Literacy in an emergent society: Papua New Guinea

Statement of Responsibility:
Ahai, Naihuwo

This paper was presented at the International Literacy Year Colloquium in October 1990 in Washington, D.C. The paper provides a brief historical and geographic look at what is now Papua New Guinea. It then moves on to provide a glimpse at literacy education, both before and after nationhood in 1975. Linguistic diversity-more than eight hundred languages-and language use for education have been on-going issues. Preparing for nationhood fueled a change from community language programs to English-only education programs. Concurrently, there was a change from mission-driven education programs to government-sponsored education programs. Now, there is a government-supported movement to reinstate starting education in the languages of the community. Innovative ways of producing literature in the local languages is also presented.

12 pages
Literacy programs
Language policy
vernacular literacy
reading approaches
Papua New Guinea
multi-strategy Method
literacy initiatives
literacy education
Literacy Colloquium
integrated training
human development
Papua New Guinea
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