Better Schools in PNG Better Schools in PNG

Strengthening the education system in Papua New Guinea

Strengthening the education system in Papua New Guinea

A lack of access to quality education services in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is having a generational impact, particularly for girls, and condemns children to a life of continued poverty.

The Better Governance for Education (BG4E) project will improve access to education for people living in the remote Obura Wonenara District, PNG. This is a whole-of-community project, supporting school children and adult students, working in every layer of education, from students to teachers, local facilitators, school boards and local education ministers.

Fast Facts

  • BG4E will directly benefit more than 11,000 students and support 240 teachers
  • 6,000 community members will directly benefit from the project through improved school facilities and improved education results
  • CARE has seen a 10% increase in girls graduating school since the project began as well as an improvement in literacy and numeracy performance
  • Major partner: This project has been made possible thanks to generous contributions and ongoing support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) working in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea
  • Major location: Obura Wonenara District, Papua New Guinea

A brighter future of education

Since the BG4E project launched in 2017, CARE teams have provided essential training to teachers and equipped schools with high-quality learning materials. We have helped strengthen government accountability and performance to ensure all children have access to the quality education they deserve. CARE has also continued to promote gender equity across the whole education system, from engaging women in governance roles, through to upskilling female teachers, and helping keep young girls in school.  

CARE is continuing to strengthen accountability and transparency between communities, governments and schools. By defining clear roles and responsibilities for government service providers, improving teacher quality and learning facilities and as engaging the wider community in children’s education, an entire country can build a stronger, brighter future of education.  

What we’ve achieved so far:

  • CARE provided 502 teachers with essential training and professional support to improve their knowledge and understanding in topics such as teaching phonics, benchmarking and the Standards-Based Curriculum (SBC)
  • We’ve reached 3,423 students with school start-up kits by equipping local government to distribute these learning materials to schools in their district. The kits contain books, pens and textbooks that enhance children’s learning by giving them quality resources they can enjoy at school and at home
  • Community events celebrating support for girls’ education were held in all three target communities, drawing over 800 attendees. Events were used to disseminate key messages in health, education and equality, and increase the confidence of girls to attend school
©John Hewat/CARE

What we’re doing:

Improving teachers’ skills, standards and qualifications

Helping passionate, but poorly prepared teachers to improve standards and access training. This will not only improve academic results, but it will also improve teacher confidence, and build future employment prospects.

Gender and diversity training

CARE is introducing meaningful gender integration into all levels of the education system – from the classroom to the School Board room. This will help to increase the number of female teachers, improve the girls/boys ratio of students enrolled in school and increase the number of women represented on school boards of management.

Improving access to quality education materials and infrastructure

BG4E is supporting schools to better manage their overall budget and spending and is distributing learning materials – pens, papers, textbooks – the building blocks of any school room.

Keeping more girls in school

By providing better learning environments for boys and girls, we aim to increase enrolments and retention of girls in schools. More female teachers will help more women and girls to start and stay at school, and a more gender-balanced management team will ensure all needs are represented.

Teacher training is enhancing student learning

36-year-old Naomi is a school teacher at Oumpa Elementary School, in rural PNG. She has been teaching in her hometown of Ukarumpa for almost 20 years and is passionate about education, with a focus on girls’ education in particular.

Naomi recently received training through CARE’s BG4E project to teach her the best way to tackle high illiteracy rates in rural areas. The subject she now teaches to Prep aged children, called Jolly Phonics, is enhancing the way young children learn to read and write.

“Learning Jolly Phonics was a new thing for me and CARE provided me with materials for the new curriculum to help me teach, and taught me new teaching skills. I learned how to teach Jolly Phonics to children. We also get refresher training as well.”

Naomi encourages her students to always come to class, calling their parents if they don’t attend, to ensure every child stays in school and has the best possible chance for a successful future.

“The girls show more promise than the boys even at Prep. I encourage the girls. I tell them that they can be someone better than I am. If they don’t have that kind of encouragement they might not come to school.”

©John Hewat/CARE

Read more about how we’re working to improve access to education:

CARE Australia receives support for this project through the Australian Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and through the PNGAusPartnership.

Banner image: ©John Hewat/CARE