Lankan author breaks new ground on accountancy books in Papua New Guinea

By Shalomi Daniel

‘Sri Lankan author launches four books’ reported a newspaper in the distant shores of Papua New Guinea. Panditha Mudiyanselage Navaratna Bandara keeps the Sri Lankan flag flying high in Papua New Guinea using his wealth of knowledge and experience to produce a range of books.

Usually a book is published in Papua New Guinea once a year or once in six months. Senior Lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea Mr. Bandara accomplished the noteworthy feat of launching four books in December 2010 alone. The event received prominent coverage on television, radio and the print media.

This Sri Lankan author and teacher who was attached to the University Grants Commission before moving to Papua New Guinea some years ago said that when he started teaching at the University there, he found Australian and British text books being used at the University did not suit the understanding and practical application of the students.

Faced with this lack, he began developing material which he tested on the students to gauge their understanding and response. “Thereafter I compiled the material and wrote the first book in accounting published for students in Papua New Guinea titled ‘Introductory Accounting for Papua New Guinea’,” he said, speaking to the Sunday Times while on a brief holiday here. Published in 2004, the book was well received by academic and professional organizations. The author incorporated practical applications to provide useful skills in accounting along with the theoretical knowledge.

The third revised edition of the book was released in December 2010, proof enough of its success.
In Papua New Guinea accounting is not taught in secondary schools (it is a university course only). As a member of the Advisory Committee of the Department of Education, Mr. Bandara suggested including Accounts in the school curriculum and highlighted the importance of doing so. His suggestion was accepted and he was invited to write the curriculum.

He authored two more books “Accounting for Grade 11” and “Accounting for Grade 12” for use in secondary schools. These two books were also released in December 2010. “Accounting for Grade 11 Q & A” is due to be released this month.His books which have been approved by the Papua New Guinea Department of Education as text books are used by various other universities, business colleges, training and vocational institutions.

The Oxford University Press invited him to write four books in business studies (Business Studies Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12). The first book in this series- ‘Business Studies Grade 9’- was released in December 2010. The book for Grade 10 is in the process.

Mr. Bandara is also a committee member of the Certified Practising Accountants (CPA), a professional accounting body. “The CPA suggested that I write a book for students preparing for the institute exams,” he said, adding that the book titled ‘Foundation of Accounting’ was published by the CPA and launched in early 2010. The books are now being used by students.

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