COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$9.44 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key documents:

The grant will support:

  • Distance learning for all students through TV, radio, and online platforms
  • Timely and accurate information on health and hygiene measures sent to teachers, students and parents through the dissemination of key messages on TV, radio, and via SMS
  • Learning materials distribution to the most vulnerable students, including those living in remote areas, those attending flexible open and distance education (second chance education centers), and children with disabilities
  • Teachers training on delivering remote lessons, conducting psychosocial well-being assessments with students, and distributing learning materials
  • A national back-to-school campaign to promote students’ return to school and back-to-learning incentive kits for students and teachers
  • Installation of handwashing stations and toilets and distribution of school hygiene kits
  • Booster classes to bring students up to date with the curriculum

These initiatives are based on the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Papua New Guinea received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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

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.
Allocation: US$11,020,000
Years: 2019-2023
Grant agent: Save the Children UK
Utilization: US$1,331,184

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 Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020-2022 9,440,000 1,890,985 UNICEF  
Program implementation and multiplier 2019-2023 11,020,000 1,331,184 Save the Children UK Progress report
Program implementation 2011-2015 19,200,000 19,200,000 WB Completion report
Program development 2018 127,770 127,770 Save the Children UK  
  Total 39,787,770 22,549,939    
Data last updated: December 15, 2021

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Papua New Guinea Education Advocacy Network (PEAN) for the 2019-2021 period.

This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.

GPE had provided the Papua New Guinea Education Advocacy Network (PEAN) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Papua New Guinea, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

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

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 September 10, 2021