- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
The Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020), which governs pre-primary to secondary education in Papua New Guinea, defines a “community school” as a “school established…for the purpose of providing community school education”, while a “provincial institution” is defined as a “primary, community and village self-help school”, both of which make no reference to non-state actors. A “permitted school” is defined as a “school other than a school recognized under Part IV or a provincial law”, while a “religious institution” is defined as “an institution in which the instruction is wholly or mainly of a religious or doctrinal nature; or an institution conducted by a church for the exclusive training of its own personnel”. An “Education Agency” under the Act is “the State, a Provincial Government or an organization or person conducting…member schools within the National Education System” with actors additionally referred to as the “government, churches, and the community”. The Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2015 (governing early childhood care and education) refers to private actors, non-governmental organizations, and churches as non-state actors operating childcare centers. The Higher Education Act 2014 distinguishes between “public” and “private” higher education institutions, defining an “entity” as a “public body, private body, or body corporate”. The Higher Education (General Provisions) Amendment Act 2020 (which amends the 2014 Act) includes a definition for an “Education Agency” which is defined as a “church-based or other organisation (other than the state) registered with the Papua New Guinea Investment Promotion Authority as a company, business group, or incorporated association that owns, operates or administers an agency institution”. Finally, a “private higher education institution” is defined as a “higher education institution other than a public higher education institution”, with a public higher education institution being a “state-owned institution…established and owned by the state”.
In 2019, most schools (over 50%) at elementary (3 years, ages 6 – 8), primary (6 years, ages 9 – 14) and secondary (4 years, ages 15 – 18) education level were owned and operated by the state. According to the National Education Plan 2020-29, the education system is being restructured from a 3-6-4 structure to a 1-6-6 structure that gradually recognized and includes early childhood education within the formal education system (through Kindergarten 1 and 2).
The education system (which is based on the government’s “policy on partnership”) is not free or compulsory in Papua New Guinea but viewed as a” shared responsibility and partnership from government and parents to work together to provide quality education”. Schools receive funding from multiple channels, which include the government (at the national, provincial, district, and local level) as well as the community and private sector through fees, while the Public Private Partnership Act 2014 additionally provides for public-private partnerships in school infrastructure assistance. According to the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy for 2021, the state pays 62% of the school fees, with parents paying the other 38%. Provincial Education Boards and District Education Offices assist families who struggle to pay the tuition fees through grants and subsidies, while the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2011-30 plans to introduce free and compulsory education up to Grade 10 (ages 6 – 16) by 2030.
Non-state managed, state schools
No information was found.
Non-state funded, state schools
As described above, communities and the private sector contribute to the funding of all state schools (through the payment of fees and assistance in school infrastructure) in partnership with the government.
Independent, non-state schools
Permitted schools are a few (less than 3%) of independent non-state schools in Papua New Guinea which are owned and operated by private and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are approved by the state but operate “outside the national education system” (following their own curriculum, philosophy, and system of instruction). Their “permitted status” distinguishes them from other private schools that operate independently (see unregistered schools). While permitted schools used to receive grants from the state, these schools are no longer supported by the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy and are funded independently through fees.
Permitted schools in Papua New Guinea include 18 international schools which are owned and managed by the International Education Agency, a non-profit business that offers a range of international curricula and certificates including International Baccalaureate, Cambridge, Australian Capital Territory, and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. These schools cater to both national and expatriate students and have ceased to be “member national institutions” since 1986.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
Approximately half (46%) of the schools in Papua New Guinea are church agency schools, which are non-state schools owned and operated by faith-based organizations (mainly Christian Church Education Agencies such as the Catholic Church, United Church, Evangelical Church of Papua, and Seventh Day Adventist Church) that receive funding from the state based on a long standing Government-Church Partnership established in the 1970s that unified the government and church education systems of the country. According to the Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020), the education system is based on “noble traditions and Christian principles”, with religious instruction viewed as an “integral part of the education system”. Church agency schools (also referred to as member schools within the national education system) receive state subsidies to cover their operational costs and teacher salaries (with additional funding from international partners), while Provincial Education Boards set and approve their fees. All member schools follow the national curriculum as they are considered integral components of the “national education system”, with the freedom to develop their own syllabus on religious instruction that maintains their identity. Many church agency schools operate in remote locations, as these partnerships are viewed as a way to expand education coverage and boost access to remote and hard-to-reach populations. In October 2019, Prime Minister Marape announced that all state-owned companies will be required to pay 10% of their annual profits to churches that run social services (such as schools and health services) as of 2020.
