English is the official language of education in PNG but a lack of materials, as well as training for teachers, severely limits the ability of students to reach the required standards of English. Through a partnership with schools in north Queensland and a training workshop run by SIL-PNG we have the opportunity to improve the learning outcomes of students in PNG.
This project pays for transport of elementary level reading books from north Queensland to PNG, where they are distributed to elementary school teachers for use in local schools. The books are donated free of charge by Queensland schools where the books are surplus to requirements for various reasons. Books are vetted for suitability and airfreighted on SIL aircraft regularly travelling north from Cairns. Then they are distributed to teachers attending the Vernacular Path to English workshops at the SIL centre. Different teachers attend each course, so this is a very cost-effective way of improving teaching resources in a number of village schools. The program has been running for a couple of years, but more books are now available and we want to increase the scope of the project, to reach more schools and more students.
If we receive extra funds, this will go towards next year’s target.