Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Education


The prospects of providing universal basic education (UBE) for all children remains amongst the greatest challenges the Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a developing country faces in this early twenty-first century. This challenge is more complex in the context that approximately 25% of the country’s remote population still does not have formal access to basic education. It is even worst when “almost 50% of those majority of children who enroll in school continue to drop-out before completing grade 6” (Department of Education, 2003, 1997 and 1991) despite the education reform efforts of the 1990s and early 2000s. These were the realities that created this study.

The evidence gathered suggests that adopting a single uniform policy, or a piecemeal approach, and/or, even to think that UBE is a problem only for the education sector would work against any future efforts to resolve the widely varied and complex educational policy problems in which UBE is one component. This thesis therefore provides an Integrated Educational Policy Implementation and Improvement Model in which the study specifically tested and developed a UBE Policy Framework for PNG. The framework in particular constitutes a total set of 13 High Priority Basic Recommendations and related Action Recommendation Items for improving implementation of UBE throughout the PNG society.

Amongst the overarching actions is that PNG as a society must first and foremost accept its obligations to the child and therefore address, among others, those social and economic inequities that block the attainment of UBE. For example, PNG must address those issues concerned with aspects of: (i) high population growth; (ii) increasing levels of poverty; (iii) remote rural access; (iv) problems of finance; and (v) relevant policies which embrace the child’s rights to UBE. At the administrative level high priority actions must also be undertaken by the PNG Department of Education, provincial divisions of education, districts and schools to improve aspects of education organizational, operational, human and material resources and capacity.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.