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Papua New Guinea - Summary

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The expansion of Papua New Guinea's education system will not continue until the country produces a greater number of qualified teachers. Still, the nation is working to improve student retention rates, especially in the community schools, and to increase the transition rates into the secondary schools. Providing instruction and literacy materials in the local languages will help the country achieve these goals.

Yet, Papua New Guinea will face several education dilemmas as long as most of its population remains tied to the agricultural economy. Education officials must find ways to provide a relevant education to the 85 percent of students who remain in their rural and semi-rural communities and prepare the remaining 15 percent who find paid employment in government, business, and service industries. In general, the education most children receive does not lead to formal employment; at the same time, it alienates them from the skills they need to contribute in their home communities (Department of Education 1991). But, if the government can maintain its financial commitment to education, then Papua New Guinea's educational system most likely will continue to progress.


Bray, Mark. "Papua New Guinea." Education's Role in National Development Plans: Ten Country Cases, ed. R. Murray Thomas, 197-214. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1992.

Carpenter, Kenneth D. Pacific Islands: Niue, Tonga, Kiribati, Fiji, Papua New Guinea. Country Guide Series. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, 1996.

Morauta, Mekere. "From Recovery to Reconstruction. The presentation of the 2001 budget to Parliament." Papua New Guinea: Department of Finance and Treasury (2000): journal online. Available from:

Papua New Guinea Department of Education. Education Sector Review. Vol. 2, Deliberations and Findings. Port Moresby: Department of Education, 1991.

Papua New Guinea Department of Finance and Treasury. The 2001 Budget. Port Moresby: Department of Finance and Treasury, 2001. Available from:

Rannells, Jackson. PNG: A Factbook on Modern Papua New Guinea. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Turner, Ann. Historical Dictionary of Papua New Guinea. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, 1994.

UNESCO. 1998 Statistical Yearbook. Paris: UNESCO Publishing, 1998.

Waiko, John. State of Higher Education in Papua New Guinea. A statement to the National Parliament. Papua New Guinea: Ministry of Education, 1996.

——. State of Technical and Vocational Education in Papua New Guinea. A Statement to the National Parliament. Papua New Guinea: Ministry of Education, 1996.

—Kristen Loschert

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