Papua New Guinea

Kalibobo Lighthouse, Madang

Partner Ministry/Organization Department of Education
Address of Embassy/Consulate in Manila 3rd Fl. Corinthian Plaza Condominium Bldg.
Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, Philippines

Country Information

PNG flag

Official Name Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Land Area 462,840 km2 (178,700 sq mi) (56th)
Population 7,059,653 (100th)
Capital Port Moresby (pop. 410, 954)
Largest Cities Lae (pop. 100,677)
Arawa (pop. 36,443)
Mount Hagen (pop. 27,782)
Madang (pop. 27,420)
Country Borders Indonesia (west), Australia (South)
Religion(s) Christian
Major Languages Hiri Motu, Tok Pisin, Papua New Guinean Sign Language, English
Demonym Papua New Guinean
National Holidays 16 September 1975 (Independence from Australia)
No. of years of Primary Education 6 years
Major Universities Divine Word University, Papua New Guinea University of Technology, University of Papua New Guinea, University of Goroka, Pacific Adventist University
Primary School Enrollment (Total) 75.76%( 2016, UNESCO)
Tertiary School Enrollment (Total) No data Available
Ministry/ Ministries Supervising Education Department of Education
Education as % of GDP No data available
Agency Handling TVET National Dept of Education (NDoE); Office of Higher Education; The National Training Council (NTC)
TVET System Technical, Vocational Education Training provides relevant practical skills, attitudes, knowledge, and understanding relating to the skills needed in various sectors of the formal an informal economic and social life of Papua New Guinea.

A wide range of courses is offered in the Technical and Business Colleges and 133 Vocational Training Centers throughout the country from full- time courses for those who have completed Grades 8, 10 and 12. Extension courses for apprenticeship training and short courses to provide further opportunities for the general community and those already in the workforce.

Courses are developed in close consultation with key stakeholders including the National Apprenticeship and Trade Testing Board, National Training Council, Industry, Provincial Governments, and the community. (All courses are accredited through the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

There are career pathways from schools to TVET to employment, and for some further higher education and training.

There is an increasing awareness of the need for relevant skills training that will enable people to be self-reliant and sustain productive life at home or pursue employment opportunities.
Qualification Framework The Structure of TVET Qualifications in PNG

The PNG Qualifications Framework (PNGQF) includes 3 three sub-sectors: school, higher education, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Figure.1 depicts the PNG qualification system as the Commission for Higher Education conceives it. The figure shows Advanced Diploma, Diploma and Certificate qualifications as available in both HE and TVET versions, with different owners and different titles. The differences between the two frameworks go beyond ownership and titles, as the attempt to reference the PNG framework or frameworks against the Pacific Qualifications Register showed. In particular:
  • The descriptors for the diploma and certificate qualifications differ in the HE and TVET versions. The TVET descriptors are based on job levels, while the HE descriptors relate only to knowledge, understanding, and skills;
  • The HE version indicates years of study required to attain the qualification, the TVET version does not. Neither version incorporates a credit accumulation system.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Board for Educational Assessment concluded that the current PNG arrangements were sectoral frameworks rather than a common national framework, and that the HE and TVET frameworks of PNG could not be aligned as they stood with the Pacific Qualifications Framework.

The absence of duration and credit criteria can have surprising results. For example, the national diplomas in the TBCs require two years of study, so do the university undergraduate diplomas. But PNG Institute of Public Administration offers a competency-based diploma for public servants approved by the National Training Council under the TVET Framework which can be completed in just three months. The references in Figure.1 to ‘bridging studies if required’ raise doubts about whether the qualification frameworks offer students a common pathway to progress to higher levels of study. In the TVET Sector that has not yet been much tested because of almost all students on NC courses in the TBCs study for NC1 or NC2; as at June 2013, just 3 of the 672 students on NC courses were studying for NC3, and none for NC4.


Figure.1, PNG National qualification framework (School education, FODE, TVET and tertiary education). Note. Figure from Horne, R, Ngangan, K, Tavil, S, & Brown,J.(2015).Research into the financing of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Pacific: Papua New Guinea: country report. Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Retrieved May 20, 2019 form: https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=transitions_misc

PNG providers offer a variety of qualifications outside the formal frameworks just described.