Private agencies that have been registered as Education Agencies in the state also operate some member schools in Papua New Guinea, which are similarly entitled to state subsidies that cover operational costs and teacher salaries (covered for all teachers except for those employed by international education agencies). Similar to church agency schools, these agencies operate based on a partnership with the government and are required to follow the national curriculum and examination system.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
Homeschooling is legal in Papua New Guinea, with the government having established a Flexible Distance and Open Education (FODE) program as an “alternative choice for students who decide to study at home” in a flexible and open environment. In addition to serving students who prefer to study at home, FODE also serves as “second chance” education for students who for various reasons cannot continue their education in the mainstream schooling environment. According to the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy for 2021, FODE is free and fully subsidized by the government. While the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2011-30 aimed to “fully integrate distance education into the mainstream system”, “correspondence education” was included as a type of education offered within a school in the Education (Amendment) Act 2020.
In April 2020, distance learning methods were implemented in all schools in Papua New Guinea due to the nation-wide school closures that resulted from the COVID-19 State of Emergency response. According to the COVID-19 Education Emergency Response and Recovery Plan 2020, during this period the Department of Education and partners developed a range of strategies to maintain learning continuity for students at all education levels, which included the distribution of online learning packages, television and radio broadcasts, and printed materials. Due to many students residing in remote areas across the country, there was a focus on print and radio materials in order to reach the majority of students.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
According to the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2011-30 (which aims for the government to fully subsidize education from elementary to secondary level by 2030), the government plans to introduce a voucher program for students who do not wish to continue their education after Grade 10 through the formal schooling system or skills development institution, which they can use to access alternative forms of education or training within commercial or government institutions.
Papua New Guinea has a small percentage (although unspecified amount) of private schools that have not been permitted or approved by the Department of Education to offer education (and therefore operate as unrecognized schools outside the national education system). There was no information found on the number of these schools though or whether they are registered under a different Ministry or Authority (such as the Investment Promotion Authority which is responsible for the registration and regulation of companies).
The Department of Education (DoE) governs and regulates all education (state and non-state Education Agencies and permitted schools) from pre-primary to secondary level in Papua New Guinea, while the Department for Community Development and Religion governs non-state early childhood care and education services. Finally, the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DoHERST) supervises both state and non-state higher education.
The education system is based on a highly decentralized system, which according to the Organic Law on Provincial Governments and Local-level Governments 1998 is managed at the subnational level by 22 Provincial Education Boards, 89 District Education Offices, and Local-level Governments (the latter of which play a minor role in funding and maintaining Education Agency elementary and primary schools). All education institutions in the autonomous Bougainville province are regulated by the Bougainville Education Act 2013 under the Bougainville Executive Council.
Vision: The education system in Papua New Guinea is built on a philosophy of “partnership”, which according to the Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020) envisions the “maximum involvement and co-operative effort by persons and bodies interested in education in the country (including the State, the teaching profession, Provincial Governments, Local-level Governments, churches and the community as a whole)”. While a strong partnership between the Church Agencies and the government has been historically established, the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2011-30 envisions a greater involvement of the private sector, stating that “private education will be encouraged” through a “greater and improved relationship between the private sector and the Department of Education” that will develop into a “true partnership”. Moreover, “formal partnership arrangements” between the Department of Education and “key stakeholders” such as church agencies and the donor community will be pursued in the delivery of education that is consistent with the National Public Private Partnership Policy 2014 and based on the principles and provisions of the Public Private Partnership Act 2014. The Papua New Guinea Vision 2050 similarly aims for enhanced “public-private partnerships in delivering education”, while the National Education Plan 2020-29 aims for “mutual understanding and lively partnerships with, and among, other central government agencies, development partners, churches and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)”.
In Papua New Guinea, early childhood care and education (ECCE) covers children under the age of 6 and is distinguished between preschools (governed by the Department of Education) and childcare centres/day nurseries (governed by the Department for Community Development and Religion, through the National Office of Child and Family Services). The National Education Plan 2020-29 aims to gradually make ECCE part of the formal education system through the restructuring of the education system to a 1-6-6 structure (establishing Kindergarten 1 and 2 for ages 4-5).
