Morobe Province Universal Basic Education in 2019


Morobe Province comprises nine districts; Bulolo, Finschafen, Huon, Kabwum, Lae, Markham, Menyamya, Nawae, Tewai/Siassi. There are 28 LLGs in the province. In 2011, the population was about 674,810 with a growth rate of 2.2% from 2000. The province accounted for 9.3% of PNG’s total population. Lae District is the most populated district comprising 22% of the population followed by Bulolo (15%), Menyamya (13%), Huon (12%), Markham (9%), Finschafen (8%), Tewai/Siassi (8%), Newae (7%) and Kabwum (6%). Of this population, there are about 170,922 school-age children (6-14 years old) in the province.

The vastness of the province presents challenges for the districts in the provision of basic services, including basic education. Some districts are geographically difficult to access and basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges and airstrips do not exist or have closed down due to a lack of maintenance over the years. The difficult geographical terrains and the existence of fast flowing rivers hinder access to schools during the wet season thus, prevent children from attending schools. This is particularly true for districts such Wau Bulolo, Markham, Menyamya, Nawae and Tewae Siassi. Unless these links are continuously maintained and upgraded, they will continue to pose challenges for the province in its efforts to achieve universal basic education.

The province has 904 elementary schools and 374 primary schools. Education provision across the province and varies. 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, every responsible person has to work towards improving the basic education services for all school age children in Morobe 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 that the access rates is estimated at 50 percent of six-year-old children enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in Morobe Province. The access rate shows that half of the six- years old are enrolled in elementary prep in 2019. The access rate is very low in Bulolo, Nawae and Tewai/Siassi. However, Bulolo with 83 percent of six-years old in Bulolo are enrolled. The challenge is for all districts to put more effort in enabling all six-year-old children to enter first grade of basic education.

Figure 2 shows that the cohort retention rate of 70 percent for the province are high and above the national average. Cohort retention rates are high for all districts except for Menyamya and Bulolo. About seven out of every 10 students continue their basic education until successfully completing Grade 8. The challenge now is for the province to maintain this momentum while improving the system so all students can remain in school until they complete basic education.

Figure 3 shows the examination that the provincial examination mark was estimated at 43 percent and for the province, they performed below the Grade 8 National Examination PNG average (49%) in all subject areas. On the areas of learning outcome, all districts have scored below the all-PNG average in the Grade 8 National Examination except Lae and Kabwum districts. There is a lot of work required in improving quality of learning outcomes. A lot of improvement is needed.

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.