Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Professor, Department of Economics
Polytechnic of Namibia

(Namibia’s University of Science and Technology)

13 Storch Street, Private Bag 13388, Windhoek, Namibia


Gender Disparity in Papua New Guinean Education


The successes in getting children into school have been undermined by failure to have students complete their education. Poor quality factors into high grade repetition and drop-out rates. In Papua New Guinea, the overall gross enrolment rate for primary school is about 76 per cent. Papua New Guinea is the only country in South Pacific which is at risk of having fewer girls than boys in school when the goal comes due. However, gender parity is not translating into equal treatment within schools or equality within PNG society. Boys often report being bullied and intimidated by teachers. And girls often receive less attention and time from teachers. At the same time, girls report being harassed by male students at school or during the journey to and from school. The government has prepared a document on ‘Gender equity in Education Policy -2002 and since then implemented to improve the quality of education for female students in the formal education system. Quota system for enrolling girls is also implemented. This paper explores why gender disparity prevails in the country. It analyses the socio-economic factors that influence gender inequality in education. The paper also discusses various issues that hinder the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of gender parity and provides some implications for policy development.