ECCE centres are mainly owned and run by churches, NGOs, communities, and private institutions (with the private sector being the leading provider of childcare centres according to the National Early Childhood Care and Development Policy 2007). Most ECCE centres in urban areas are operated by private businesses, with NGOs, community groups, and churches mainly operating services in rural areas. A revised ECCE Policy is being drafted through a collaboration between the Department of Education and National Office of Child and Family Services which aims to formalize the establishment and operation of ECCE centers in Papua New Guinea. As the system is being restructured, the government states that “districts and churches will continue to be partners in delivering early childhood education”. ECCE services are currently regulated under the Education Act 1983 (for preschools) and the Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2015 (for childcare centers). See Multi-level regulations for information on preschools regulated under the Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020).
Registration and approval: According to the Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2015, a “person” who plans to establish a childcare center in Papua New Guinea is required to make an application with the National Family Services Council (through the National Office of Child and Family Services) based on a prescribed form. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
License: Once the application has been evaluated, the Director makes a recommendation to the National Family Services Council on whether to grant or refuse the license. If the Council is satisfied that all requirements have been met, the provider is granted a license to operate (which is subject to certain conditions, a registration fee, and valid for 12 months). The Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2015 additionally states that any license issued by the Investment Promotion Authority is not considered an equivalent license. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.
Taxes and subsidies: While the responsibility for ECCE “rests with parents and communities”, the government plans on supporting the establishment of preschool services (for ages 4-5) through funding based on a Public Private Church Community Partnership. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Curriculum and education standards: All childcare centres are required to comply with the minimum standards which are developed for the benefit of the children enrolled in these services, with no information found on a specific curriculum to be followed. Preschools follow the ECCE curriculum which has been developed for 4-6 year olds and is mainly “play based”. For more information on preschools, see Multi-level regulations.
Teaching profession: According to the Lukautim Pikinini (Child) Act 2015, all childcare givers employed in day nurseries/childcare centers must be qualified based on qualifications set by the National Office of Child and Family Services. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Fee-setting: See Multi-level regulations.
Admission selection and processes: See Multi-level regulations.
Policies for vulnerable groups: See Multi-level regulations.
Reporting requirements: All childcare providers are required to keep a register of all children enrolled in the centre based on a prescribed form, which may be examined by the National Office of Child and Family Services at any time. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Inspection: For the purpose of ensuring that minimum standards are maintained and registration conditions are being complied with, a Child Protection Officer (which may be accompanied by a building inspector, health inspector, and/or police officer) may enter and inspect a childcare centre at any time. Inspections are undertaken on an annual basis. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Child assessment: All childcare centres are required to keep a daily log of every child enrolled in the centre based on a prescribed form.
Sanctions: If, during an inspection, it is found that a provider has failed to comply with the minimum standards or registration conditions, the National Office of Child and Family Services may revoke or cancel their registration license (following non-compliance with written directions), with no information on center closures. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.
Registration and approval: See Multi-level regulations.
Licence: See Multi-level regulations.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): All schools (including member schools and permitted schools) must provide adequate drinking water facilities (at a ratio of 1 watertank/60 pupils) and sufficient and adequate toilets (ratio 1 toilet/25 pupils). The National Education Plan 2020-29 additionally states that schools must be “safe and welcoming for girls”, with all infrastructure (particularly WASH facilities) ensured to be gender-sensitive and improving of girl’s Menstruation Hygiene Management. According to the WASH Policy 2015, all education institutions are expected to pay the full cost of their water and sanitation schemes, with plans for all institutions to have access to a safe, convenient and sustainable water supply, hand washing facilities, and sustainable sanitation facilities by 2030.
Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.
Taxes and subsidies: See Multi-level regulations.
Curriculum and education standards: See Multi-level regulations.
Textbooks and learning materials: Textbooks for member schools are purchased from publishers overseas, with the Department of Education planning to produce, print and distribute student and learning materials once the adequate funds are available.
Teaching profession: See Multi-level regulations.
Corporal punishment: Corporal punishment is discouraged in policy (for member schools), but not in law. The Behaviour Management Policy for the National Education System of Papua New Guinea 2009 states that “corporal punishment is not to be used at any time”, but this does not apply to permitted schools. Under the Criminal Code 1974, corporal punishment as the use of force “by way of correction” is lawful in schools. The the Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020) states that the discipline of students in the responsibility of the Board of Governors (which, again, does not apply to permitted schools, nor does it prohibit the practice).