These include:
  • Legacy qualifications which antedate the introduction of competency-based National Certificates and Diplomas. These include the Technical Trade Certificates and some of the Diplomas in TBCs;
  • Training for employees based on Levels 1 (Basic), 2 (Semi-Skilled) and 3 (Fully-Qualified Tradesperson). Apprentice training is based on these levels, and so too are the trade tests. Ownership rests with NATTB;
  • Providers’ own qualifications. Many private providers still examine for their own courses, and a few ‘council-approved’ qualifications are offered in the TBCs. The NTC has set 31st Dec 2014 as the deadline for RTOs to meet the standards of the TVET framework, but it is not clear how that can be achieved;
  • Foreign qualifications. Some RTOS have arrangements with foreign counterparts to offer courses developed outside PNG, in particular under the Australian Qualifications Framework;
  • The Vocational Training Certificate endorsed by the NDoE, and offered in 1 and 2-year versions are still the staple course in the VTCs. Some VTCs also offer NC1 and NC2, if they have the necessary resources and suitably trained staff.

The variety of courses and qualifications on offer complicates the task of counting students and graduates at PNG providers, and costing the courses; and also calls for great care in making comparisons across the system.
Levels of NVQS In PNG there are separate but overlapping qualification frameworks for higher education and for TVET. Qualifications at Bachelor and above are governed by the higher education framework. Diploma and certificate qualifications are mainly covered by the TVET framework, with some accredited to the HE framework.

Levels 1, 2 and 3 are used by the National Apprenticeship and Trade Testing Board to denote at Level 1 a basic level of skill, at Level 2 semi-skilled, and at Level 3 a fully trained tradesman. These levels do not precisely align with the TVET qualifications framework.

In the public sector legacy qualifications are common, and in the private sector certificates are issued by the provider and some overseas qualifications. Assumptions have to be made about the equivalence of these qualifications with the TVET framework.

Table 1: A skills/employment/training matrix for PNG


Note. figure from Horne, R, Ngangan, K, Tavil, S, & Brown,J.(2015).Research into the financing of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Pacific: Papua New Guinea: country report. Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Retrieved May 20, 2019 form: https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=transitions_misc

Table 2 is a summary of the PNGNQF showing the 10 qualification levels and the expected volume of learning at each level in hours of student learning activities, together with the main registering, accrediting and certifying authorities. In this table, the volumes of learning shown assume the qualification is taken as a ‘nested’ qualification. That is, the volume of learning for a four-year full-time bachelor degree could include exit points at one year for a Certificate, two years for a Diploma and three years for an Advanced Diploma.

Table 2: Summary of the PNGNQF (Papua New Guinea National Qualification Framework) Levels and Qualifications with Main Registering, Accrediting, and Certifying Authorities

Notes: P – Pathways from TVET to Higher Education qualifications Note: Entry into TVET Certificates 1 to 4 does not require completion of 13 years of General Education, as entry to these qualifications is open to all who have the capability to complete the qualification. School students may take TVET Certificates through the PNG school system.
Figure form Papua New Guinea National Qualifications Framework. (2017). Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology. Retrieved May 20, 2019 form: https://dherst.gov.pg/attachments/article/28/PNGNQF_Second_Edition.pdf
TVET Financing Public providers of TVET

The best-known providers of TVET are the TBCs and the VTCs. They are funded through a combination of support from the Government of Papua New Guinea (GoPNG) which is mainly for teacher salary costs, and tuition fees.

Other public providers of TVET (as defined for this study) include:
  • The universities,
  • Free-standing public providers
Special initiatives that provide TVET to international standards are:
  • The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC)
  • The TVET Skills Scholarships Program (TVETSSP)

Within the public sector, there are large cost differentials between TBCs and VTCs, and between TBCs and institutions sponsored by other parts of Government which offer similar qualifications. The gap in the cost of the provision of TVET between PNG and international providers is very wide indeed. Part of this gap can be accounted for by the higher quality of the international provision, but partly reflects the fact that it has higher cost structures.

In general, the quality of most TVET provision in the public sector is below what the PNG economy requires. Infrastructure and teacher training does not yet match the requirements of the competency-based qualifications being implemented. There are important issues about the sustainability of parallel networks of VTCs and community colleges; and about VTCs offering free tuition in formal qualifications for which TBCs and private providers have to charge fees.

Private providers of TVET

The private sector in PNG offers a wide variety of TVET courses. In most cases, fees are by far the largest source of funding. Fees are generally paid by the students, although there are some contributions by employers and other sources. Access to student support is limited to the minority of private providers eligible for national or provincial support schemes.

