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Crisis looms as schools turn out semi-literates

LITERACY IN SOME areas of Papua New Guinea stands at just 15% of the population, according to a new report.

The report is based on surveys conducted in five provinces by the PNG Education Advocacy Network.

It shows a large number of teenagers are only semi-literate by the end of Year 8 at school.

The chief executive of the Advocacy Network, Priscilla Kare, said, "PNG is facing a literacy crisis at the moment."

She said it was a surprise to find problems beyond the more expected adult illiteracy.

"Because most of the issues facing literacy is to do with adult literacy in communities. (But) we have found out that not only adult literacy is our problem, but those who are coming out of the formal education system are not really literate."

This was the case "even if they are in school and they have been in school for a number of years".

One of the biggest issues educators faced was the more than 900 languages used in the country, Ms Kare said.

Source: Radio Australia News, 20 September


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