Promoting literacy in Papua New Guinea
Early Childhood Development training is off to a great start in Enga Province.
The National Executive Council has recently approved PNG’s Early Childhood Education Policy (ECD) 2020 for implementation. It did not take long for the Governor of Enga Province, Sir Peter Ipatas after the approval of the policy, to request ECD training from BbP for a first cohort of teachers. Robin LAKARI, the Early Childhood Education Coordinator for Enga Province travelled to Port Moresby in January to meet with Leanne Resson, BbP Executive Officer to organise for the immediate training of teachers in his province.
The BbP teacher training program covers principles of ECD, effective teaching strategies, phonics, lesson planning, classroom management, observation and assessment, child protection, inclusive education and much more.
In order to support the training program and its successful continuation and application in the classrooms, BbP has developed Program Handbooks in Literacy and Numeracy, a Literacy Teaching Aids Resource box (charts, games, posters, signs, flash cards and board games), a Numeracy Kit Box (pre-STEM toys, scales, abacus, building blocks, shape sorters and much more), Curriculum readers for Term 2-4, Special needs awareness stories and a digital learning app. The organisation has also just launched a digital learning website to assist teachers with digital skills and tips for use in the classroom. www.bbpdigitallearning.org
Mr. Robin LAKARI inspected the materials BbP has developed for the training as well as the curriculum and teaching aids to be used by teachers in the classroom to improve education outcomes. Mr. Lakari said: “It is indeed a pleasure to be in partnership with Buk Bilong Pikinini. I have thoroughly gone through the curriculum materials documented by BbP and have learned that the materials are truly best to implement in Early Childhood learning. As such, I have recommended the Provincial Government to purchase them and hire the BbP agents to run the training here in Enga. The teaching and learning materials are perfect and can actually produce quality results when used in Enga. Our Provincial Government has finally decided and agreed that BbP Curriculums for Early Childhood can be used in the province while pending the National Department of Education to produce one. However, as I have said, I have no reservation to admit that the materials are the best and if possible, can also be used in the Country”.
Leanne Resson said: “Children who are fortunate to have teachers who have access to training, quality teaching aids, meaningful books and educational materials will perform better than those who have had poorly trained and unsupported teachers. Children who have had access to a quality early childhood education program will perform even better, as the child will have set the foundations for memory and learning, understood discipline and attention from a young age.”
Early Childhood Development (ECD) refers to the physical, cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional development of a child from the prenatal stage up to age eight. BbP has developed a comprehensive ECD program to prepare and transition the children into school. BbP’s Library Learning Centres enrol 5-year-olds for one year. The program, however, can be successfully taught to children in the 4-8 age group.
BbP is looking forward to continuing to upskill teachers across Enga Province and to be working with like-minded provinces, who also realise that Early Childhood Development is key to a successful education built on solid foundations.
Buk bilong Pikinini (BbP) has been in partnership with the Swiss Embassy in Canberra for more than six years and is now looking forward to embarking on a new project to carry out teacher training for school teachers in Eastern Highlands Province.
H.E. Yasmine Chatila Zwahlen - Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Kiribati and Special Envoy of Switzerland for the Pacific Region signed the new agreement with BbP Founder Anne-Sophie Hermann at the Swiss Embassy in Canberra last week.
The new agreement will be to support Swiss Evangelical Brotherhood Mission school teachers with capacity development training in BbP’s highly efficient Early Childhood Development program and School Library management. The training includes lessons in phonics routines, early childhood literacy and numeracy, management of classroom settings, lesson planning and delivery, positive behavior management in the classroom and much more. The teachers will also be supported to run library classes and manage a school library.
In addition to providing the training, BbP will also provide the teachers and schools with curriculum handbooks, teaching aids and guides in BbP’s Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy program, BbP published class room reader sets, phonics books as well as a School Library kit which contains 1000 books in all categories.
H.E. Yasmine Chatila Zwahlen - Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Kiribati and Special Envoy of Switzerland for the Pacific Region said:
“The Embassy of Switzerland has been collaborating with Buk bilong Pikinini for over 6 years now and supported a number of very successful projects. Through this partnership, Switzerland has had a defining impact on the lives of girls and boys, including vulnerable children. I find it particularly important that our new project builds on the professional development of teachers, mostly women. They assume a huge responsibility towards the youngest generation and I find it very important to value, encourage and acknowledge their role.”
