Business Education Featured Papua New Guinea

THE BUK BILONG PIKININI ASSOCIATION ELECTS 5 NEW DIRECTORS

Buk bilong Pikinini held its Annual General Meeting for 2023 recently with members of the association at APEC Haus and via zoom. The members consist of corporate partners, organisations and fellow NGOs. The meeting saw the election of an additional 5 Directors to BbP’s board.

Current directors include Andrew Dare, Area Manager – PNG &Solomon Islands, Bronwyn Wright, CEO – Sir Brian Bell Foundation, Allyson Young, Manager – Select PNG, Mihyun Bray, representing Steamships Trading Company, Tamzin Wardley, Independent Director & Treasurer and Anne-Sophie Hermann – BbP Founder and Chairperson.

New Directors elected today include Shaun Pini, Theodist Procurement Product Manager, John Kawage, Department of Education a/Deputy Secretary Policy Provincial Services, Jamie Mitchell, General Manager, Hebou Constructions (PNG) Limited, David Valentine, CEO Niunet and Salome Delabu, Marketing Manager Credit Corporation.

BbP’s Founder and Chairperson, Anne-Sophie Hermann and Executive Officer Leanne Resson presented an update and report on the organisations’ current partnerships, projects and impact in communities where BbP operates. Treasurer Tamzin Wardley and Finance Manager Louise Vuvut presented the audited financial statements.

 BbP’s audits are carried out by Deloitte. It is BbP’s mission to help to increase literacy rates in Papua New Guinea via the establishment of Library Learning Centres (which provide a free Early Childhood Education program and library services) and to foster a love of reading and learning (via book publishing and the donation of School Library Kits to schools across the country).

 Many school children have difficulties in reading, writing, speaking, listening and have very basic numeracy skills. In a recently published report by the Education Sector Implementation Grant and Multiplier (in BEST PNG, 2019), just 23.7% of grade 5 students nationally reached the expected proficiency level for literacy, lower than the regional Pacific neighbours.

This is confirmed by the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment report 2015 (Educational Quality Assessment Program, 2016), which reported that students’ proficiency level in literacy in PNG was 14.33% compared to the Pacific Regional rate of 17.78 %.

Reasons cited in the report include: weak teaching skills and knowledge, diverse languages, frequent teacher and student absenteeism and lack of appropriate reading books and teaching support materials.

These are some of the organisation’s notable achievements:

◦ 16 years as a local NGO in partnership with over 40 different corporates and strategic partners;

◦ 2 million high quality books have been shipped to BbP’s warehouses over the past 15 years. Total number of books distributed from 2021 to current stands at 257,415. Books have been distributed to over 400 schools and communities in all provinces across PNG. Most schools receive the donation of 1000 books to re-establish their library;

◦ Established more than 25 Learning Centres across the country with partners;

◦ Long term accountability for all partners that BbP partners with;

◦ Existing MoUs/MoAs/Service Agreements that guide all BbP’s activities;

◦ More than 10,000 children have attended BbP’s 1 year ECE program since its inception;

◦ Developed a PNG-specific digital skills program and website for teachers www.bbpdigitallearning.org and a digital learning program and app for students;

◦ Published 25 books and readers specifically for PNG children (culturally appropriate readers);

◦ Developed a Special Needs Inclusive Education program – 2 books have been published and a sign language dictionary with videos planned to be completed by the end of the year;

◦ Continuous dialogue with NDoE to highlight the impact of BbP’s programs, with support from partners.

We are grateful for the amazing support provided to Buk bilong Pikinini by all the organisations’ members. We are looking forward to continue our work to provide the best possible education support for the children and students in Papua New Guinea. Buk bilong Pikinini (BbP) works with its partners to establish Library Learning Centres across the country, which offers a free Early Childhood Education to 5-year-old children.

The program includes literacy, numeracy, digital learning, health awareness and cultural learning. In addition to this BbP also offers teacher upskilling-training in its programs, library services and special needs teaching. BbP also publishes its own books featuring PNG children and PNG culture.

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