ExxonMobil PNG Limited (EMPNG), the operator of the PNG LNG Project, has contributed more than K55,000 to the Department of Education to help spread the message about the importance of literacy and its role in development throughout National Literacy Week.
The money will help the National Literacy Secretariat to print and distribute National Literacy Week posters nationwide as part of the week, which runs from 8-12 September, and was launched in Gulf Province.
Schools around the country will hold various events throughout the entire month to demonstrate and showcase the different initiatives they run to promote literacy.
Peter Graham, EMPNG Managing Director, said improving access to education for communities is a key priority for the company, and this includes working in line with PNG Government policies and activities.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to work with Government, especially in education, an area we see as critical to the growth of a strong country. I’m very pleased that for a second year we’re able to help the Department of Education with their National Literacy Week program,” Mr Graham said.
Education Secretary, Dr Michael Tapo said focusing on literacy was the first step in helping Papua New Guineans become involved in decision-making processes, and the development of communities and the country.
“It is encouraging to see ExxonMobil’s continued support of this important initiative and its promotion of education through its community investment programs throughout the PNG LNG Project area,” he said.
Secretary Tapo added that every single student in PNG should be able to read and write before moving to the next level, and that the Department is working to accomplish that objective.
The Director of the Secretariat, William Jundo said his team has worked with the Gulf Provincial administration on a range of activities to mark the launch of Literacy Week. These include inter-school debates, quizzes, literacy stalls and advocacy activities in Baimuru, Ihu and Kikori.
ExxonMobil PNG’s education initiative focuses on strengthening the delivery of basic education. This is done through support for refurbishment of school facilities, distributing teaching materials and school packs to teachers and students, production and distribution of books, provision of desks, and education research to support teachers.
Key to the success of the company’s education initiative is the partnership that EMPNG has established with local and national educational institutions in the country.