The Department of Education has thrown its support behind a teaching method that’s providing effective in assisting children to read.
Papua New Guinea’s poor literacy levels have prompted the Education Department to identify effective means of teaching school children how to read independently at elementary school level.
With consultancy assistance from former department secretary Dr. Joseph Pagelio, the Jolly Phonics Method was approved for trial this year in two NCD schools.
Teachers from the Hohola and Wardstrip Elementary schools have been undergoing training at the PNG Education Institute, to get skills to teach children how to read through sounding.
Education Acting Secretary Dr. Michael Tapo said this was a vital fundamental for education for the 771,000 elementary school children in PNG.
He said the ability to read and write were essential in keeping children’s interest in learning throughout their school years and well into adulthood.
Before the program began with the school children, a baseline survey was conducted by each class teacher for results comparison.
According to Dr. Pagelio, the results look promising, seeing PNG’s standards are benchmarked against England and America, for a broader perspective.
Mid-year evaluation showed that after 15 weeks of teaching the Jolly Phonics program, majority of the students were able to read.
Dr. Tapo said he would support the rollout of the program to all schools in NCD first, and was confident of governments support.
To illustrate this support, Dr. Tapo represented ten thousand kina cheques to the head teachers of Hohola and Wardstrip Primary Schools.
He said funding would come from a number of avenues including the recurrent expenditure for teacher in-service, and development funding for assessment and curriculum.