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Papua New Guinea

Maintain our cultural values: Park

Port Moresby Nature Park kicked off its third themed schools program for the year with over 500 students from four different schools in the National Capital District attending week one of the three-week program.

In its endeavour to educate and inspire in others the guardianship of PNG’s unique natural environment and culture, the Port Moresby Nature Park’s ‘Culture Connects’ schools excursion program is designed for children to learn more about music, the value of traditional money, the skills of weaving and their unique designs, and messages of our ancestors that have been passed down through generations by the art of tattooing, the weaving of bilums and the art of making carvings.

The ‘Culture Connects’ program is conducted by staff of the Nature Park’s Education Department where students and their teachers also learn about the various environmental topics through interactive learning, discussions and practical lessons where the visiting students will be given time to do weaving, creating traditional designs and music and also make their own traditional money.

“The primary aim of this exercise is to teach children that while it is important to embrace modernisation, we must also maintain our cultural values by learning about our past so that we can take pride in our culture,” Nature Park’s Education and Life Sciences Manager, Ishimu Bebe, said.

Bebe stated that since the introduction of the school’s excursion program in 2013, over 90,000 students have accessed the program and this year alone, more than 24,000 are expected to attend the park’s various education programs in 2019.  

He added that the program was developed particularly to support the PNG education curriculum.

In May 2018, Port Moresby Nature Park was awarded the prestigious International Zoo Educators Award by the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia for its conservation programs like the ‘City Kids Don’t Eat Bush meat’, ‘Don’t buy Native animals as Pets’, and ‘Lukautim bilas bilong yu’.

The schools education program is supported in part by ExxonMobil, NCDC, Zoos Victoria, The National, Ela Motors and the United Nations Development Programme.

‘Culture Connects’ will continue for the month of August. School bookings are essential. For further information please contact Port Moresby Nature Park’s Reservations Team on 326 0258 or email reservations.pomnp@gmail.com

(Education Officer, Wesley Momen, leading students through a lesson on music and tradition)

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