This week, Buk bilong Pikinini (BbP) has graduated over a thousand five-year-old students, who are now well-prepared and ready to take the next steps in their education.
However, this year’s ceremonies are looking very different and have been split into small groups to ensure the children still have the opportunity to celebrate this important milestone despite the current pandemic.
Steamships Trading Limited (STL), a foundation sponsor of BbP, having generously established Library learning Centres in Lae, Goroka and Port Moresby attended the smaller graduation ceremonies at Pari village.
According to the Managing Director of STL, Rubert Bray part of the success in their business is to invest in people and the surrounding communities.
“Buk bilong Pikinini objectives closely align with our own core values of development and of always learning and improving. Being able to read is so fundamental to progressing that it is only natural that we are strong supporters of Buk bilong Pikinini. Reading opens new perspectives and opportunities for children, “said Bray.
Executive Officer for BbP Leanne Resson said, BbP’s program has shown year after year, that children who have attended the organisations’ Early Childhood Development program consistently perform strongly academically compared with children who have not had the opportunity to attend an early childhood learning program.
“We are therefore encouraged by the governments’ new ECE policy and are looking forward to continue to provide solid ECE learning foundations for children across the country together with our partners.” said Resson.
As part of BbP’s in-house developed curriculum, the children have been taught phonics, segmenting and blending and many are now able to read. They have been taught discipline and classroom behaviour and are ready to focus on learning.
They have also enjoyed BbP’s Numeracy and Early STEM program and understand basic concepts of maths and problem solving. The have also received Financial Literacy lessons and held their own Market Day to practice their numeracy skills during Literacy Week.
The children have gained an appreciation of their culture and have this year studied animal, forest, ocean and village connection to PNG customs and culture. The stories created will be turned into digital readers and made available on the BbP Learning App. Thanks to the support of CPL and St John’s Ambulance the children have also learnt vital health and hygiene lessons.
BbP’s Digital Learning program, has been further developed and tested and will be fully rolled out in 2022. BbP’s Teacher-Librarians received further training, including in the digital program and the organisation’s inclusive special needs and sign language program.
BbP has also developed seven new readers to add to the six already published, which features local children in professional roles – entitled: “When I grow up I want to be a …” The seven readers covering an Engineer, a Nurse, a Pharmacist, a Heavy Equipment Operator, a Pastry Chef and an Architect will be launched next year. The readers have been sponsored by the Sir Brian Bell Foundation with beautiful photography provided by Roan Paul.
BbP Founder and Chairlady, Anne-Sophie Hermann said despite the pandemic disrupting the academic year, it is wonderful to see more a thousand children graduate from BbP.
“It wonderful to see more than 1000 children graduating from our programs equipped with the skills to successfully transition to the next stages of their learning. There no time to waste, it is essential for the increase in literacy rates to start teaching the children to read at the foundational level. We are grateful for the tremendous and generous support we receive from our sponsors and partners in both PNG and Australia,” said Hermann.
With its achievements, BbP is now able to deliver its comprehensive Early Childhood Development program thanks to the generous support it receives from all its donors and partners in both PNG and Australia.