Education in Nauru

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Education in Nauru
Department of Education
MinisterCharmaine Scotty[1]
National education budget (2011–2012)
Per studentAUD1000.20–1065.42A
General details
Primary languagesNauruan and English
System typeNational
Literacy (2011)
Enrollment (2013)
Post secondary6C
Attainment (2011)
Secondary diploma91.2
Post-secondary diploma4.9
A The national budget for education was for 2011 and 2012. Funding figures were calculated by using the enrollment data from the 2011 and 2012 year.[3]
B Includes 751 pre-school students
C Data from 2002[4]

Education in Nauru is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16. There are eleven schools in Nauru, including three primary schools and two secondary schools (Nauru College and Nauru Secondary School). There is an Able/Disable Centre for children with special needs.[5] Education at these schools is free. In 2011, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported that 3,026 children were enrolled at Nauru's schools.[5] The Minister for Education is the Hon. Charmaine Scotty, MP from 2013.

The Nauru Campus of the University of the South Pacific (USP) is located in Nauru Learning Village Yaren District since 2018,[6] and was previously in Aiwo District.[7] USP began teaching remote courses in the 1970s. A local campus was established in 1987. Courses of study focus on the fields of education and business. The campus also serves the broader community through a Continuing education programme.[8]

A classroom at Nauru Secondary School after refurbishment as part of an Australian aid package to the island state.

Education in Nauru was first formalised by the work of Protestant missionaries in the early twentieth century. The first schools were established by missionary Philip Delaporte, teaching children literacy in the Nauru language. In 1923, the joint administration of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand made education compulsory and established a curriculum based in the English language.[9] Australia's AusAID funded an $11 million refurbishment of Nauru Secondary School beginning in late 2007. The project to assist in improving educational performance in Nauru was completed in 2010. Part of the project focused on enhancing Nauruan construction capacity.[10]

The Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI)[11] finds that Nauru is fulfilling only 83.9% of what it should be fulfilling for the right to education based on the country's level of income.[12] HRMI breaks down the right to education by looking at the rights to both primary education and secondary education. While taking into consideration Nauru's income level, the nation is achieving 93.5% of what should be possible based on its resources (income) for primary education but only 74.2% for secondary education.[12]


Public infant schools:[13]

Public primary:

  • Yaren Primary School - Yaren District[13] - Years 1-3,[14] Years 1 and 2 as of April 2002.[15]
  • Nauru Primary School - Meneng District[13] - Years 4-6[14]
    • The current building opened on October 6, 2016. Canstruct, an Australian firm, built the two-story building, which has eight classrooms. The building, specially designed for Nauruan weather, with ceiling fans and special airflow, may house up to 400 students and is resistant to natural disasters.[16]
  • Former: Aiwo Primary School - Aiwo District - Years 3 and 4 as of April 2002.[15]

Public secondary:

  • Nauru College - Denigomodu District[13] - Years 7-9 as of June 2012,[17] years 5-7 as of April 2002[15]
    • Nauru College opened as the Denigomodu School in January 2000 as part of the Rehabilitation and Development Cooperation Agreement between Australia and Nauru, agreed in August 1993. As part of the agreement the governments decided to build Nauru College in March 1999.[18] It was initially Nauru's third primary school, but it was transitioned into a junior high school with Form 1, as Nauruan children vie for scholarships at that educational stage.[19]
  • Nauru Secondary School - Yaren District[13] - years 10-12;[14] years 8-12 as of April 2002[15]


  • Kayser College - Ewa District[13] - infant years-year 8;[14] years 1-11 as of April 2002[15]) - A new three classroom building opened on 8 May 2015.[20] As of 2002 the Nauru Department of Education gives the school 80% of its funds.[15] It is a Roman Catholic school.[21]
  • The Location School (years 1-8 as of April 2002[15]) - Within the "Location" housing development in Denigomodu, for expatriate children [22] This is the only school in Nauru which is not English medium.[23]

Special schools:

  • Able-Disable Centre in Meneng District[13]

Former non-public:

  • Nauru Regional Processing Centre had its own school, and the Australian government gave a contract in August 2013 to the organisation Save the Children to deliver a curriculum.[24] By 2015 Australian authorities planned to move the students to local Nauruan government schools.[25] That year the immigrants were moved to the local schools.[24]


