Education in Papua New Guinea

In 2015, PNG operationalized a national education plan (NEP) for basic education. The plan which originally covered the years 2015-2019, was recently extended until 2020 and identifies six focus areas for interventions:

  • Access and equity
  • Teachers and teaching
  • Learning
  • Alternate pathways (including TVET)
  • Local management
  • System strengthening.

Gender equality is also a cross-cutting theme reflected across the entire plan and its implementation.

The plan provides strategic direction for an integrated approach to education and focuses on improving the quality of education for all. The NEP was endorsed by all partners including civil society organizations in 2017 following an independent appraisal.

In 2017, PNG revived the education sector improvement program (ESIP) committee as the local education group in the country. The purpose of the ESIP committee is to facilitate effective and efficient education development in PNG through better information exchange and coordination between the National Department of Education and development partners working in the education sector.

Blogs and news

Children at Buk bilong Pikinini (books for children). Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Credit: AusAID/Ness Kerton
May 15, 2019
With support from the Global Partnership for Education, the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is helping all children acquire strong reading skills, which will help them increase their chances of...
Students using the pilot versions of the new math and science textbooks. Credit: JICA
April 11, 2019
A new program supported by GPE and partners aims to improve primary students' learning outcomes in math and science, especially in the low performing provinces.
Students at a primary school in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
April 10, 2019
PNG’s example demonstrates how the Multiplier mobilizes more funding, fosters partnerships, and reduces fragmentation—a more effective way to strengthen a country’s education system.

Latest grant

Development objective: Improved lower primary student learning outcomes in math and science in low performing provinces through strengthened pre-service and in-service teacher education, expanded access to teacher training for female teachers and improved access to textbooks.
Grant agent:Save the Children

The PNG program is financed by a US$7.4 million grant that includes US$3.5 million from the GPE Multiplier, which will mobilize US$10.6 million in additional co-financing from the Government of Japan.

The additional financing from the Government of Japan and the GPE Multiplier grant will support PNG to improve the quality of learning in classrooms by supporting the National Department of Education to develop, procure, and distribute elementary math textbooks and teachers’ manuals in the most disadvantaged and poorly performing provinces. In addition, ESPIG Multiplier funds will also contribute to scholarships to female students’ teachers.

The implementation grant finances the boosting education standards together (BEST PNG), which is fully aligned with the country’s educational priorities and strategies, and benefits from strong national and development partner ownership.

The grant focuses on improving lower primary student learning outcomes in math and science in low performing provinces through strengthened pre-service and in-service teacher education, expanded access to teacher training for female teachers, and improved access to textbooks and teacher’s manual.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2019-2022 7,400,000* - Save the Children
2011-2015 19,200,000 19,200,000 IBRD Completion report
  TOTAL 26,600,000 19,200,000    

* Amount includes both a GPE Multiplier grant and an implementation grant.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Papua New Guinea. Download this PDF to view the country’s progress on 16 results framework indicators monitored by the GPE Secretariat.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated May 15, 2019