Central Province Universal Basic Education in 2019

Central Province is located on the south coast of the mainland of PNG and shares borders with National Capital District in the west and with Milne Bay in the east. Central Province comprises four districts with varying geographical challenges for social and economic development and has thirteen (13) Local Level Government (LLGs). The 2011 census estimated a total population to be 268,756. The province accounted for 3.7% of PNG’s total population.

The province has 304 elementary schools and 206 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 for inland communities and bridges for coastal villages.

Major road links for many communities in the province are lacking for most parts of Abau and Goilala Districts. Lack of road access or poor condition of roads is likely to affect children’s access to basic education. Given the challenges, which includes the vast land areas, difficult terrains and lack of infrastructure, are difficulties 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 four districts in Central province.

  Figure 1 Access Rate by district
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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 35 percent of six-year-old children enrolled at the point of admission at elementary prep in Central Province. This is low. About three out of every 10 children who are six years of age are enrolled in elementary prep. In contrast, about 65 percent of the six-year old school aged children were not enrolled in schools in 2019. At the district level, Rigo recorded the highest with 42 percent and Abau recorded a 41 percent. Kairuku Hiri and Goilala rates were estimated at 34 and 21 respectively. The challenge now is for all 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 for all districts in Central province are below the national average. This indicates that high number of children are dropping out of school before successfully completing grade 8. Of those who enrolled, about 50% did not to complete grade 8. Goilala District’s retention rate is low with only 15 percent which is alarming with 85 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 that the provincial examination mark was estimated at 46 percent and for all districts in the province, they performed well 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. There are still more 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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