Showing posts with label quality education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quality education. Show all posts

Educational Excellence: Finland's Model of Free and Quality Education

In terms of global education, Finland consistently stands out as a shining example. Despite having an economy and population one-fifth the size of Australia's, Finnish students routinely outperform their counterparts in nations with far greater resources. 

This article identifies key factors that contribute to Finland's success, particularly its unwavering commitment to free and quality education. By exploring these elements, we aim to draw insights that can inspire and guide educational development in Papua New Guinea and other small Pacific Island countries.

Free and quality education Papua New Guinea Finland

1. Minimal Classroom Hours, Maximum Impact

One of the most surprising aspects of the Finnish education system is the amount of time students spend in the classroom. Compared to their Australian and Pacific Islanders counterparts, Finnish children log significantly fewer hours, with the minimum in the first grade being only 20 hours per week. 

However, despite this seemingly relaxed approach, Finnish students consistently rank among the top performers in international assessments. This suggests that quality, not quantity, is the driving force behind their success.

2. Empowering Teachers and Individualized Curriculum

Unlike many countries that employ standardized curricula and assessments, Finland empowers its teachers with the autonomy to tailor their lessons to the specific needs of their students. 

This individualized approach allows educators to incorporate technology, cater to different learning styles, and foster a more engaging and effective learning environment.

3. Free School Lunches and Equitable Funding

Finland's commitment to equality is evident in its education system. Schools receive equal funding through taxation, ensuring that socioeconomic disparities do not translate into educational disadvantages. 

Additionally, students enjoy free school lunches, creating an inclusive atmosphere where everyone has access to nutritious meals regardless of their family's background.

4. Teacher Qualification and Career Prestige

One of the pillars of Finland's success is its highly qualified teaching force. Teachers are required to hold a Master's degree, and only a small percentage of applicants are accepted into teaching programs. 

This rigorous selection process ensures that teaching is a respected and sought-after career, attracting top talent and contributing to the overall quality of education.

5. Assessment without Comparison

Finland deviates from the common practice of comparing schools based on exam results. While regular assessments exist, the focus is on self-evaluation within each institution. This fosters an environment where schools collaborate and share best practices rather than compete for limited resources.

Finnish parents trust the education system, eliminating the need for exhaustive research to find the right school for their child. This trust stems from a societal respect for teachers and the understanding that all schools are equipped to provide high-quality education. This collaborative approach minimizes anxiety and allows parents to focus on supporting their children's learning journey.

What does it mean for Papua New Guinea?

While acknowledging the unique cultural contexts of Papua New Guinea and other small Pacific Island countries, there are valuable lessons to be learned from Finland's model. 

By embracing these principles and incorporating traditional practices, empowering teachers and creating a conducive teaching and learning environment, these nations can build education systems that truly work for their unique landscapes and communities, unlocking the full potential of every child.

It is about adopting and making the teaching and learning methods suitable for a developing country.


Finland's education system serves as a beacon of success, proving that a combination of:

  • minimal classroom hours, 
  • empowered teachers, 
  • equitable funding, and a 
  • strong emphasis on teacher qualifications can create a world-class educational environment. 

Finland sets a powerful example for the world. By following its lead, nations like Papua New Guinea and other small Pacific Island countries can create a brighter future for their children and contribute to a more equitable and prosperous global community.

Education Ministry Pledged to Deliver Quality Education - Minister's Statement | Papua New Guinea Education Department download


As we are closing the 2019 academic year, I would like to thank the hardworking students, teachers, parents, communities, churches and other supporting agencies for all your tireless effort in contributing to a very successful and tremendous academic year for all of us. 

Without your commitment and willingness in doing things, we would not achieve the things that we have achieved throughout this year.

I would like to thank and commend our provincial and district education officers for their time and commitment to ensuring that quality and important education services are delivered to our schools right down to the districts.

I also thank officers at the Office of Libraries and Archives and Teaching Service Commission for their hard work.

My sincere gratitude also goes out to all our stakeholders, partners especially donor partners, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), and International Development Organisations including:

Australian High Commission, 
the European Union, 
UNICEF and many others for their continuous support in making sure we deliver the best and quality education needed in this country. 

It is important to note that education is an investment and foundation for national development for the future of our children. Our vision for quality education and high standards is setting the benchmark in all areas of education and efforts will be focused on this trend to see better results.


The Department is looking at the new education reform from Objective-Based Education (OBE) to Standard-Based Curriculum (SBC). The development of SBC is on target and the department is focusing on aligning another component of the education sector accordingly to achieve high-quality education standard results.
 Also, there are ongoing activities including 
Teacher Training, 
School Governance, Management and Leadership, 
Student Behaviour and Attitude,
Research and Monitoring, 
Consultation and Awareness that the department is rolling out to support the implementation of SBC. 

Teaching and teaching practices are the first component that will change to fully implement SBC. Teachers' colleges will incorporate their study programs in line with the newly developed curriculum. 

