Overall since independence, the enrolment rate in education has increased but Papua New Guineans continue to face challenges in completing higher education. As the country implements reforms to achieve universal education, students in rural areas are at particular risk of not completing schooling. In 2017, the average years of schooling received by people over 25 years old was 3.9. The literacy rate of 15 – 25-year-olds was 64%.
Tertiary education institutions are limited in PNG, and are rarely accessible by remote communities. Good Sheppard Seminary in Banz is a tertiary education dedicated to providing its students, most of whom come from the Highlands in towns such as Madang, Lae, Wewak and Aitape, with high quality, three-year degree programs. In 2019, the Seminary will see enrolment increase from 57 to 70 students. In response to larger class sizes, the Seminary has identified a need for lecturers to join the staff in both teaching and administrative support.
How We’re Helping
Good Shepherd Seminary has requested an English teacher to work alongside local staff to improve the language skills of students. Palms recruited Greg Lawson to work with the faculty at Good Shepherd for up to 2 years to:
- improve student’s academic writing, reading comprehension, and spoken English
- build teachers’ capacity to deliver English language courses
- review current financial record-keeping procedures and assess the potential for improvement
- mentor the current bursar in existing record-keeping tools and software
It is expected that at the end of the project the students will be able to confidently communicate in English and be able to complete work in English in support of their local communities. The bursar mentored over this project period will be able to effectively and efficiently manage the accounts of the seminary.
Is the Project Sustainable?
The students from Good Shepherd will be able to use their improved language skills to advocate for their local community on the international stage, be it in grant writing or report writing for international donors and institutions or securing resources for community projects.