Other safety measures and COVID-19: As schools reopened following the nation-wide school closures due the COVID-19 in 2020, the DoE supported all institutions in implementing additional safety and hygiene measures (including the improvement of WASH facilities). According to the Gender Equity in Education Policy 2002 (which applies to all schools in Papua New Guinea), all schools must maintain learning environments that are “safe and free from all forms of violence and sexual harassment”.
Fee-setting: See Multi-level regulations.
Admission selection and processes: See Multi-level regulations.
Policies for vulnerable groups: See Multi-level regulations.
School board: All member schools that are part of the national education system (including member schools in Bougainville) are required to establish a Board of Management at preschool, elementary, and primary level and a Board of Governors at secondary level (Education Act, 1983; Education Act, 2013), with women represented in each board (which is not applicable in the cases where Education Agencies constitute themselves as governing bodies from preschool to primary level). The Board of Management should consist of at least 5 members which broadly represent the community, a teacher, the principal, and an Education Agency representative. The Board of Governors (at secondary level) should consist of 2 members nominated by the DoE, and representatives of the Education Agency (which may be a majority), local-level government, teachers, students, Parents and Citizens Association, and other person with special knowledge or experience in education. A Parents and Citizens Association may also be established by an Education Agency which represents student parents and other persons interested in education from the community. Women must be represented in all of these boards. According to the Gender Equity in Education Policy 2002, women must be actively encouraged to participate and be included in decision-making in order to ensure equity and equality of participation. There is no provision requiring permitted schools to establish any of these boards or associations.
Reporting requirements: See Multi-level regulations.
School inspection: See Multi-level regulations.
Student assessment: See Multi-level regulations.
Diplomas and degrees: The DoE is responsible for granting certificates, diplomas and other awards to students in member schools. If permitted schools comply with the staffing, educational standards, curriculum, and other conditions imposed under the Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020), the DoE may authorize the school to award degrees which are equivalent with those obtained within member schools. Diplomas issued by permitted schools established by the International Education Agency include the International Baccalaureate Diploma, Australian Capital Territory Year 12 Certificate, International General Certificate of Secondary Education, and Papua New Guinea School (or Higher School) Certificate.
Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.
The tertiary education sector consists of 6 universities (4 of which are state-owned, while the other two are owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Church and the Seventh Adventist College) and 16 colleges. The Higher Education Act 2014 (as amended in 2020) regulates all state-owned, church agency, and private higher education institutions (HEIs), with specific provisions for private and church agency HEIs. Church Education Agencies are recognized as having an important contribution in the development of higher education in Papua New Guinea, reflecting the “central role of Christian principles in Papua New Guinean society”. In fact, the composition of the National Higher and Technical Education Board has been amended to include a representative of the Churches Education Council in order to ensure that Church Education Agencies are represented at the highest level.
Under the Higher and Technical Education Reform Act 2020 and Higher Education (General Provisions) Amendment Act 2020, the regulation of HEIs is based on the extent to which they are state-funded.
Registration and approval: To establish a private HEI in Papua New Guinea, an individual or entity (which includes a public body, private body, or body corporate) must make an application to the DoHERST based on a prescribed form. According to the Higher Education (General Provisions) Amendment Act 2020, all private and church agency registered HEIs must be corporate entities, with Education Agencies required to be registered with the Papua New Guinea Investment Promotion Authority as a company, business group, or incorporated association. All applications must include information on the programs of study, objectives, and governance structure and must be submitted together with the application for program accreditation. Once the application has been assessed by the Departmental Head on the basis of its compliance with the National Standards for Higher Education Institutional Registration 2016 (which include student-staff ratios and infrastructure requirements), a report is submitted to the National Higher and Technical Education Board including recommendations on the approval or rejection of the application. The application is then granted or refused approval by the Board. In the case of the establishment of a private university, the DoHERST seeks approval from the National Executive Council. Any negotiated agreement between the state and Church Education Agencies must be referred to the National Executive Council for approval by the Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.
License: Where an approval has been granted by the National Higher and Technical Education Board or National Executive Council (as the case may be), the DoHERST issues a certificate of registration, which remains valid for 5 years.
