Papua New Guinea
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A passion for literacy and beyond

While other people are going on about in their lives, there is a bunch of young passionate women lawyers who have been going out to the remote areas donating reading books as part of their extra-curricular activities after every second year since 2015.

They graduated from the Legal Training Institute in 2012.

Today, 8 Sept, is the International Literacy Day.

The theme for this year is: ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for a sustainable and peaceful societies’.

These lawyers known as Lawyers4Literacy have been doing Literacy advocacy via their LinkedIn and Facebook pages including the mainstream media on the importance of Literacy throughout this week.

They believe that teaching literacy is everyone’s responsibility and it starts from home.

To them, it is quite disheartening that Literacy rate in PNG is a worrying issue.

PNG’s literacy rate is one of the lowest in the Pacific. Although PNG’s literacy has increased in the last two decades, research found that only at a slower pace.

These passionate lawyers believe that encouraging reading at home not only benefit individual families but also contributes to the broader goal of building a more literate and empowered society, aligning perfectly with the theme of National Literacy Week ‘Building a society through literacy’.

Celebrating literacy day helps children and adults alike to develop their literacy skills.

These women lawyers join the writers, scholars, schools, and organisations to celebrate the day and reflect on the benefits of literacy in nation building.

Today also gives us the opportunity to reflect on where PNG is now in terms of literacy and make positive change towards achieving a stronger literate society.

“Literacy is not just about educating; it is a unique and powerful tool to eradicate poverty and a strong means for social and human progress,” our literary lawyers say.

International Literacy Day, designated by UNESCO in 1967, is an annual awareness day that marks the importance of literacy to all countries and cultures.

Imagine the impact literacy alone can have on a society if every home start encouraging reading.

PNG is far from building a foundation of a sustainable and peaceful society.

The effect of low literacy rate is seen on the arson committed in all areas of our society and of other essential government services in the rural areas as the marginalised population continues to suffer.

As these lawyers said, teaching literacy should start from every single home.

Teaching literacy should not be seen as the responsibility of the Education Department.

But most importantly literacy is a right all should not only accept but be willing to fight for.