News Release

Mum's Preschools Further Early Education in PNG


In July of 2018 young single adults from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Port Moresby went to the seaside fishing village of Porebada to help construct a small classroom where a "Mum's Preschool" could be held. The "Mum's Preschool" concept is to have local mothers gather a small group of their young children and then have one or more of the mums teach the children. All classes are organised with one mother for every 4-5 young children. The key to the initiative is to assist the young children in becoming fluent in English. The children are taught letters, numbers, basic colours, shapes and much more, as a preparation for primary school.

One of the mothers, Kari Arua, assisted by her aid Lucy Kengasa have been excited to be the instructors for the Mum's Preschool in Porebada. Kari, who has older children, expressed her feelings about her involvement in Mum's Preschool, "I have been blessed to have an education. I feel like the most important thing I should be doing is to spend my time teaching the children."

Lucy remarked, "I really enjoy volunteering and seeing a difference in the lives of the children. It's very nice to teach them. God has put it in my heart to teach children."

Since the introduction of the first preschool, senior missionaries Sister Carol McReynolds and Sister Lucy Hafoka have taken a personal interest in furthering this education program in the area of Port Moresby and other areas of Papua New Guinea.

These sisters have worked tirelessly to make lesson plans, put together school supplies, and make wonderful learning aids for use in the various Mum's Preschools. These two women first identify mums who are willing, interested and are able to teach the children English and their early development skills. Once the mothers have been identified, training is given on how to run the classes, giving them lesson plans and learning aids. Third, they help them to get started and show the mothers how to effectively teach the children. Finally, they follow-up with visits and serve as mentors for the teaching mums.

Sister McReynolds expressed, "The reason we have such an interest in the Mum's Preschools is that we are both from educational backgrounds and we know the potential each of these children have."

Nina Frank, who participates in the Nine Mile classes shared, "These are children which do not have access to go to school because of the cost. Without Mum's Preschool, these children will stay at home, so I am helping them to broaden their minds and prepare them for future education. It makes them want to learn more."

Patricia Omae of the Sabusa Mum's Preschool shared, "[The idea] came about for me when my grandson was needing to learn, and children began coming from the vilage." She continues, "I love teaching them the basics, the alphabetical order and counting from 1-10."

To date, Sister Hafoka and Sister McReynolds have estabished thirteen different "Mum's Preschools" in various villages around Port Moresby and Daru which are now up and running. Their goal is for a total of twenty in the coming months.

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