East New Britain Province Universal Basic Education in 2019


The East New Britain (ENB) Province comprises four districts: Pomio, Kokopo, Rabaul and Gazelle and 18 LLGs. In 2011, the estimated population was about 328,369 with a growth rate of 3.6%. The province accounted for 2.2% of PNG’s total population.

The most isolated district is Pomio. Certain parts of the other three districts such as Lasul Bainining in Gazelle and Duke of York are also isolated. Gazelle District is the most populated and the least populated being Rabaul District. Pomio, which is the biggest district in terms of land mass, continues to be most disadvantaged. Road link to the district at Palmalmal is poor compared to the other three districts, which are more accessible.

The province has 383 elementary and 165 primary schools. These schools are provided by the government as well as non-government organizations such as the churches which operate as Agency Schools. Given the challenges, basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges and wharves for the coastal areas will continue to hinder progress in these isolated communities unless they are put in place in order to enable service delivery such as basic education. This is evident through the maps that shows the access rate, retention rate and quality for the four districts in ENB province.

   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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Explanatory notes

Figure 1 shows the access rates estimated at 35 percent of six-year-old children enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in ENB province. This is quite low. Only three out of every 10 children who are six years of age are enrolled in elementary prep in the province. At the district level, Rabaul recorded high with over 60 percent and all other three districts rated below the provincial rate. Note that 65 percent of six-year-old children did not enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in ENB Province. The reasons vary and include enrolling later, however the push is to have all children who are 6 years old to be enrolled in schools. The province needs to double its effort in increasing access to basic education. The challenge is for all districts to work on strategies to ensure children are entering school at the appropriate age, thus providing opportunities for all six-year-old children to enter first grade of basic education.

Figure 2 shows the cohort retention rate of 75 percent of all children in ENB province, who started first grade and continued until they completed the final grade which is grade 8 and that is the target. About seven out of every 10 children continue schooling until they complete Grade 8. At the district level, Cohort retention rates are high for Pomio and Rabaul districts. Gazelle and Kokopo districts have to put more efforts to improve the cohort retention rates to enable more students to complete grade 8.

Figure 3 shows the examination marks for ENB province, and the result was estimated at 51percent which is higher than the all-PNG average at 49 percent in all subjects. The examination results are quite satisfactorily. All districts have maintained the quality of learning outcomes above the national average score. However, there is still 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

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