Throughout the partnership, the Swiss Embassy has assisted BbP with funding to build a library on Tatana Island, providing School Library Kits to remote schools, re-stocking the Bui Iebi Prison library near Mendi and has provided funding for the development of the teacher training program. The teacher training program offered will be certain to have a real impact on the teachers ability to deliver their teaching in a more efficient way and allow the children to greatly improve their literacy and numeracy skills.
For more information about the Swiss Evangelical Brotherhood Mission please go to: https://ebc.org.pg/education-2/
Buk bilong Pikinini Launches Digital Teacher Training with Deloitte.
Buk bilong Pikinini (BbP) and Deloitte Managing Partner Benjamin Lee launched a Digital Teacher Training program and website during in December 2020.
42 Teacher-librarians from BbP’s Library Learning Centres across the country travelled to Port Moresby to attend a week-long Digital Training program from the 14-18th of December 2020.
The digital training program and associated website has been developed in partnership with Deloitte and Deloitte Digital and is valued at more than $100,000. The website will ensure that the teachers can access the new website to continue their training on a needs-basis and will be open for everyone to access. Here is a link to the site: https://bbpdigitallearning.org/
All BbP’s Library Learning Centres will see the implementation of a new Digital Learning Program in 2021 for the enrolled 5-year-old children. BbP’s teacher training program will ensure that the teachers are confident in their digital and online skills and ready to deliver the program.
The Digital training program includes basic computer and tablet training, how to create and print documents, research on the internet, online safety, using digital learning in the classroom and much more.
Many teachers in PNG have still not had the opportunity to use computers and tablets as part of their teaching and will greatly benefit from this comprehensive program and will enable children to enter the digital world.
The launch of an early childhood development App based on BbP’s curriculum will also take place during the training. The BbP Early Learning App will be an additional and fun opportunity for the children to become literate and increase their technology skills at the same time.
Benjamin Lee, Managing Partner Deloitte PNG said: “Deloitte has a longstanding relationship with Buk bilong Pikinini that has benefited both of our organisations but, most importantly, so many PNG children for whom the best possible education is so important.
A digital platform that takes advantage of new technologies can clearly facilitate new ways of both teaching and learning across the board. The focus has been on traditional literacy, but digital literacy, which is key to many employment opportunities, is also now more accessible than ever.
We look forward to seeing this initiative into implementation and give children an even better opportunity to learn and reach their potential.”
Pete Williams, Deloitte Digital said: “With the explosive growth of mobiles and recent investment in digital infrastructure in Papua New Guinea we believe that building the digital capabilities of teachers and students will create a new era in education. Digital education content and books that are freely available on the internet can be made accessible to schools across the country. It is crucial that teachers and students understand how to take advantage of the opportunity. Expanding our existing partnership with Buk Bilong Pikinini will make this a reality and scale the fantastic work they are already doing. The Deloitte Digital team have put their hearts and souls into building the website and are really excited to be part of this collaboration.”
David Valentine, Nuinet said: “A quality education is enhanced and enabled through digital literacy. We can't wait to work closely with BbP on this journey to digitally enable their teachers and team members. We are proud to be partnering with them, helping them in a small way with the amazing work they do."
BbP’s Early Childhood Development program seeks to provide children access to comprehensive teaching of literacy, numeracy, pre-STEM and problem solving as well as a well-stocked library of books. The upcoming digital learning program will merge digital and traditional learning and will include app-based learning games and also utilizing digitized curriculum content and books.
Leanne Resson, Buk bilong Pikinini, Exceutive Officer said: “We have been fortunate to have books and teaching and learning resources over the last 12 years in order to establish a solid foundation for the children who attend our library learning centres. We now acknowledge and appreciate the need to merge traditional and digital learning. This training will enhance community educators’ skills in digital learning. We are grateful to all our partners who have supported us in making this happen”.
Anne-Sophie Hermann, Buk bilong Pikinini Founder & Chairperson said: “We are so thrilled to be able to introduce such a comprehensive digital training program to our teachers, which is guaranteed to have a wide-ranging impact on both their abilities and the children they will be teaching. We will be looking forward to training many more teachers over the next couple of years to ensure they can fully take advantage of what technology and digital learning can offer and pass this knowledge on to the next generation. We have greatly enjoyed working with Deloitte and Deloitte Digital volunteers to develop this customized website and training program and would like to thank everyone involved.”
The Digital training program has been made possible thanks to the support received from ExxonMobilPNG, Deloitte/Deloitte Digital, PNG Air, Cogniss, Paddy’s Hotel, Niunet and the PNGAusPartnership.
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