Monday, April 7, 2014

PNG: Literacy

“I was standing in my garden when God called me.” Carson leaned forward on his bench, spreading his hands in excitement. “I was just a subsistence farmer, but when God called me, I immediately dropped my yam seeds in the garden and left my digging stick there. I decided I was going to follow Him.”

Carson couldn’t hide his passion as he described his 10-year ministry in book production and HIV/AIDS and gender violence awareness among the languages in Oro province. The challenges and sacrifices were immense, but he remained undaunted: “I believe literacy is the tool that we need to use in this country. Literacy is the key to opening doors. If I help my people learn to read and write in our own language, then they can make a good transition into English and Tok Pisin and become leaders.” 
You can read the rest of the story by clicking here.

Come and be a part of teaching a community to read in their own language!  Not only does this make Scripture accessible to them in a language that they can clearly understand but by learning to read their language, it also becomes easier to learn to read English, the language used in schools.

SIL PNG is dedicated to vernacular language development and translation of community-oriented materials and Scripture texts in Papua New Guinea.

Types of Literacy Programmes in PNG:

(1)Literacy efforts tied to a translation program.  This often occurs in villages.

(2) Literacy efforts at regional centresThese take place in the form of VERA (Vernacular Education for Remote Areas) or as part of a multi-language/ cluster project. These are often larger classes connected to translation and differ from village-only classes in involving more than one language.

(3) Literacy courses to enable training.  These courses help to train College Lecturers, or Teacher Trainers, or in some other way are nation-wide in scope. This type of training occurs in close collaboration with the government and the National Department of Education.
Literacy workers are often assigned to one language to gain experience and work towards becoming a literacy consultant.  A consultant might work in a language cluster or be available to translation teams to help them in their literacy efforts. The Literacy Office is located at  Ukarumpa, our Linguitic Centre. 
What sort of work does a literacy worker do?
-make books
-help with curriculum development
-advise on teaching methods
-help with producing primers
-encourage good classroom management
-help with making all kinds of literacy materials (books, flash cards, posters, games)
-help with games for literacy
-work at engaging the whole community
-encourage and develop local teachers
-give children relevant, culturally appropriate education that enables them to connect to their past, their culture and their future 

You’ll not be alone, trying to figure out each step!  The aim is to have literacy workers connected with consultants who can give them advice and provide direction.  We also encourage literacy workers to be involved in training opportunities held on centre, to continually learn about all aspects of literacy, and to work to gain insight into the country- wide situation.
Churches are continually asking us for help. Pastors want their congregations to have access to Scripture.  There is a huge need for literacy in Papua New Guinea.
For more information contact Wendy at
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