Adult literacy schools in PNG

by Anglican Board of Mission



Anglicare PNG provides free classes across PNG on adult literacy and life skills.

Project goal

To provide literacy and life skills, equipping disadvantaged individuals for formal education, secure employment and greater community participation.

delivering on

why is this project important?

This project contributes to literacy levels in Papua New Guinea. Increased literacy levels are likely to lead to economic development and increased civic participation within PNG society. These improvements can have flow-on effects for trade and accountable governance in Australia’s region.
Increased literacy levels are also likely to trickle down to improved communication between Australians and PNG islanders as more and more people can communicate via email and text and have increased access to written ideas.

Key steps to make it happen


1. ABM, Anglicare PNG, and communities consult to prepare program design, including number an location of schools.

2Enrolment of students

2. Anglicare, through contact points at grassroots level, enrols students and organizes classes.

33. ABM provides support

Ongoing support is in the form of funding, monitoring, capacity building, and providing feedback on reports.

4Certificates awarded

4. For each level, students who attend the requisite number of classes and meet proficiency standards receive a certificate.


Some students are supported to find work or move into formal education.

impact to date

Number of learners who attended literacy classes in July 2017 - June 2018.
Number of learners moving to formal education or employment in FY 2017 - 2018.
Number of literacy teachers trained in FY 2017 - 2018.
Number of learners completing at least one literacy level in FY 2017 - 2018.

Many of the biggest impacts were felt by women. A majority of the learners (1062 out of 1963) were female. This was partly because in FY 2017/18, Anglicare introduced an early childhood learning centre in the Port Moresby school to allow young mothers to attend literacy classes. Some women commented that after attending literacy classes, they had begun participating more fully and confidently in community activities. Others commented that they had realised the importance of sending their daughters to school.

One learner (Slade) in Dogura Diocese participated in a previous phase of the program. By 2018, she had gone on to become a fashion designer, the leader of a Women’s Association, and a local level government coordinator.

Seven adult literacy students who graduated in November 2017 were immediately accepted into vocational courses and another was accepted into secondary school.

Further impacts are described at:

The Anglican Church of PNG’s literacy program, led by Anglicare PNG, has over 80 schools and 2,500 learners enrolled across eight provinces in PNG. ABM partners with Anglicare PNG, which works closely with the Anglican dioceses around the country to coordinate the program and oversee the syllabus.

The syllabus incorporates literacy and numeracy as well as social issues, such as domestic violence, HIV, child protection, alcohol abuse and law and justice. Classes are run at four different levels, with the higher levels integrating some English language learning.

The students come from a wide range of backgrounds. The majority are non-Anglicans. All are disadvantaged, having dropped out of formal school before their literacy skills were fully developed.

For many, the literacy program is life-changing.

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