Eastern Highlands Province Universal Basic Education in 2019


Eastern Highlands Province comprises eight districts with 24 LLGs. Population in 2000 was 579,825 with a growth rate of 2.6%. The province accounted for 8.0% of PNG’s total population. Most of this population lived in rural areas. Except for Kainantu Urban and Goroka Urban LLGs, most LLGs were rural based. The highest populations were in Kainantu and Goroka Districts. These two districts have urban and rural LLGs, where education is more accessible for students than in many rural communities.

Access to service facilities for isolated communities in the eight districts remains a major challenge. Where there are good road networks services are likely to be accessed easily. Obura Wonenara District, which was the least populated district continues to be disadvantaged due to its isolation.

The province has 472 elementary schools and 243 primary schools. Education provision across the four districts varies. Where the physical and economic environment is conducive for certain pockets of the population, positive progress is more likely to take place. Access to basic education is enhanced through improved infrastructure such as roads in the 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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Descriptive notes

Figure 1 shows that the access rates is estimated at 69 percent of six-year-old children enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in Eastern Highlands. The province sits well above the all-PNG averages in the key UBE indicators. The age six access rate is quite satisfactory (69%). About seven out of every 10 children who are six years of age are enrolled in elementary prep. However, there are a few districts that need to improve on access to education such as Kainantu, Okapa and Unggai/Benna districts. The challenge now is for these districts to maintain the momentum and double their efforts in increasing access for all children turning six years of age to enter the first grade (elementary prep) of basic education.

Figure 2 shows that the cohort retention rates for all districts in Milne Bay province are below the national average. The provincial cohort retention rate shows a satisfactory result but still a third (30%) of students leave school before completing basic education. There are a few districts that need to improve on cohort retention rates such as Daulo and Obura/Wonenara to improve the provincial average. More still needs to be done.

Figure 3 shows the examination that the provincial examination mark was estimated at 62 percent and for all districts in the province, they performed well below the Grade 8 National Examination PNG average in all subject areas. All districts have shown exceptional performances in learning outcomes that can be considered satisfactory. The challenge for the province now is to sustain this momentum while improving the system so it can provide quality education for each child that enters it. There are still lots of rooms 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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