Programme enables early reading, speaking skills

Education

THE inception of the Book Bilong Pikinini (BBP) programme in Lae has ensured children from settlements to have access to early childhood education.
The programme, which was established nine years ago, enrols children between the ages of five and six years and teaches them basic literacy skills in reading, writing and numeracy and speaking English.
The children can then join the formal education system after completion of the programme.
Head teacher Dorcas Lance said the children also took part in various educational activities, including the National Book Week.
This year’s theme was “Learn to read, read to learn”.
The children participated in a reading competition, drama and poetry reading and were shown the importance of books.
Assistant teacher Rosemary Armban helps Lance teach the 80 children which are divided into two classes, the first class is from 8am-12noon and the second from 1pm-4pm.
She said the school needed basic classroom furniture such as chairs and desks as well as cabinets and drawers adding that the students were sitting and writing on the floor.
Lance said the school also faced a water sanitation problem involving the use of their toilet – students were using a pit toilet which was unsafe.
A large tank was donated by KK Kingston and the Steamships Group and Bank South Pacific Lae have also assisted the BBP programme.
Parent’s spokesman Michael Pai said: “The Book Bilong Pikinini programme aims to help build an educated human resource for the country and the concept is effective in helping our children learn to read, write and speak English at early stage.”

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