The private providers most directly comparable with the public providers are those which offer externally accredited formal qualifications. These are relatively few in number. Their fees per course week tend to be significantly higher than those of the public providers, partly reflecting the public subsidy supporting the latter. Fees per qualification obtained may be more closely comparable because some of the private providers aim to get students to qualification more quickly.

Other private providers offer a local service, usually offering their own qualification. Their costs per student may be similar to those of VTCs, but they usually have to recover all or most of their costs through fees. It is the policy of the NTC that all private providers should move to qualifications under the PNG Qualifications Framework for TVET.

The top tier private providers can deliver TVET of good quality for PNG, including qualifications within the Australian Qualifications Framework, at costs well below those of special initiatives such as APTC and TVETSSP. Their courses are mainly in the Business/IT/Hospitality fields of study where entry costs are lower. Some provinces are developing partnerships with the private sector so as to meet some of the demand for TVET expansion in ways which enlarge opportunities for students at moderate cost to the government.


Figure.4 Principal fund flows for technical and business colleges. Note: figure from Horne, R, Ngangan, K, Tavil, S, & Brown,J.(2015).Research into the financing of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Pacific: Papua New Guinea: country report. Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Retrieved May 20, 2019 form: https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=transitions_misc


Figure.5, Principal fund flows for vocational training centers. Note: Figure from Horne, R, Ngangan, K, Tavil, S, & Brown,J.(2015).Research into the financing of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Pacific: Papua New Guinea: country report. Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Retrieved May 20, 2019 from: https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=transitions_misc


Figure 6: Composition of TVET Expenditure, 2012. Note, Figure from Horne, R, Ngangan, K, Tavil, S, & Brown,J.(2015).Research into the financing of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Pacific: Papua New Guinea: country report. Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Retrieved May 20, 2019 from: https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=transitions_misc


References
  • Horne, R, Ngangan, K, Tavil, S, & Brown,J.(2015).Research into the financing of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Pacific: Papua New Guinea: country report. Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Retrieved May 20, 2019 form: https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=transitions_misc
  • Papua New Guinea: Education and Literacy. (n.d.). UNESCO. Retrieved May 16, 2019 form: http://uis.unesco.org/en/country/pg
  • Papua New Guinea National Qualifications Framework. (2017). Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology. Retrieved May 20, 2019 form: https://dherst.gov.pg/attachments/article/28/PNGNQF_Second_Edition.pdf
  • Technical Vocational Education & Training. (2017). Department of Education Papua New Guinea. Retrieved May 20, 2019 form: https://www.education.gov.pg/quicklinks/tvet.html
GDP (billions) $19.915 billion (Nominal: 111th , 2015 est.)
GDP Per Capita $2,745 (nominal; 2015)
Currency Papua New Guinea Kina (PGK) = 100 toea
Major Exports oil, gold, copper ore, logs, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, crayfish, prawns
Major Imports Machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals
Major Industries copra crushing, palm oil processing, plywood production, wood chip production; mining (gold, silver, and copper); crude oil production, petroleum refining; construction, tourism
Major Export Partners Australia 29.0%, Japan 9.6%, China 4.8% (2012 est.)/td>
Major Import Partners Australia 36.3%, Singapore 13.8%, Malaysia 8.4%, China 7.9%, Japan 5.8%, United States 4.8% (2012 est.)
Foreign Exchange Reserves N/A
Inflation 5.2%
Population below Poverty Line 39.9%
Gini Coefficient 50.9% (highly unequal)
Competitiveness Rank N/A
Ease of Doing Business Rank 119th (out of 190)
Employment Rate 98.1% (2014, est.)
Unemployment Rate 1.9% (2014, est.)

queen-elizabethQueen Elizabeth (Image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

Type of Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Head of State Elizabeth II (Monarch)
Bob Dadae (Governor-General)
Head of Government Peter O'Neill (Prime Minister)
Legislating Body/Bodies National Parliament

png people

Time zone UTC +10:00
Human Development Index 0.505 (low, 158th out of 180)
Literacy Rate 64.2% (men, 65.6%; women, 62.8%)
% of people with internet access 7.90% (601,926)
Life Expectancy 62.9 years (Males: 60.6, Females: 65.4)
Drives on the Left
Calling code +675
ISO 3166 code PG
Internet TLD .pg