Ryan enjoys playing soccer (football) and likes to help his mother with simple chores like fetching water and looking for firewood.
He says, “My favorite subjects are Math’s and English because I want to become a pilot. I want to become a pilot because I want to fly and see different places”.
The cheerful 13 year old attends Kwanga Primary School and is in Grade 3. World Vision is implementing the Australian Non-Government Cooperative Project called Access to Learning and Literacy (ANCP–ALL) education project in his school.
Last year, Ryan attended Kwanga Elementary School where the Together for Education (T4E) project, under the PNG Partnership Fund (PPF) implemented by World Vision to boost literacy and numeracy levels in early learning.
The T4E project’s constant training and guidance of teachers as well as providing basic reading materials in simple English enabled children like Ryan to enjoy learning and eventually learn how to read, understand and speak good English at an early age.
Hence, there has been a 36 per cent improvement in the ability to read simple English and understand math word problems in young children from targeted elementary schools in Madang Province.
An internal survey conducted early last year showed a 41 per cent ability to read and understand math word problems; a similar survey was then conducted later in the year which peaked at 77 per cent.
Atau Peter, The Elementary Coordinator and Trainer for Middle Ramu District says that prior to the intervention of World Vision, there was a lack of monitoring of elementary schools in the area.
He says this continued up until 2017, further adding that in 2018 World Vision initiated the T4E project where teachers were given the opportunity to attend training to improve their lesson presentation in class. He says, “The great impact that is taking place is that we have reading clubs and we have SLIP plans in schools”.
He adds that before the projects intervention when students and teachers were assessed, the ability to read without supervision was very poor.
Atau says, “When we went the second time, I saw that there was a great change, children can read better without a teacher guiding them”.
He says that after the project ends, it will be his responsibility to visit schools in the district and monitor if they are following what they were taught. He adds that it is now his responsibility to monitor the reading clubs, teacher performance in the classroom and also the progress of the children’s learning.
Atau says, “I really appreciate what World Vision has done because I have learnt a lot from them within a year.” Mr. Atau attended a Literacy and Numeracy Boost workshop conducted by the T4E project in Port Moresby this year.
“As the Elementary coordinator for the district, I will ensure that whatever the World Vision team has already set up will progress”, he says.
Ryan’s father, Raymond Piamba says, “One of the changes that I have seen in my child is that he previously could not read but when the program from World Vision was introduced last year (2018), my child can now read and speak English”.
He adds that in previous years most students did not continue from the Elementary to the Primary Level but that has changed this year.
Raymond says, “I’m very happy that these changes are happening at our Elementary School in Kwanga. I feel that it is important that we work together with you for the sake of our children as they are our future”.
Manu Peter, The Education Program Manager for World Vision’s Madang Area program says that the goal of the T4E project is to enhance the literacy and numeracy skills of elementary school children and also motivate parents and caregivers to support their children’s education at an early age.
He adds, “We want to see that parents know the importance of their children’s education and that they have to provide the same support from the early age up to the Primary School”.
He says the two projects (ANCP-ALL and T4E) target different levels of education but the project activities complement each other.
Manu adds, “Our three main focus areas are; creating awareness to parents and caregivers for the demand for education, Provision of training for teachers, board of management, and provision of resource materials for children’s reading and provide teachers guide for teachers’ to use so they can improve their teaching and students learning in the classroom”.
The Together for Education project is funded by the Papua New Guinea and Australia Partnership through the PNG Partnership Fund (PPF).
Photos by Steven Doe