National Literacy Policy

The PNG Constitution states that everyone has the right to literacy in a vernacular, a lingua franca (Tok Pisin, or Hiri Moru) and English and to be literate in one’s own vernacular. The focus of the policy is to raise the profile of literacy in the country. After in-depth stakeholder consultation the National Literacy Policy (NLP) was launched in 2000 to accommodate the needs of school-age children not catered for by the formal education system and out-of-school youths and adults.

The policy reaffirmed national leadership and coordination roles to be undertaken by the Department, with a two-tier mechanism: National Literacy and Awareness Council (NLAC) with the responsibility of guiding the implementation of the policy, and National Literacy and Awareness Secretariat (NLAS), under the guidance of the NLAC tasked with monitoring of the policy, coordination of the literacy work at the national level as well as cultivation, networks and partnerships to promote literacy activities.

The policy stress the critical importance of collaboration between and among governmental and non-governmental agencies and institutions, and their division of labor so as to be in line with the principle of centralization and at the same time strengthen local ownership of literacy development at the community and ward level.

According to the NLP the vision for literacy in Papua New Guinea is that Education should not be perceived as a passport to a paid job. Literacy education should focus on the entire population to be literate from ignorance so that they acquire cognitive and practical skills with positive attitudes to others for the purpose of becoming self-reliant and living useful lives in their society. The policy is currently under review.