ADRIAN MATHIAS DWU Journalism student
PAPUA New Guinea is fighting an uphill battle against illiteracy and this battle cannot be won without libraries and books.
This was the message from Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane yesterday when reiterating that the eradication of illiteracy was one of national development priorities.
“It can be achieved through early learning by laying foundations for improved literacy, creating awareness about literacy issues, establishing children’s libraries and disseminating educational messages to families about the importance of reading to children at a young age.”
Sir Paulias was speaking at the official opening of the fourth Buk Bilong Pikinini (children’s book) library at Six-Mile, Port Moresby, yesterday.
“You, children, are going to be future leaders and you have quality education backed with proper library resources,” he told children who gathered for the opening.
Among them was eight-year-old boy Tilita Semoso, a student from Buk Bilong Pikinini library at Kone, who travelled all the way from town, to witness the opening.
The library, sponsored by Airways Hotel, was set up by Buk Bilong Pikinini, an independent charity based in Port Moresby.
The charity set up similar libraries last year and this year at different locations in NCD.
The first one was set up at tuberculosis (TB), malnutrition and HIV ward at the Port Moresby General Hospital, the second one at the Red Cross special education centre at Hohola and the third at Lawes Road clinic and the current one at Six-Mile.
The charity’s aim is to spread the message about the importance of reading to children, especially those who are vulnerable and have no access to books, on a daily basis in order to increase their literacy.