GRADE 12 SLF GRACE PERIOD: How to Adjust Choices on School Leavers Form

The school leavers' choices every Grade 12 student make each year is important. Many good students missed out on being selected, simply because they have not received proper guidance to make the right choice on the School Leavers Form (SLF).

Grade 12 SLF Guide Hint and Tips

I believe if the right direction was provided by the education leaders, students with good marks will increase their chances of entering a higher learning institution.

Good marks are marks with a GPA above the required GPA for higher education entry. For example, one school leaver said:

'I have a GPA of 2.8 and I cannot be offered a space in any of these (higher) institutions...confused?'

A GPA of 2.8 would mean that the student scored Bs and higher Cs. But, why had the student missed the selection to a university, or college, or vocational centre on government scholarship?

There are two important factors that disadvantaged capable students from entering the universities, colleges, or vocational and technical colleges:

1. The increasing number of students passing out of grade 12.

Take a look at the graph and you will realise that the number of students has increased since 2014. By contrast, spaces at tertiary institutions remained relatively low - only 20% of students were selected to continue after Grade 12 each year between 2014 and 2016. 

Unlike the 80s and 90s when there was a handful of National High Schools, today many secondary schools have been established in every province in the country. As the number of secondary schools increases, the number of students also increases. The competition is stiff. 

That is for every space available at a tertiary institution (under HECAS), five students are applying for it. 

2. Students choices on the  SLF

In fact, a 'funnel effect' takes hold where only the student with very good Grade 12 marks and good choices on SLF gets the preference during selections for university or college entries. It is absolutely important that you get both factors (Grade 12 marks +  SLF choice) right. 

Do not let your years of hard work and good marks go to waste. If you are an A, or B or C+ student, follow this rule-of-thumb to get a government scholarship into a tertiary institution:

  • SLF Choice 1 -    University
  • SLF Choice 2 -    College/Technical Institute 
  • SLF Choice 3 -    Vocational/Technical Centre

3. STAT- Test

The third and most important point to consider when applying for UNITECH or UOG is to sit for the STAT-P (aptitude) test if you are a School Leaver; or the entrance exam if you are a non-SL. All principals and deputy principal academic have to ensure their students intending to attend UNITECH or UOG must sit the entry test - it is mandatory.

It is anticipated that the University of Natural Science and Environment will also conduct entry tests in the future. Get more details on STAT-P, click HERE.

For the non-school leavers, avoid putting a university program as your second choice on your SLF - you are NOT going to make it. University choice on the SLF must be choice #1 if you believe that you will 'smash' the end of the year Grade 12 examinations.

Grade 12 Grade Period - Adjusting Choice

DHERST has not given students the opportunity to adjust their choice. The online School Leavers Choice system makes it easy for students to do just that - changing the choice on you SLF. 

This is plus for students as it gives you the best chance to match your Grade 12 final marks to the institutions of your choices as discussed in point 2, above.

About PNG Insight

PNG Insight is an education blog. It aims to highlight the key developments in the education sector in Papua New Guinea. Started in 2014 on Google's blogger (now self-hosted on WordPress), PNG Insight strives to be a platform for critical thinking and discussions; and a source of information.

You can follow us on Twitter (@PNG_Insight) for the information on Education and Development in Papua New Guinea.

PNG Work Permit - One Entry or Work Permit, One Job

The Government plans to review the work permits of all expatriates to ensure conditions have not been breached, and rules on the issuing of new ones will be stricter.

Labour and Industrial Relations Minister Mehrra Kipefa told The National that the department would implement a new policy from next year to tighten the issuing of work permits. A policy paper on it is currently before the National Executive Council.

“Our new policy starting next year will be one entry, one job,” Kipefa said.

Recommended: How to Renew PNG Passport

“We will review all work permits issued to expatriates to ensure they have only one job for which they were issued work or entry permit to work in the country.”

He said there had been some instances where some expats were granted a permit to do a certain job but then did other jobs.

“Those who found to be doing such will have to be disciplined, including cancelling their work permits and having them repatriated back to their home country,” Kipefa said.

Kipefa said there were of a lot of things to be fixed and he would seek the support of fellow ministers and state agencies to get things fixed.

 “We also have a lot of technical people coming into the country and doing jobs which our own people have the knowledge and the skills to do, and can competently perform,” he said.

“That is another issue I will be addressing.

“We will only issue work permits and recruit expatriates on jobs that Papua New Guineans are not able to perform.

“And these expatriates will be required to also train Papua New Guineans when they are employed here.”

Kipefa said jobs that Papua New Guineans could perform must be given to them.

“We will classify certain jobs, especially technical and skilled jobs only for our citizens,” he said.

“That is what I will be driving and we are looking at bringing the National Apprentice and Trade Test to the provinces and the districts.

