Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Education sector initiative improves outcomes for Kokoda Track students

Communities in Kokoda Track region are seeing education improvements with the support of the Kokoda Initiative, which has boosted infrastructure, teaching quality and student learning outcomes.

The Kokoda Initiative – a partnership between the PNG and Australian governments – supports 19 primary schools and 41 elementary schools in the three catchments across the Kokoda Track region.

Over the past decade schools have received 13 double classrooms and refurbishments and 12 teachers houses which have improved teacher recruitment and retention.

Teachers are being supported to improve their skills and upgrade qualifications through alternative education pathways like the Flexible, Open and Distance Education (FODE) scholarships and in-service training.

This is especially critical with the schooling structure transition in 2022, which will require teachers to have formal education qualifications to improve teacher quality and learning outcomes for students.

Fourty local teachers, health workers and village health volunteers – have been supported through this FODE pathway with the first 15 expected to complete year 12 and graduate in December 2021.

Trained teachers are more likely to effectively deliver the national curriculum, attend on a regular basis and help to address student retention.

The Kokoda Initiative has supported teacher training and assessments, leading to improved teaching quality and student learning outcomes for numeracy and literacy subjects.

In-service training on delivering the Standards Based Curriculum was provided to 85 per cent of teachers and school inspections were carried out in all Kokoda Track schools.

New classroom infrastructure is benefiting teachers and students..

This included 30 elementary teachers who recently completed phonics modules as part of their school in-service training.

The partnership also supports school boards of management to build their capacity and functionality. Board members at all 60 schools have been trained in key governance skills – including planning, budgeting and financial management.

Stronger governance leads to more inclusive, transparent and accountable implementation of School Learning Improvement Plans, which ensure communities, parents and schools can identify education priorities in the allocation of school funds together.

This can mobilise community engagement in fundraising for schools, support for improved infrastructure, promote better teacher qualifications and retention, accountable school management and increased student enrolment and learning outcomes.

A positive flow on effect of improved governance has been that families are more actively engaged in their children’s education through parents and citizens committees and boards of management.

With support from the PNG-Australia Partnership – through the Kokoda Initiative – people in the Kokoda Track region are creating better education outcomes for their communities.

For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100