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A Guide To International Schools In Papua New Guinea
Updated on: June 7, 2022, 4:58 a.m.
Published on: October 31, 2020, 6:57 a.m.

A Guide To International Schools In Papua New Guinea

One of the first things that expatriate parents would like to know when moving to a new country is the type of schools available. Hausples has taken the initiative to provide this information as a guide to schools in PNG.

PNG’s Education System

Papua New Guinea's education system commands a funny history, in terms of being highly regionalized, owing to its current development in different missionary systems. 

Surprisingly, however, school attendance and the rate of literacy is at an all-time low, even when compared to other Oceania countries.

About two-thirds of all school-aged children attend school, of which a slightly smaller number of this figure represents girls. Under the new Marape-Basil led government, the free education policy has been replaced with a new one that will see parents paying for school fees from Grade 1 up to Grade 10. From Grade 11 onwards, the responsibility becomes that of the provincial governments. Even a student loan option is in place for pupils who make it into universities.

The education system comes in three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary education begins with instructions for Grades 1 to 8. Students who pass the Grade 8 exams make it to the Secondary level, and further on to Higher Education if they pass the Grade 12 exams.

Worthy of note, the Secondary level has two parts: a lower secondary that caters to grades 9 and 10 students, while the upper secondary comprises years 11 to 12. Students who pass the year 12 exams are eligible for Higher Education in tertiary institutions.

The academic year, as always, begins in January and ends in December.

Papua New Guinea Curriculum

The PNG education system comes in three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary education begins with Grades 1 to 6, and secondary school from Grades 8 to 12. Post Grade 12 students can pursue tertiary education.

International Schools in PNG

PNG's international schools sadly do not occupy a big portion of education in PNG, but are among some of the best schools the country has to offer

In terms of educational standards, international schools here reflect those around the globe, which effects an easy and simple transition between schools, even if an expatriate child is in the process of transferring to Papua New Guinea from abroad.

International schools in PNG have a student body and a curriculum model that mirrors those in America, the United Kingdom and even Australia and France.

The Primary school portion of international schools do offer instructions in a variety of languages, apart from English being the dominant vernacular. The world approved accreditation such as the international baccalaureate are compatible in these schools.

The admission or enrollment systems in these schools vary from one institution to another, and space can be a problem most of the time. The governing policies will always favour those pupils who are based in-country.

Due to the quality facilities, first-rate education standards, and extracurricular activities provided by these schools, tuition fees are usually expensive.

All in all, keep in mind that although you may come across some local students, these schools are geared towards an international student body.

PNG's international schools sadly do not occupy a large portion of education in PNG but are some of the best schools in the country.

International schools offer a wide range of curriculum models that mirror those in various countries, including America, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and the International Baccalaureate. International schools usually allow students to transition to internationally recognised tertiary institutions and are highly recommended. 

The admission to PNG’s international schools varies from one institution to another, and there are frequently limited spaces. Due to the top-quality facilities, first-rate education standards, and extracurricular activities these schools provide, tuition fees are usually expensive.

Location of schools in PNG

There are few international schools distributed rigorously around PNG, such as the Lae International School in Morobe Province, or Ukarumpa International School in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province. But they are usually just one or two. 

Most of the international schools, however, are located in Port Moresby. The city’s strategic location and multi-cultural energy that coexist are the pull-factor for expatriates; hence, the statement.

Needless to say, the important thing to remember - whilst learning more about international schools in PNG, - is that location should be high on your priority list. You want easy accessibility, which is a luxury you can’t afford to ignore, for your children, plus you want to be able to attend school gatherings with ease, when you’re required to. Rather than wrestling with your thoughts of whether or not it's a good idea to attend, since you have to navigate a road that’s straight out of a horror movie.

School Accreditation & Membership

The International Education Agency (IEA) is currently the largest independent education provider in PNG.

IEA has been around long before PNG got its independence, managing schools operated by the Australian and United Nations administrations.

The independent Education Agency supervised twenty-four independent schools, back then, ranging from pre-schools through twelve graders, with no ties to any religious institution.

Today, IEA  operates 18 schools and TAFE (Vocational Education) colleges around PNG. Most importantly, the education agency is a not-for-profit business and is owned by the schools it operates.

Accreditation and memberships:

  • Council of International Schools
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Tuition Fees in PNG

The tuition fees for international schools in and around Papua New Guinea ranges from around K2,245 to more than K50,000 per annum. (see full list below)

List of PNG International Schools and Tuition Fees

There is a range of private education providers in PNG. The most prominent private educator is the International Education Agency (visit www.ieapng.net). In addition, there are several other providers, such as the Council of International Schools (www.cois.org) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (www.acswasc.org).

The tuition fees for international schools range from around ~K2,500 per annum to more than K50,000 per annum.