“We have started with Mingende in Chimbu by launching a Trade Testing Centre for carpentry at the Saint Mary’s Technical School last week.

“And based on the success, we are looking at accrediting trade tests for other technical courses like mechanical, electrical, welding and plumbing.”

Kipefa said the policy on “one entry or work permit, one job” was expected to be tabled during the first sitting of Parliament next year.

“I am looking forward to giving a ministerial statement in Parliament on the policy and to commence the implementation,” Kipefa said.

The National - Monday,  December 04, 2017

Politics and Tuition Fee Free Education Policy in PNG


Though much has been written about the successes and failures of the Tuition Fee-Free Education(TFFE) policy in Papua New Guinea (PNG), there is a need for in-depth discussion on sustaining the policy not only now, but also in the future. This paper argues that the sustainability of TFFE policy is an important development issue. In particular, it attempts to discover how the National Department of Education (NDoE) aligns its sectorial strategies (and medium term development plans) with department’s vision, mission, objectives and goals.

It is essential that planning (both strategic and operational) by past and current governments focuses on continuity of TFFE policy. The paper uses literature review and online data to discuss the issue of TFFE sustainability. It gives details of policy timing, political parties and duration of the policy by comparing past to current experiences; discusses sectorial strategic plan and medium term development plans relating the policy; and also presents data analysis of TFFE fund allocations. The paper also uses percentages and average values to compare and contrast specific data relevant to support the findings.

There are two important findings. Firstly, the ruling political parties in 1981, 1993 and 2002 announced implementation of free education policy just before national general elections. The earlier attempts lasted less than 18 months because of the change in governments. Secondly, the data revealed lack of TFFE funding consistency in the last decade. ‘Political will’ in the last five years was remarkably high. This raised the question to the sustainability of the TFFE policy in Papua New Guinea in the long term.

You can download the Tuition Fee Free Education Policy in PNG PDF here (⇒ PDF download)

Declaimer: All attempts have been made to ascertain the factuality of information presented in this academic paper. Please, let the writer know if there is anything you wish to point out in the comment section. You can use the Contact Form or Twitter ().

Three Key Questions About PNG Universities You Should Ask- By An Academic

Original post by Lawrence Sause


In one of the recent post on good students being shut out of university enrolment, I provide my take (response) by saying this.......

Let's have a long range perspective on this. Too many young PNGeans will fall on the way side because of space, even those with the best grades.

In the long term we must create space in our universities to cater for those who can come. This will require investment in infrastructure  and teaching facilities and aids, academic staff expansionary and expansion of disciplines. In all my years at the UPNG, I've witnessed first hand the severe deterioration of the university teaching, learning and support facilities not only in UPNG, but also in all public universities. In some classes, including mine, students stand even right to the door and outside to attend lectures, to my great disappointment.

The raising of the GPA threshold for enrolment, often at crazy levels, is nothing more than an artificial strategy adopted as a coping mechanism against a perverse lack of capacity to function given the debilitating state of teaching, learning and support facilities. In the long term, curtailing even good students in exchange for coping, must be seriously questioned. Do we want to keep doing this?

If I were to tell you that about 70 percent of the academic disciplines at UPNG do not have an Associate. Prof or a Prof, would that surprise you? Yet that is the situation. In the School of Business and Public Policy for example, there are only two nationals with a PhD and only one Associate Prof who is the Dean, in the entire school. We are not competitive and we cannot attract the best, remuneration wise. However, there is more to this problem. Good academics who can raise the standard of university teaching and the transmission of knowledge want a good place of work that is rewarding and can help develop their own career. UPNG and other PNG Public universities can't offer that. By the best of standards, our infrastructure and learning facilities cannot even match those in some of the  colleges I've seen in NZ and Australia. So, debilitating infrastructure, teaching and learning facilitues not only deters getting young PNGeans but also becomes the key stumbling block for recruiting and retaining quality staff. How much longer can we continue to impose those crazy artificial GPA requirements just to cope against capacity-related problems in our universities? It's crazy.

Government support to universities has drastically fallen commensurate with the demand for space and the need to upscale and modernise our universities to world class standards. Those of you who have been to UNITEC and UPNG, have you seen any significant change in the infrastructure and teaching and learning facilities in your most recent visits? National leaders including our Prime Minister should also be asked the same question. So I am inclined to ask, what do they see now compared to their years at the university? Nothing different really, instead broken-down halls, buildings, labs and libraries, pipes and sewers etc.

Friends, the shutting out of good students on university enrollment is a symptom of a much larger problem, a problem of lack of investment on universities by government,  which is creating capacity-related problems. So GPA requirements and shedding off good students is a mere strategy to cope.

This leads me to pose several big questions about our future and that of our universities: