGAus Partnership, the Pikinini Kisim Save initiative contributes to the Government of Papua New Guinea’s National Education Plan which aims to improve elementary literacy and numeracy skills and to promote inclusive education.
Andrew Egan,Minister Counsellor at the Australian High Commission, joined national and provincial education officials as part of National Book Week celebrations at the school and said inclusive stories play a vital role in the growth and development of children.
“Australia is proud to partner with Papua New Guinea to improve access to quality and inclusive learning materials for children, especially those in remote communities,”
“Books featuring stories about Papua New Guinean girls and children with disabilities help young children to understand the diversity of the world around them, while also providing fun ways to practice their reading skills.”
Mangana and Kudjip Tea are the first of 66 elementary schools in Jiwaka to receive the books for use by students.
A total of 479 elementary schools in four provinces will receive over 33,000 books(including Jiwaka, Simbu, Western Highlands and West New Britain). Over 40,000 students will gain access to the reading materials to help increase their literacy skills.
The distribution of books is part of the Pikinini Kisim Save program which is coordinated by CARE Australia with the support of the Australian Government to improve access to quality elementary education in remote and disadvantaged communities.