International Schools In PNG

Port Moresby

The Ela Murray International School (TEMIS)
  • Website: www.elamurray.com
  • Location: Ela Beach Road, Town, Port Moresby
  • Years: Kindergarten (Early Learning) - Year 7/8 
  • Curriculum: IEA Centre for Professional Development. 
  • Tuition Fees (annual range): K34,248 (Early Learning and Preschool) - K55,916 (Year 7 and 8). Discounts are available on annual fees if paid in advance.

Overview: TEMIS teaches according to the IEA curriculum, which is focussed on five key outcomes: be self-directing, communicate effectively, behave ethically, work collaboratively, analyse and solve problems. The school also offers specialist teaching in Spanish, Art, Physical Education, Music and Inquiry (children select the topics they wish to learn about). Children are required to wear a uniform.

Port Moresby International School (POMIS) 
  • Website: www.pmis.iea.ac.pg 
  • Location: Corner of Bava Street, Boroko Drive, Port Moresby
  • Years: Year 7 - Year 12 
  • Curriculum: The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program | Australian Capital Territory Board of Senior Studies Grade 12 Certificate | IGCSE Curriculum - International General Certificate for Secondary Education (equivalent to UK GCSE) | PNG Higher School Certificate.
  • Tuition Fees (annual range): K17,760 to K79,800

Overview: POMIS offers a wide range of curriculum to allow students to transition to international tertiary institutions.  POMIS are the only providers of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in PNG. The school offers many extracurricular activities, including drama, music and dance, plus various clubs including diving, yoga and athletics.

St. Joseph's International Catholic College
  • Website: www.stjosephsinternational.ac.pg 
  • Location: Section 21 Allotment 45 Vaivai Avenue, Boroko, Port Moresby
  • Years: Preschool - Year 12 
  • Curriculum: NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) | PNG Higher School Certificate.
  • Tuition Fees (annual range): K9,183 to K21,258

Overview: Established in 1917, St. Joseph's is one of PNGs oldest schools. The school has a track record of high academic performance with a diverse education offered in a faith-based environment. Facilities at St. Joseph’s are modern, with some of the latest technologies including intranet and internet. 

KoroBoro International School
  • Website: www.koroboro.iea.ac.pg 
  • Location: Boroko, Port Moresby
  • Years: Kindergarten (Early Learning) - Year 6
  • Curriculum: IEA Centre for Professional Development
  • Tuition Fees (annual range): K15,500 per year | Early Bird Discount: K14,260 per year

Overview: KoroBoro has two campuses; Boroko East Campus (Boro) and the Korobosea Campus (Koro). The  IEA curriculum is on an outcomes-based approach to teaching. It identifies seven main curriculum areas: English (reading and writing), English Outcomes (listening, talking, writing), Mathematics, Inquiry Unit of Study (social studies, science music, art, PE, dance and drama), Society and Technology, Home Tasks.


Lae International School
  • Website: www.laeinternationalschool.com 
  • Location: Eriku, Lae
  • Years: Kindergarten (Early Learning) - Year 12, plus it hosts an IEA TAFE
  • Curriculum: IEA Centre for Professional Development |  Australian Capital Territory Board of Secondary Studies Grade 12 Certificate | PNG Higher School Certificate
  • Tuition Fees (International students, annual range):  Prep to Grade 8: K17,444 | Grades 9 and 10: K20,076 | Grades 11 and 12: K23,364 | Boarding Fees: K11,000

Overview: LIS is operated by the International Education Agency of PNG. It offers schooling from Early Learning to Grade 12. It also provides boarding facilities for 120 students.


Our Lady of The Sacred Heart International School 
  • Website: www.olshinternational.org
  • Location: Corner of Ungan and Tabar Streets, Kavieng 063, Papua New Guinea
  • Curriculum: NSW, Australia
  • Tuition Fees: K3,030 to K6,173 per year 

Overview: Since opening in 1956, OLSH has prided itself on their extensive implementation of an international curriculum, predominantly following the Australian New South Wales syllabus. Besides the formal education in the classroom setting, students have ample opportunities for sports, entertainment and other extracurricular activities.


Australian International School In PNG (AIS-PNG)

Overview: AIS PNG is a private international primary school, licensed and accredited to offer the Australian Curriculum, and is an affiliated member school of Education Queensland International. Classes are for students from preschool to Grade 8. Every year the school implements the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests for students in Years 3, 5, and 7. Uniforms are required, and boarding is available.

Goroka International School
  • Website: www.ieapng.wordpress.com 
  • Location: Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province
  • Type of School: Private 
  • Curriculum: IEA Centre for Professional Development |  | PNG Higher School Certificate
  • Tuition Fees: Contact the school

Overview: Goroka International School is arranged into three clusters: Early Learning from early childhood learning to Kindergarten, Middle Years from Grade 1 to Grade 6, and High School from Grade 7 to Grade 12.

Ukarumpa International School (UIS)

Overview: UIS is an accredited pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 school with Christ-centred education. The campus has eight classrooms and sports facilities.