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Early childhood care and education in a changing world: building on village life in Papua New Guinea

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In Papua New Guinea, the early childhood care and education of young children is largely a parental and community responsibility. Like many other village-based societies, including those found throughout Africa, Asia and the South Pacific, more than 80% of Papua New Guinean children grow up in subsistence farming and fishing tribal villages. In these settings, children participate in work and village activities and gradually develop the skills and knowledge they need to become competent adult members of their community. In providing a snapshot of the lives of two young Papua New Guinean children, this paper is a contribution to the ongoing discussion about effective early childhood care and education (ECCE) programmes in developing nations. The story of Taita and Oini is used to illustrate how the events and settings that are part of children's daily lives need to be considered and understood before ECCE interventions are attempted or policy developed.

Keywords: Community cultures; Early childhood; Education reform; Languages; Papua New Guinea

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of South Australia Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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