Profit-making: While Education Agencies are required to be registered with the Papua New Guinea Investment Promotion Authority as a company, business group, or incorporated association, there are no provisions that specify that profit-making is prohibited.
Taxes and subsidies: According to the Higher Education (General Provisions) Amendment Act 2020, agency institutions which are owned and operated by recognized Education Agencies receive over 50% of their annual funding from the state, which covers operational costs, teacher salaries, infrastructure, and benefits for academic and non-academic staff. The Higher Education (General Provisions) Amendment Act 2020 allows for the negotiation of arrangements between the state and Church Education Agencies in relation to the levels and support received by the state, with some institutions being provided with less than 50% of their annual funding from the state. All funding arrangements must be based on an “affordable, equitable and transparent funding model”.
Curriculum and education standards: All programs offered by non-state HEIs must be approved and accredited by the DoHERST, be part of an approved national curriculum for Papua New Guinea, or be affiliated with a Papua New Guinea University. All institutions (irrespective of ownership) must comply with the National Standards for Higher Education Institutional Registration 2016, meet the requirements of the Papua New Guinea Qualifications Framework, and have a self-accrediting authority. Finally, if any institution plans to make major changes to any of their programs of study, approval must first be gained by the DoHERST.
Teaching profession: According to the National Standards for Higher Education Institutional Registration 2016, all HEIs (irrespective of ownership) must employ academic staff with a qualification higher than the level which they teach or that have equivalent professional knowledge and experience. The contracts of employment must be made under the Public Services (Management) Act 2014, while the DoHERST may recommend salaries and conditions.
Fee-setting: All HEIs (irrespective of ownership) must adopt a “realistic” annual student fee structure, which is approved upon registration. Moreover, HEIs must have a documented plan for providing scholarships and financial assistance to students with limited financial capability to pay for their studies.
Admission selection and processes: According to the Higher Education Act 2014, HEIs are prohibited from discriminating in their admissions on the basis of race, sex, or religion, except to the extent permitted by the “equality of citizens” provision of the Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea 1975, which allows for the “making of laws for the special benefit, welfare, protection or advancement of females, children and young persons, members of underprivileged or less advanced groups or residents of less advanced areas”. The National Standards for Higher Education Institutional Registration 2016 additionally state that all institutions must “welcome all persons equally” and develop a statement outlining their equity goals in relation to gender, nationality, religious backgrounds, cultural diversity, and physical disability, which must be reflected in the institution’s admissions policy.
Board: According to the Higher Education Act 2014, all HEIs (state and private) must have a governing body that complies with the Governance Manual approved for universities by the DoHERST and work within the framework of policies, plans, and financial provisions that are consistent with the Act and all applicable law. Church Agency institutions must have a Governing Council with up to 8 members (appointed by each institution) which ensure the philosophy and Christian principles of the institution are maintained.
Reporting requirements: All HEIs (state and private) are required to submit annual reports to the DoHERST in the approved form which contain information on the programs of study, modes of delivery, number and type of students, number of graduates, and progress rates. Moreover, HEIs that receive over 50% of their annual operational funding from the state must submit various plans and reports to the DoHERST which includes a five-year strategic plan, business plan, and audited annual report.
Inspection: All HEIs are required to undergo regular institutional quality assurance reviews by the DoHERST against national education standards at least once every 5 years. Furthermore, to ensure compliance with the Higher Education Act 2014, the DoHERST may authorize a person to enter and inspect the premises of a HEI (including a university) and observe its operations and make copies of relevant documents.
Assessment: According to the National Standards for Higher Education Institutional Registration 2016, all HEIs must have an assessment policy which includes a grading scheme, examination procedures, and criterion-referenced assessments (to be approved upon registration).
Diplomas and degrees: All registered universities award their own qualifications in at least two fields of study.
Sanctions: If any institution is found to not be complying with the National Standards for Higher Education Institutional Registration 2016, the Higher Education Act 2014, or conditions of registration, the National Higher and Technical Education Board may cancel their certificate of registration or certificate of approval for program accreditation (depending on each case). Where a certificate of registration has been cancelled, the DoHERST may facilitate for the transfer of enrolled students to a registered HEI. While the National Executive Council may order the closure of a state-owned institution, there were no provisions found on the closure of non-state HEIs.
