Gulf Province Universal Basic Education in 2019


Gulf Province is located on the south coast of the mainland of PNG and shares borders with the Central and Western Provinces. The province has two (2) districts and ten (10) Local Level Government (LLGs). In 2011, the estimated population was about 158,197 with a growth rate of 3.6%. The province accounted for 2.2% of PNG’s total population.

The province has 149 elementary and 112 primary schools. These schools are provided by the government as well as non-government organizations such as the churches which operate as Agency Schools.

Basic infrastructure in Kerema and Kikori Districts are lacking. There are no major road networks that link the two districts. The challenges from the natural geography of the province, which has rivers and vast swampy areas are difficulties that Gulf province is confronted with. Given these challenges, difficulties are encountered in providing basic education to all school-aged children.  This is evident through the maps that shows the access rate, retention rate and quality for the three districts in Gulf province.

  Figure 1 Access Rate by district
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  Figure 2 Cohort Retention Rate by district
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  Figure 3 Examination Pass Rate by district
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Explanatory notes;

Figure 1 shows that the access rates is estimated at 26 percent of six-year-old children enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in Gulf Province. This is quite low. Only two out of every 10 children who are six years of age are enrolled in elementary prep in the province. At the district level, Kikori recorded the higher with over 30 percent and Kerema scored only 23 percent. Note that 74 percent of six-year-old children did not enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in Gulf 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.

Figure 2 shows the cohort retention rate of 55 percent of all children in Gulf province, who started first grade and continued until they completed the final grade which is grade 8 and that is the target. At the district level, Kikori recorded higher with (59%) of students who continued to stay in school to complete the cycle of primary education. Kerema district recorded 52 percent of their children in school who started first grade who complete the primary school cycle. Take note that at the province level, 45 percent of the students who started first grade dropped out before completing the final grade (Grade 8) of basic education. There is a need to ensure that more efforts are required in keeping children in school until they complete basic education.

Figure 3 shows the examination marks for Gulf province, and the result was estimated at 37 percent which is below the all-PNG average at 49 percent in all subjects. Note that all districts performed well below the all-PNG average (49%) in all subject areas. The implications are that the students did not perform well and therefore, overall, the two districts have to work hard to put more efforts to improve quality of learning outcomes in basic education. The challenge would be to build on the foundations and challenge each other to work towards achieving 100 percent in all three key UBE indicators. 

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