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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
Anglicans develop new plans for literacy work
Rolland Gito
February 29, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Literacy groups in the Anglican Church of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea have set a new benchmark for the enhancement of their literacy programmes.

In February this year, representatives from the three countries gathered in Honiara, where they put together a regional strategic development plan. The plan was to enhance directions for future programming and implementation of literacy work as an essential part in efforts to promote adult literacy.

The conference also developed individual strategic plans and sub-regional development plans. It was initiated and organized by the Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) Australia.

ABM, through its Pacific Programme, found that these countries have literacy programmes in place but lack proper teaching curricula and other innovative tools and learning materials.

Solomon Islands, for example, used materials developed by the Literacy Association of Solomon Islands (LASI) and Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group (SITAG). While these materials are very good, they felt that the Church needs to have its own that can also incorporate materials relevant to the work and teachings of the Church.

Another setback is that there is no proper or effective coordination for literacy work at all levels.

At the conference, participants identified specific issues and challenges affecting literacy programmes and explored areas upon which they can be addressed. Among these are the environment of learning, a relevant curriculum and materials, strengthening partnership and the use of existing church support structures at the parish, diocesan and provincial level.

The conference was facilitated by Timothy Matzke, Literacy Coordinator and Trainer of SITAG, funded and organized by ABM and hosted by the Provincial Mothers Union in Honiara. It ran from 13 to 16 February 2008 with 18 participants in attendance.