  1. ^,-mp.aspx
  2. ^ p. 51
  3. ^ "Home | Statistics for Development Division".
  4. ^ Archived 2012-10-19 at the Wayback Machine p. 1.2.1
  5. ^ a b "Nauru: Education support". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia). Archived from the original on 2014-02-23. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  6. ^ "USP Nauru." University of the South Pacific. Retrieved on September 29, 2018. "We will soon be moving to our spectacular new, state-of-the-art campus at the Learning Village in Yaren District."
  7. ^ "Nauru Campus." University of the South Pacific. March 17, 2011. Retrieved on September 29, 2018. "It is currently located in the Aiwo District."
  8. ^ "USP Nauru Campus". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  9. ^ Rapatahana, Vaughan; Bunce, Pauline (2012). English Language as Hydra: Its Impacts on Non-English Language Cultures. Multilingual Matters. pp. 27–28. ISBN 978-1-84769-752-3.
  10. ^ "Nauru Secondary School". Reeves International. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  11. ^ "Human Rights Measurement Initiative – The first global initiative to track the human rights performance of countries". Retrieved 2022-03-26.
  12. ^ a b "Nauru - HRMI Rights Tracker". Retrieved 2022-03-26.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g "Education Statistics Digest 2015." Department of Education (Nauru). Retrieved on July 8, 2018. p. 47 (PDF p. 47).
  14. ^ a b c d Document by the." OHCHR. Retrieved on 8 July 2018. "The Education system is comprised of 10 schools, there are District Infant schools each[...]and finally Nauru Secondary School (Years 10-12) where compulsory education end at Year 12.[...]"
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Brandjes, Denis (preparer). "Page 1 THE COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNING School Networking in the Pacific Island States An Environmental Scan and Plan for the Establishment of Schoolnets for the Pacific Island States." April 2002. p. 49 (PDF p. 51).
  16. ^ "New Nauru Primary School adds to high class education system." Government of Nauru. Retrieved on June 5, 2018.
  17. ^ "Maureen Goodwin reports from Nauru." Cook Island News. Sunday June 17, 2012. Retrieved on June 5, 2018.
  18. ^ Nauru Country: Strategic Information and Developments. International Business Publications. March 20, 2009. ISBN 1438734948, 9781438734941. p. 25.
  19. ^ Nauru : a Situation Analysis of Children, Women and Youth. UNICEF Pacific Office, 2005. Page number not stated. "A third primary school, Denig, [for Denigomodu] was allocated Grades 5 and 6 plus Form 1 (Year 7) and renamed Nauru College School. [...] because most students compete for national scholarships in Form 1."
  20. ^ "Nauru - Opening of the New Building at Kayser College." MSC Mission Office Australia. 26 May 2015. Retrieved on 5 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Attitudinal Survey Report on the Delivery of HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Education in School Settings in Nauru HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Education in School Settings in Nauru." UNESCO, 2015. P. 4 (pdf P. 12).
  22. ^ Nauru Population Profile: A Guide for Planners and Policy-Makers. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 1 January 1999. ISBN 9822036647, 9789822036640. p. 13. "The Location school which provides education for the expatriate workers' children living within the Location Settlement." See Google search result - The Location identified as being in Denigomodu on page 4: "The district of Denigomodu has the largest population[...]This is mainly due to the Location Settlement being situated in this district, which houses all expatriate[...]"
  23. ^ "New Papers on Higher Education Studies and Research 8 Vol III (Singapore - Vietnam Distance Education in Asia and the Pacific: Country Papers A Study conducted by The national Institute of Multimedia Education, Japan." UNESCO. p. 321 (PDF p. 23). "English is used as the language of instruction (except in the Location School for children of the Phosphate Company workers)."
  24. ^ a b "Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs regarding its Inquiry into the Conditions and Treatment of Asylum Seekers and Refugees at the Regional Processing Centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea." 31 March 2015. Pages 10-11.
  25. ^ Farrell, Paul (2015-06-30). "Nauru plan to move asylum seeker children to local schools sparks concern". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-05.

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