Alice Albright expresses condolences for the people of Papua New Guinea after the earthquake that struck the country earlier this week. The Global Partnership for Education stands ready to support...
Earlier this month, GPE CEO Alice Albright visited Japan and Australia to meet with partners and discuss how best to collaborate in the context of the upcoming GPE replenishment.

Education in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea has been a GPE partner and member of the Asia and Pacific constituency since 2010. The country’s education plan, “Universal Basic Education Plan 2010-2019” is designed to achieve the following goal:

“All children of school age must enroll in school, complete nine years of basic education and should have learnt skills, knowledge and values covered in the basic education curriculum.”

The Plan aims to achieve the following results/outcomes:

  • Improving access.
  • Enhancing retention.
  • Improving the quality of education.
  • Enhancing management of basic education.
  • Enhancing equity.

Since 2012, the government abolished tuition fees for all schooling systems from elementary to high schools to replace parental contributions. Government subsidies were also made available, for the first time, for distribution of supplementary reading materials to schools at the beginning of the school year.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2011-2015 19,200,000 19,200,000 IBRD
  TOTAL 19,200,000 19,200,000  


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.


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 (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

GPE in Papua New Guinea

Girls in uniform line up in Papua New Guinea. Credit: GPE/Tara O'Connell

The Global Partnership for Education supported Papua New Guinea with a US$19.2 million education grant, specifically addressing quality of learning.

The READ PNG program, funded by the GPE grant and implemented by the Papua New Guinea Department of Education with the World Bank as grant agent, was an innovative program founded on the principle that reading is the fundamental skill all children must acquire to promote learning.

Implementation of the program began in March 2011 and was complete in December 2015.

The project objective was to promote better teaching and learning of reading skills in elementary and primary education.

PNG Read involved three basic interventions:

  • Establishment of classroom libraries
  • Teacher professional development
  • Introduction of a reading assessment tool (EGRA) to enable teachers to measure student progress.

The program supported the development of a new Standards Based Curriculum (SBC). For the first time, education data was being used in the development of a new curriculum. This is promising for other opportunities for evidence-based decision making going forward. It also showed the importance of the program in helping to strengthen the overall education system in the country.

Source: World Bank program document. February 2011


The PNG Read project achieved the following results:

  • 25,120 teachers have participated in professional development activities
  • 856,510 primary students have access to reading and learning materials in their classrooms
  • 21,711 classroom libraries of 60 books have been established
  • 22,254 elementary school resource kits were purchased and distributed to schools
  • Improvement in students' average scores in 3 early grade reading sub-tests in Western Highlands Province and Madang Province.

Source: Implementation completion and results report. June 2016

Last updated January 10, 2018