Welcome to Bilum Books!

Bilum Books is a new schoolbook publishing company. The creators – Ray O’Farrell, Irene Sawczak and Sara White – have a strong background in education as teachers and as educational publishers. They have a long association with Papua New Guinea.

Bilum Books was founded for three reasons:

  1. There is such a need. Illiteracy is a problem in PNG. Literacy rates for the country are variously quoted at 52%, 57% and 64%. Whatever the figure, it's not good enough. Young Papua New Guineans are just as smart as young people anywhere. If teachers are given the right books and the right training, literacy will improve. Bilum Books can help raise the standards because of the nature of our books and the training we provide.
  2. Schoolbooks in PNG are expensive and difficult to obtain. One reason is because most schoolbooks are held in warehouses offshore, usually in Australia. That means Papua New Guineans have to wait weeks and months for books to arrive; they have to pay the cost of freight from Australia and they have to pay in Aussie dollars. But Bilum Books has a partnership with Christian Books Melanesia (CBM). Bilum Books are all held in the CBM central warehouse in Lae. Distribution from Lae is much quicker and cheaper, and the PNG customer pays in Kina.
  3. Teacher training. Essential to our mission is the provision of teacher training at the grassroots level. We provide free teacher training to Districts and school clusters that buy our books. Our introductory teacher training workshops introduce teachers to the kinds of Teacher Guides that we produce to support our Student Books. Our Teacher Guides are set out day-by-day, week-by-week, for each of the 4 terms of the PNG school year; they give detailed daily support about what to teach at each Grade level, and how to teach it. Our detailed Teacher Guides provide training for the full school year. No other company is producing these kinds of books.

We have published a total of 40 titles to date. More books will be released in 2019 and beyond.

In partnership with Christian Books Melanesia (CBM), all stocks of our 40 titles are held in the CBM warehouse in Lae. From Lae, CBM wholesales Bilum Books to the seven CBM Bookshops around the country: Aitape, Lae, Madang, Mt Hagen, Popondetta, Vanimo and Wewak.

Bilum Books are also available through other bookshops and stationery suppliers, including:

Our mission

Our priority is literacy. To help raise the standards: firstly by producing good quality books at reasonable prices and in line with the new Standards Based Curriculum. Secondly, by conducting teacher-training workshops to assist the professional development of Elementary teachers, in particular. Thirdly, by raising the standards of service to schools. Because our books are stored in a warehouse in Lae, it means that Bilum Books are available quickly, and without the delay and the freight cost of having to order them from overseas.

Our name

Bilums are uniquely and proudly PNG.
Bilums are strong and useful, they connect us.
Bilums share our culture and traditions.
Bilums carry hope for the future – our babies, our food, our belongings.
Bilum Books will help educate our young people and raise the standards of literacy and learning in Papua New Guinea. Billum Books, like bilums, carry hope for the future.
Bilum Books, our books.

Our books

Our Student Books: are rigorously trialled in PNG classrooms. They are grounded in the reality of PNG classrooms. They are easy to use in classrooms where there are upwards of fifty and sixty students per teacher. They are easy to understand. They have been extensively reviewed and trialled in draft form by teachers in different schools in PNG. Their opinions and advice, based on practical classroom experience, means that our Student Books are revised and refined before they are finally published.

Our Teacher Guides: reduce a teacher’s workload. They provide day-by-day, week-by-week guidance. For the 4 terms of the PNG school year, teachers can rely on them for daily support about what to teach and how to teach it. Teachers can put more energy into teaching and less energy into planning. No other company is producing these kinds of books.

Acknowledgement: we thank the officers in the Curriculum Development Division and the Measurement Services Division who support our efforts to publish resource books for teachers and students in Papua New Guinea.

Teacher training

At Elementary and Primary level, Bilum Books provides free teacher training to Districts and school clusters that buy our books. Our 2-day teacher training workshops show teachers how to use our books. Our practical workshop lessons demonstrate how to teach reading and writing, and the skills of phonics, spelling and vocabulary using our books. In our teacher-training workshops teachers learn that they can rely on our Teacher Guides daily to help them teach for every day of the full school year. There is no charge for these workshops when a bulk order is placed for our books.

SBC English for Papua New Guinea

Elementary Prep

Elementary One

Elementary Two

At Elementary level, this standards based program covers the foundation skills of English literacy:

At each Grade level, there are three books

The Student Books combine graded reading texts and skills pages. The Teacher Guide has a week-by-week program with lesson plans to teach the foundation skills of English literacy over the four terms in the PNG school year. The Student Books and Teacher Guide identify the skills and provide the activities needed to develop early grade speaking, reading and writing in English.

SBC English supports the Department of Education’s Standards Based Curriculum (SBC) English Syllabus. At Elementary Prep, the content is aligned with the Elementary Prep Content Standards in the Syllabus. Assessment tasks in the Teacher Guide give feedback to teachers to ensure that their students achieve those Content Standards by the end of Elementary Prep.

SBC English is a comprehensive, standards based English program. It will provide the foundation for future learning.

SBC English for Papua New Guinea

Click here for a detailed information booklet that:

  • shows how SBC English aligns with the Department of Education’s Syllabus and Teacher Guides.
  • gives an overview of the Elementary Prep, One and Two and the Language Learning Strands that are covered each day.
  • explains how the weekly program aligns with the strands, content standards and performance standards in the Syllabus.
  • shows how Speaking & listening, Reading and comprehension, Common words, Phonics, Writing and Talking drills are covered in the weekly program.
  • gives sample pages from the Student Books and the corresponding notes from the Teacher Guides.

The booklet (12pp.) can be printed and used for in-service teacher training workshops.

Phonics for Papua New Guinea

Student Books and Teacher Guides for Elementary Prep, 1 and 2

These Phonics books follow the new Elementary School ENGLISH Syllabus exactly. The order of sounds follows the syllabus week-by-week. The Teacher Guides map out a teaching plan for the full year.

Elementary School Picture Dictionary and Teacher Guide

The Dictionary includes all the 300 common words and all the topic words that are listed in the new Elementary School ENGLISH Syllabus. The accompanying Teacher Guide shows teachers how the words can be taught.

Spelling and Word Study for Papua New Guinea

A Student Book and an accompanying Teacher Guide for 7 Grade levels: Foundation (Elementary 2) and Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. The 300 common words plus all topic words listed in the new Elementary School ENGLISH Syllabus are included in the Elementary 2 book as the Foundation.

Grades 9 & 10 Past Exam Questions: Mathematics, Science and English

Over 700 questions per book from past exam papers, with revision notes, detailed answers and explanations to help students and teachers preparing for the Gr 10 exams.

Grades 11 & 12 Past Exam Questions: General Mathematics, Advanced Mathematics, Business Studies, Biology, Chemistry and Physics

All questions from past exam papers 2011-2016, with revision notes, detailed answers and explanations to help students and teachers preparing for the Gr 12 exams.

Are you in PNG and on Facebook? If so, why don't you "Like" Bilum Books to keep in touch with us? Note: the Bilum Books Facebook page is accessible only from PNG.

For more information contact: Ray O'Farrell   rayofarrell@hotmail.com   or   ray@bilumbooks.com

Digicel: 72397464       Fax: 05 61 8 8331 7811       Text: 05 61 40 967 7840

For the latest press coverage click here