Our approach to education in Papua New Guinea

We’re investing in quality education through early childhood care and development and education improvement.


This work is funded by the Australian Government through



Obstacles to education in Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea (PNG), primary school attendance is at 63.4 percent for boys and 56.5 percent for girls.

Early childhood education is foundational for children’s learning, but there is little to no access to this. This means most children are behind before they even attend their first class.

Once they do start school, many children need to walk considerable distances or catch several buses. This is a concern for parents as public transport can be unsafe. Limited classroom resources and a lack of trained teachers mean education quality remains low. In addition, parents often have limited capacity to facilitate their children’s learning as the result of illiteracy.

With funding provided by the Australian Government, we’re actively increasing the quality of education for children. We’re providing teachers and parents with training, facilitating community groups and creating community learning centres. We’re bringing communities together to give children a strong foundation for learning and provide better opportunities for future generations.

Our Papua New Guinea Education Project

Funded by the Australian Government, World Vision’s PNG Education Project ran for its first phase from 2014-2017. It was implemented across 62 communities in Port Moresby, Madang Province and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The project established community-run education management committees, who were then responsible for co-ordinating and setting up community learning centres (CLCs).

Run by volunteer teachers, CLCs provide early childhood care and development for children aged three to six. They also provide basic education improvement classes and support sessions for children aged six to 14.

The project provided volunteer, elementary and primary teachers with essential training. Parents – particularly mothers – received literacy and life skills training, allowing them to play a more significant role in their children’s learning.

Education management committees are also responsible for organising fundraising activities, working bees and awareness raising. These activities help to sustain the CLCs beyond the life of the project and ensure parents understand the importance of their children’s education.

Select project highlights


children attended classes

at community learning centres from 2014-17


people got involved

in community awareness activities from 2014-17


percent school readiness

among CLC attendees in 2017, versus 78.4 percent at baseline

Early childhood education and adult literacy

Through the PNG Education Project, we partnered with local organisation Buk Bilong Pikinini to bring literacy programs to communities surrounding Port Moresby where education facilities are limited. As part of this, locals set up a CLC where children learn fundamental literacy and numeracy skills.

Rose, the CLC’s head librarian, is pleased to see how far the students have come. “We see plenty of children – they improve in their readings, their spelling, their pronunciation of words,” she says. “They catch up very quickly.”

Many teachers are noticing how well the students are doing when they start school. “When we are graduating [the children] and sending them out to elementary school, we see the feedbacks that the children that are graduating from our library are more advanced,” Rose adds.

Nancy, the mother of a student at the CLC, agrees that the opportunities offered to her daughter now are vastly better than before. Nancy has also decided to take advantage of the adult life skills and literacy training.

“The parents now are coming, attending this library,” Rose says. “They can see that they have learnt a lot. That really helps them.”

The community is now working to ensure the sustainability of their CLC beyond the life of the project by running a small market outside the facility, with stallholders’ fees going towards running costs. 

Top: Students engrossed in books at the Buk Bilong Pikinini library. Bottom: Five-year-old Alumeki is one of the CLC students.

The importance of quality education

Our education work in PNG does much more than provide children with learning opportunities; it is changing the way communities think about education.

Parents are now taking an active role in their children’s education, participating in literacy training and fundraising activities and advocating for education. Families and communities across the country are recognising the importance of education and the opportunities it provides. Most significantly, communities have taken ownership of their learning programs.

With support from the Australian Government, World Vision is continuing to invest in education in PNG. Our projects will focus on increasing community demand for quality education, improving elementary teacher equality, increasing access to PNG-specific learning materials and strengthening the education sector to share knowledge and resources. 

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