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Supporting basic education in PNG

December 6, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr on December 4 announced a $12 million Australian contribution to free education for Papua New Guinean children from remote and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Speaking at a school in the PNG Highlands, Senator Carr said the funding would provide tuition fee subsidies to more than 6,000 elementary schools.

“Education offers hope and opportunity for tens of thousands of PNG children and their families,” Senator Carr said.

“Tuition fees have impeded the spread of education in rural and remote PNG particularly among girls. The average length of schooling in PNG is four years, with adult literacy at around 60 percent.

“Australia’s funds will go directly to schools to deliver the basics of reading and arithmetic.

“This is what Australians do – supporting our regional neighbours with basic education and services to help lift communities out of poverty.”

In 2013, the Government of PNG has allocated approximately $300 million for school subsidies and equipment.

Australia has contributed $35 million in support for PNG’s tuition fee free education policy since 2010, supporting more than 535,000 elementary school children to receive tuition fee-free education.

Funding covers teacher training, textbooks and basic school materials, to allow schools to operate without incurring substantial funding shortfalls.

Australia is also funding the construction of 1,100 classrooms and 450 teacher houses, water tanks and ablution blocks, as well as four million textbooks by 2015 in PNG.

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