Papua New Guinea’s most-prominent book publisher, Robert Brown, has expressed concern about falling literacy levels in the country.
|Prominent PNG book publisher Robert Brown.|
He said the reading culture prevalent among young people in the 1970s was no longer there, hence, the very low literacy levels even among university students.
He attributed this to the lack of good quality publications relevant to PNG.
“Totally inadequate,” Brown said.
“We need to do more in bringing books to the children in the schools and also to the general public.
“There’s more to be got out of books than in front of computers, television, and so on.
“The lack of bookshops in Papua New Guinea is very sad.
“You name me on bookshop in Papua New Guinea now.”
Brown also said the children of the 1970s were much more literate than the children of today.
“Absolutely,” he said.
“The power of the book, in lots of ways, has been underestimated.
“It’s quite strange that in America, most people who are educators use comics as a medium to educate to read.
“We used to sell lots of comics up here, you don’t see this anymore.
“It at least got the kids reading.
“Reading’s the word.
“As you say, a kid in university can’t write his own name, and that’s sad. “
Brown, however, added that times were changing and more people would be taking to books.
“Things are starting to move again,” he said.
“It’s a bit sad that it’s taken so long.
“Things are taking a turn for the better, but we still need people to invest in bookshops…I think it’s time someone bites the bullet and opens up a decent bookshop in Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, and Rabaul.”