Registration and approval: The Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020) regulates the registration of Education Agency member schools (under the national education system) and permitted schools (that are not considered part of the national education system of Papua New Guinea) from preschool to secondary education level. Education Agencies (which may be established by organizations or persons) must be recognized by the DoE by proving to have adequate and sufficient resources, an appropriate constitution, suitable property under their control, and be in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Curriculum content, language of instruction, class size, and student-teacher ratios are only regulated for schools under the national education system.
In the case of the establishment of permitted schools (which operate outside the national education system), a person or authority must submit an application to the DoE based on a prescribed form which details its intentions and instruction. According to the Education Regulation 1983, minimum infrastructure standards may be regulated for permitted schools by the Departmental Head, while student-teacher ratios may be regulated for international schools.
In the autonomous Bougainville province, all schools (including agency schools and permitted schools) are recognized by the Bougainville Executive Council if they comply with the province’s education plan. Education Agencies (consisting of organizations or persons) must be approved by the Council to establish schools (provided they comply with the minimum standards).
License: Once an Education Agency has been recognized by the DoE, it may establish, maintain and conduct member schools within the national education system. Permitted schools are granted a Certificate of Registration by the DoE if the Departmental Head is satisfied that the application meets the required standards (after which instruction at the school is allowed to commence). The Departmental Head of the DoE keeps a register containing a list of all member schools and permitted schools in Papua New Guinea. In the Bougainville province, permitted schools are granted a certificate of registration by the Bougainville Executive Council under the Bougainville Education Act 2013.
Profit-making: While no explicit regulation was found regarding profit-making, the Education Regulation 1983 states that schools may engage in commercial activities “for the purpose of raising funds for the benefit of the school”, with the exception of the sale of alcoholic refreshments, gambling lotteries, and the provision of students as labourers to the general public.
Taxes and subsidies: Member schools established by recognized Education Agencies receive grants-in-aid by the state to assist them in carrying out their education functions, which includes the provision of staff, buildings, education equipment, and funds for teacher salaries. Moreover, as of 2020, all state-owned companies pay 10% of their profits to church agency schools that are established as part of the Church-State Partnership Program on an annual basis. While permitted schools used to receive grants from the state, these schools are no longer supported by the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy which continues to support member schools from elementary to secondary education level through tuition-fee subsidies.
Curriculum and education standards: All member schools that are part of the national education system must follow the national curriculum developed by the DoE to ensure “national unity and national identity” within the national education system of the country. The standards-based curriculum (which is developed in consultation with parents, churches and other key stakeholders) includes standards on hours of instruction, number of teaching days, language of instruction, and teacher-student ratios. The medium of instruction (which varies according to education level) is the child’s community language at the preschool and elementary level, a bilingual program of community language and English at the primary level, and English at the secondary level. However, the DoE is required to ensure that the identity and philosophy of Education Agencies is respected, with member schools authorized to prepare a syllabus and program for religious instruction within the limits of their own resources. Any religious instruction provided should not be made compulsory to all students, as similarly stipulated in the Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea 1975 which states that “no person shall be compelled to receive religious instruction or to take part in a religious ceremony or observance”. Moreover, if requested by the DoE, member schools must make arrangements for students of all religious denominations within the school which may receive instruction in accordance with their own beliefs (provided that these arrangements do not interfere with the regular curriculum of the school).
Permitted schools are not required to follow the national curriculum, with schools established by the International Education Agency following international curricula that are based on a range of English-speaking countries, including International Baccalaureate, Cambridge, and Australian Capital Territory curricula. The curriculum for international schools may be regulated from time to time by the Departmental Head.
In the Bougainville province, member schools are similarly required to follow the approved curriculum.
Teaching profession: The DoE registers all teachers in member schools and determines their qualifications. Teachers in member schools (including church agency schools and state schools) are part of the Teaching Service Commission and covered under the same provisions in the Teaching Service Act 1988 and Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for Members of the Teaching Service 2009. The Teaching Service Commission regulates the appointment and terms of conditions for teachers within the Teaching Service in member schools, including teacher salaries, allowances, discipline, leave, and retirement, while the Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for Members of the Teaching Service 2009 includes roles and responsibilities of teachers (including a Code of Conduct). The registration of teachers in permitted schools is not regulated by law, with the Education Regulation 1983 allowing the Department of Education to issue instructions “from time to time”. The appointment, employment conditions, and dismissal of teachers in international schools is determined by the International Education Agency.
