Today I will visit Goroka, in Papua New Guinea’s highlands, to announce Australian support to expand primary school education in the region.

Australia will provide 30 primary school infrastructure kits to Enga, Hela and Southern Highlands provinces next year.

Each province will receive 10 kits to improve children’s access to school and the quality of learning, including a double classroom, teacher’s house, separate girls’ and boys’ toilets, water tanks and full furniture fit out.

Australia is working with the PNG Government to build more than 1000 classrooms in rural and remote areas, with more than 500 classrooms already completed.

I will launch two books at a Buk bilong Pikinini library to help improve women’s basic literacy.

Women in the Western Highlands and East New Britain developed ‘Maria’s family saves their kina’ and ‘Maria’s family goes to market’ in Tok Pisin and English after acknowledging that a lack of basic literacy limited their economic and social opportunities. More than 4400 books will be provided to schools and community groups through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

The Buk bilong Pikinini (Books for Children) libraries provide age-appropriate reading material to children and their parents, and offer early childhood development and literacy programs, including for the parents of children attending. Australia supports Buk bilong Pikinini through the aid program and Australian volunteers.

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