Southern Highlands Province Universal Basic Education in 2019


Southern Highland Province is one of the largest provinces in terms of population size. However, this has changed due to the creation of Hela Province. There are five districts and the population in 2000 was 510,245 with a growth rate of 3.2%. The province accounted for 7.0% of PNG’s total population. The most populated district was Nipa Kutubu, which had 29% of the total provincial population followed by Mendi/Muhi District (28%) and the least being Ialibu Pangia district, which had 12% of the population.

The province has 573 elementary schools and 216 primary schools. Education provision across the five districts varies. There are major road connections between the districts, but the quality of maintenance varies across the districts. Travel to major service centers take between 4-8 hours for communities which are accessible to major road networks.

  Figure 1 Access Rate by districts

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  Figure 2 Cohort Retention Rate by districts

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  Figure 3 Examination Pass Rate by districts

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Descriptive notes

Figure 1 shows that the access rates is estimated at 58 percent of six-year-old children enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in Southern Highlands Province. Provincial average shows that about six out of every 10 children have access to the first admission point of basic education. Overall, provincial distributions indicate that the province performs satisfactorily in access except for Nipa/Kutubu and Mendi/Munihu districts District. In all aspects, Nipa/Kutubu and Mendi/Munihu districts have to put more effort at enabling all six-year-old children to enter first grade of elementary education. More work needs to be done.

Figure 2 shows that the cohort retention rates are below the national average. There seems to be high dropout rates in the province. About half of the students leave school before while the other half continue schooling until they successfully complete Grade 8. There are high dropout rates in Kagua/Erave and Nipa Kutubu Districts. These districts need to provide better school environment to keep children in school until they complete basic education.

Figure 3 shows the examination that the provincial examination mark was estimated at 59 percent and for all districts in the province. District distributions have demonstrated exceptional performance in students’ learning outcomes in all districts. They perform above the national average score. However, there is room for improvement.

Technical notes

Access to education refers to the number of 6-year-old children who are enrolled in elementary prep expressed as a percentage of population of 6-year old’s of school-age population which is 6 years to 14 years.

Cohort Retention Rate refers to the number of pupils who successfully completed an education cycle as a percentage of the same group of pupils who started the first grade (elementary prep) of the cycle earlier. A cohort retention rate of 100 percent, or all children who started first grade, completing final grade is the target.

Grade 8 Examination Pass Rate refers to examination mean as an estimate of the average achievement in the subject and is found by dividing the sum of marks scored by the number of students. Each examination is out of 50, hence the sum of the three subjects is 150. The average score of the three subjects is divided by 150 and multiply by 100 to get a percentage score. The target would be 100 percent


For more information on the status of the universal basic education, Click on this Link.