For every child, access to quality education
Limited early learning opportunities for young children with only 42% attending pre-primary school
More children than ever before are now enrolled in elementary, primary and secondary schools in PNG, but many of them do not perform at their grade level. About a quarter of the children aged 6 to 18 are still out of school, with fewer girls going to school. Primary school transition rate into lower secondary school is only 56% (Girls: 50%).
UNICEF’s education programme supports education opportunities for all children so they can enroll in and stay in inclusive early childhood development centres and schools to complete the basic education cycle.
Universal Quality Basic Education (Child Friendly Schools): To ensure children’s rights to quality education, UNICEF supports and promotes learning environments which are conducive to teaching and learning. UNICEF supports evidence-building on out-of-school children to identify barriers to education and inform policy. National quality standards for early childhood, elementary and primary education have been developed with technical and financial assistance from UNICEF.
To promote violence-free learning environments, UNICEF supports training school counsellors and encourages positive discipline in schools in line with the government’s behavior management policy, which was developed with the support from UNICEF.
Education in Emergencies: To ensure disaster-affected children are able to resume classes the soonest and to return to a sense of normalcy after an emergency, UNICEF assists the Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) in preparing for and responding to disasters and climate change through the establishment of safe schools. The UNICEF response to the 2018 earthquake in the Highlands for example allowed nearly 7,000 children to return to classes. These children also benefitted from student and teacher supplies as well as recreational materials.
Inclusive Early Childhood Development (IECD): UNICEF assists the GoPNG in the establishment of an early childhood car and development policy, pre- and in-service early childhood teacher training, development of an inclusive early childhood education curriculum, and the operationalization of national minimum operating standards for IECD.
UNICEF also collaborates closely with non-governmental and faith-based organizations in 6 provinces to set up IECDs to give young children the best start in life.