Education in Papua New Guinea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Education in Papua New Guinea
Department of Education
National education budget (2016)
Budget 1242.8 million PGK [1]
General details
Primary languages English, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu and others
Literacy (2015 est)
Total 64.2% [2]
Male 65.6% [2]
Female 62.8% [2]

Education in Papua New Guinea is managed through nineteen provinces and two district organisational units. It is tuition-free and attendance is not compulsory. With a literacy rate of 64.2%, Papua New Guinea has the lowest literacy rate in Oceania.


The first school in Papua New Guinea was established in 1873 by English missionaries.[3] Missionaries would continue providing the basis for education, with English and German as primary languages. When Australia took control of New Guinea in 1914 English became the sole official language.

The Currie Commission was created in 1964 to investigate the establishment of higher education in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. In 1965 the first university in Papua New Guinea, the University of Papua New Guinea, was established. It was heavily influenced by the Australian education system.[4]


There are six universities in Papua New Guinea. These are accredited under the PNG Office of Higher Education and have establishing Acts of Parliament. The six universities and the main campus of each are - in alphabetical order:

  • Divine Word University in Madang
  • Pacific Adventist University in Port Moresby
  • University of Goroka in Goroka
  • University of Natural Resources and Environment in Vudal with associated campuses in Popondetta, Kavieng and Sepik
  • University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby
  • University of Technology (Unitech) in Lae.


  1. ^ "Papua New Guinea 2017 National Budget" Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "The World Factbook" Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  3. ^ "Papua New Guinea - Educational System—overview" Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Richard Guy, Toshio Kosuge, Rieko Hayakawa (2000). Distance Education in the South Pacific: Nets and Voyages. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific and Pacific Island Nations Fund, Sasakawa Peace Foundation. p. 115