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Papua New Guinea - Nonformal Education

programs literacy distance learning

Nonformal education in Papua New Guinea includes village-based literacy programs for adults and children, agriculture and health programs, provincial and community libraries, and some distance-learning opportunities. Government support for nonformal education has been sporadic and disorganized; however, nongovernmental organizations have supported the effort.

SIL International (formerly the Summer Institute of Linguistics) is the largest nongovernmental organization involved in literacy. Church groups, the Young Women's Christian Association, and the Peace Corps also provide literacy services. In 1990, there were 79 literacy programs with a total of 258 classes. Since the 1990s the number of literacy programs offered in local languages has increased and communities have expressed a greater interest in non-English literacy materials. In 1995, approximately 72 percent of the population age 15 and older could read and write.

Papua New Guinea also has two distance-learning programs. Students can complete their secondary studies for grades 7-10 through the College of Distance Education or pursue upper secondary and university-level courses through the University of Papua New Guinea's Institute of Distance Learning and Continuing Education. Both distance-learning programs operate by mail. The Institute of Distance Learning also offers face-to-face instruction during the University of Papua New Guinea's summer session.

Community schools use radio broadcasts to supplement instruction, but most broadcasts are out of date and unrelated to the modern curriculum. Many areas have poor reception as well, which makes the broadcasts unavailable to a number of schools. In 1998, Papua New Guinea had 8 AM stations, 19 FM stations, and 28 short-wave stations. The country had about 410,000 radios. Television is available, but on a limited basis. The country had three broadcast stations in 1997 and about 42,000 televisions. Schools with access to televisions and video players use educational videos to supplement instruction, but the videos are limited. Papua New Guinea had two Internet service providers in 1999.


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over 2 years ago

non formal education in png