New Ireland Province Universal Basic Education in 2019


New Ireland province comprises of two districts; Kavieng and Namatanai and has nine (9) LLGs. Apart from the mainland, there are bigger islands such as the New Hanover, Musau and Lihir Islands, that have quite a heavy concentration of people. According to the 2011, the estimated population was about 194,067 with a growth rate of 4.4%. The province accounted for 2.7% of PNG’s total population. Namatanai has more (57%) population than Kavieng District (43%).

The province has 366 elementary and 156 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, which includes service delivery facilities for many islanders is through sea transport. This means of transport has been proving risky in the recent past with lives being lost at sea as people travel from island to island are difficulties encountered in providing basic education to all school-aged children.  This is evident through the maps that shows the access rate, cohort retention rate and quality for the two districts in New Ireland province.

  Figure 1 Access Rate by districts

   (Click here to download the file in pdf format)

  Figure 2 Cohort Retention Rate by districts

  (Click here to download the file in pdf format)

  Figure 3 Examination Pass Rate by districts

  (Click here to download the file in pdf format)

Explanatory notes

Figure 1 shows that the access rates is estimated at 57 percent of six-year-old children enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in New Ireland. About six out of every 10 children who are six years of age are enrolled in elementary prep. In contrast, about 43 percent of the six-year old school aged children were not enrolled in schools in 2019. At the district level, both districts of Kavieng and Namatanai recorded above the national average. The challenge now is for these two districts to 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 of 69 percent for the province. For the two districts in New Ireland province the rates maintained a satisfactory cohort retention rates in basic education. However, there is still a high number of children leaving school before completing Grade 8. The challenge for the two districts is to put more efforts in improving cohort retention rates to enable more children to continue schooling until they successfully complete grade 8.

Figure 3 shows the provincial examination mark and was estimated at 45 percent and for both districts in the province, they performed slightly below the Grade 8 National Examination average in all subject areas. There is more work for all districts, especially in ensuring that students’ learning outcomes need more improvements.

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.