Teachers graduating from teacher’s colleges at the end of both preservice and in-service will be fully equipped with the knowledge and skills of implementing SBC.
In the full implementation of SBC, the department is also expecting provinces, districts, LLGs and schools to create their own policies so that standard practice is maintained at all levels of education in the country. 

This year, the new Citizenship and Christian Values Education (CCVE) subject has been taught in schools. I believe this will enhance the social, mental and physical character development of our children. 

In addition, there will be Boys Scout and Girl’s Guides to be introduced in schools as compulsory subjects. This subject will be taken after school hours on weekends.


It is the government’s policy that all children must complete elementary education up to grade 12 and no child drop out.
The 13 years of education under 1-6-6 is a step forward in providing the opportunity for all children to have access to 13 years of quality education from grade 1 to grade 12 by 2030. 

The implementation of this structure will result in phasing out of elementary school. The preparatory grade in elementary school will be in preschool. 
Children will have 
1 year Elementary education, 
6 years of Primary education and 
another 6 years Secondary education. 

Grades 1 to 6 at the primary level. Grades 7 and 8 in Junior High School with grades 9 and 10. Senior High School in grades 11 and 12.

This new school structure under the National Education Plan (NEP) is more focused on delivering quality education and addressing issues like school access, retention and equity.


Under the Alotau Accord II, Quality Teacher Training has been the priority for the government. The reform in the education system requires a more holistic approach in delivering quality education. 

Hence, teachers will be trained and fully equipped with the knowledge and skills required in delivering quality education through the implementation of the new structure. 

Pre-service and in-service programs will be rolled out for teachers to upgrade their qualifications from Elementary to Primary and from primary to Secondary respectively as they take on board the responsibilities of the new structure. 

The teachers are the key contributors to child’s learning and development and so I want to see more qualified teachers teaching in schools.


Education continues to remain the government’s number one priority since the implementation of the Tuition Fee Free Policy in 2012 by the previous government. The Government’s funding under the TFF Policy since 2012 is close to K4 billion. 

A total of 11, 194 registered schools in PNG are benefitting from the program with an enrolment of over 2 million students in all our Elementary, Primary, Secondary, National High, TVET Vocational, FODE, Inclusive and Permitted Schools. 

This year, the TFF funding allocation is K616 million. A total of K432 million has been released to the Department with an outstanding payment of K193.2 million yet to be released.
The money that has been released to the department has been paid to all schools including: 
Elementary Schools, 
Primary Schools, 
Secondary Schools, 
Provincial High Schools,
 National High Schools, 
FODE, and 
inclusive of Education Resource Centres throughout the country. 

The TFF policy name is now changed to the ‘Government Tuition-Free Subsidy’ (GTFS) policy. The next year, the GTFS will be a shared responsibility between the government and the parents which means that the government will allocate 63.4% and the parent will cater for the other portion of 36.6%.

I thank the Marape-Steven government for continuing to support the TTF policy and we will continue to work alongside to achieve the maximum outcome.


The expansion of the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) sector will accommodate the increasing number of school leavers after grade 12. 

Currently, we are looking at having one multi-technical college at each of the 89 districts and two polytechnic institutions in the four regions. 

At present, we have three new technical colleges in Southern Highlands, West New Britain and Simbu province and one Polytechnic institution in Morobe province. 

The Department will continue to work alongside with the other provinces to convert some of the existing Vocational Centers to technical colleges soon.


For the next 10 years, starting this year, the Ministry has come up with strategies to ensure that national, provincial and district education systems are operational, utilizing appropriate information technology that will allow schools and teachers to focus on improved student learning outcomes. 

We will embrace technology to enhance learning such as E-Library and E-Learning to E-textbooks and management systems. 
The take-up of appropriate IT systems to improve efficiency and productivity such as the My PNG School and My Payslip applications are not an option but necessary.


The next 10 years plan period coincides well with the current government’s 10-year goal and aspiration to TAKE BACK PNG AND TO GIVE QUALITY EDUCATION TO ALL AND NO ONE IS BEHIND. 

Under this new 10-year plan, the ministry has considered another three (3) priority areas in addition to the existing six (6) priority areas of the last plan to address the issues in those areas. These areas include; 

• Early Childhood Education to prepare children to advance in preparatory schools. 
• Equity to address the barriers that prevent children from attending schools Continue from such as sex and gender, children with disabilities, children left out of school and children in remote areas, and 
• Christian and Citizen Values that will allow children to have a sense of who they are and where they come from in respect to Christian principles, their customs, culture and beliefs.

All in all, quality education is relevant and therefore useful to the lives of Papua New Guineans and is the key to how well our education system will contribute to the future of our nation to be the Richest Black Christian Nation on earth.


To finish off I take this opportunity to announce that the first time we have successfully carried out the national examination without any embezzlement. I thank all those responsible for ensuring this accomplishment. Well done and let us maintain this benchmark for next year and onwards. With that once again, I thank all stakeholder for your contribution to the many success of this year.

And I look forward to a more exciting journey with you next year. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Prosperous New Year. 

Thank you.
HON. JOSEPH YOPYYOPY Minister for Education

Press release Dec



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