PAPUA New Guinea is placed at 148 out of 182 countries in a United Nations listing on national literacy rates, National Literacy Awareness Secretariat Willie Jonduo says, The National reports.
He said according to census 2000, of the six million people, "43.8% are illiterate".
"These statistics are alarming because when PNG is compared with the rest of the
countries in the world, using the United Nations human development index, its placing is 148th out of 182 listed countries," he said.
Jonduo said the Education Department, national library and the national literacy awareness secretariat had joined forces to improve the national literacy rate every year.
He said while the rest of the world would be celebrating International Literacy Day on Sept 8, PNG had extended that to a week given the language complexity and cultural diversity.
"The world is keeping an eye on PNG's education to ease and eventually eradicate illiteracy," he said.
Jonduo said PNG was a signatory to United Nations' declaration on education for all (EFA), and the country had to report on the achievements of EFA goals in 2015.
He asked if the country had evidence to show that it had done anything to achieve the EFA goals.
He said these goals included:
- Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children;
- Ensuring the learning needs of young people and adults were met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes;
- Ensuring that by 2015 all children had access to free and compulsory primary education of good quality;
- Achieving a 50% improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015; and
- Improving all aspects of the quality and excellent of education with measurable learning outcomes.