Fee-setting: Provincial Education Boards are responsible for setting and approving the fees collected in member schools within the national education system (with maximum fee limits set in the Government Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy for 2021). According to the National Education Plan 2020-29, “the ultimate goal is for all children to complete 13 years of education or training and major identified barriers have been gradually removed”. This includes (for member schools) fee approval, allowing for flexibility in fee payments, loan schemes for disadvantaged students, and allowing parents who cannot afford fees to pay through effort and kind. No child may be refused admission due to non-payment of any form of fees, while Provincial Education Boards and District Education Offices are required to assist parents or guardians who struggle to pay any remaining fees. Permitted schools are no longer supported by the Tuition Fee Subsidy Policy and are free to determine their own fees. In the Bougainville province, school fee subsidies are granted for students in member schools.
Admission selection and processes: All member schools within the national education system are prohibited from excluding students in their admissions solely on the grounds of religious or doctrinal affiliation (with no such requirement for permitted schools) (Education Act, 1983). All children must be able to access and enroll in schools within their catchment area that are part of the national education system, with needs of girls and students with disabilities taken into account. The Gender Equity in Education Policy 2002 (which applies to all schools in Papua New Guinea) aims to encourage and support balanced enrolments of female and male students at all education levels, with the 1-6-6 education restructuring allowing more girls to enroll in secondary education in a school close to their home (hoping to improve the Gender Parity Index).
Policies for vulnerable groups: The DoE may provide scholarships for students in member schools and (depending on the availability of funds) to students in permitted schools based on specific terms and conditions (Education Act, 1983). Moreover, parents who choose to educate their children privately are provided with generous tax breaks. The curriculum, textbooks and learning materials in all schools must remain gender sensitive, with all schools having the responsibility in contributing towards the achievement of equality between males and females and improving conditions for girls and women. In the development of curricula, this includes taking into account changing family roles, with more women in the paid workforce and in some cases, as the head of the household.
Reporting requirements: Member schools are strictly required to comply with the Requirements for Membership outlined in the Education Act 1983, which include teaching and curricula standards and institutional objectives. Permitted schools must submit their enrolment numbers, staffing, and other statistical information to the Department of Education when required. In the Bougainville province, member schools are required to keep records of their financial accounts (made available for inspection).
Inspection: The Minister of the DoE, a person authorized by the Minister, or a representative of the provincial government may enter and inspect any member school or permitted school at any reasonable time to determine whether the relevant provisions of the Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020) are being complied with. Member schools and permitted schools in the Bougainville province are inspected by the Secretary or Bougainville Education Board.
Assessment: The DoE determines all assessments and examinations of member schools within the national education system (with no requirement for permitted schools to take part in these exams) (Education Act, 1983). Schools in Papua New Guinea take part in international education standards assessment programs such as the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment.
Sanctions: If an Education Agency is found to no longer comply with the provisions of the Education Act 1983 (as amended in 2020) or requirements imposed upon recognition, there is a lack of community support, threat to the health, safety or welfare of students or staff, the DoE may cancel the agency’s recognition, suspend the school’s registration, or order the closure of the school (depending on the severity of the case). Similarly, if a permitted school is found to no longer comply with the relevant provisions under the Act, the Minister of the DoE may order the closure of the school. If an Education Agency decides to close a school voluntarily, the National Education Board or Education Board must be given 3 months’ notice. Member schools and permitted schools in the Bougainville province may similarly be subject to closure if they fail to meet the minimum requirements.
No information was found.
No information was found.
While no specific regulation regarding private tutoring was found, the Teaching Service Act (amended 1995) prohibits teachers that are members of the Teaching Service (and teach in member schools within the national education system) to “engage in or continue in the private practice of any profession, occupation or trade; or enter into any employment, whether remunerative or not, with any person (natural or corporate); or accept or engage in any remunerative employment other than in connection with the duties of his position in the Teaching Service” without the prior approval of the Teaching Service Commission. Members of the Teaching Service are additionally prohibited from engaging in any “outside activities that interfere or might interfere with the proper discharge of his(/her) duties”. There was no further information found in the Disciplinary Policy and Procedures for Members of the Teaching Service 2009.