“82 percent of Papua New Guineans still don’t know how to read and write while 64 percent are unable to count numbers,” says Vice Minister for Education, Gisiwat Siniwin.
Mr Siniwin said there is still more work to be done with support from stakeholders and development partners.
He was at Rugli Primary School in the Mul Baiyer District in Western Highlands Province to launch the nationwide National Literacy Week recently.
Western Highlands Province was chosen to officially launch the National Literacy Week.
With the theme: Literacy Education, Key to Successful Living, the delegates, led by Vice Minister for Education and Member for Nawae Gisuwat Siniwin were welcomed at the Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen.
Students and by-standers also lined up the streets to celebrate the National Event.
The 18th National Literacy Week was then officially launched by the Vice Minister.
Minister Siniwin told more than five thousand people at Rugli Primary School that despite efforts by the Education Department and development partners to improve the literacy rate, more work was needed.
One way he says is by educated individuals to teach others how to read and write.
Mr Siniwin said currently, Papua New Guinea’s Literacy Rate of people above the ages of 50 stands at 49 percent. While only 65 percent of those between the ages of 25 to 50 years can read and write. Of people between the ages of 14 years to 25, only 78 percent are literate.
The statistics, he says, needs dramatic improvement.
Apart from increasing the Literacy Rate, the Education Department has been tasked to increase the adult literacy rate by 50 percent by 2015.
Local MP for Mul – Baiyer Lumusa Koi Trape, told his people that K500, 000 was allocated to cater for tuition fees for Western Highlands Students attending various institutions in the country. He also urged to people to free – up land to build more schools
The National Literacy Week ended with various item presentation and performances.