Living and working in PNG

School Education

Up to four years

For babies, toddlers and mothers there are informal playgroups organised by mothers. There is also a group called Susu Mothers run along the lines of Nursing Mothers in Australia or La Leche in New Zealand. The group is run primarily by expatriate women and is active in providing support for both expatriate and national mothers.

There are also a number of commercial child minding centres. Fees tend to be cheaper than in Australia and New Zealand. Usually the minimum age is 18 months and if you need care for younger children they can be looked after at home either by the haus-meri or a pikinini meri.


There are commercial preschools available in all areas. While the standard of care is usually high, the programs available may not be as advanced as you would be used to. Children can go up to five days a week. Once again you will find the fees cheaper than at home.

The International Schools now run preschools where children attend five days a week. Some employers cover preschool fees.

Primary Schools

All centres have international primary schools. Children wear school uniforms, which can be purchased at the school when you arrive.

  • The International School of Lae - Tel: +675 472 3944
  • Port Moresby Ela Beach International School - Tel: +675 321 4720
  • Murray International School - Tel: +675 325 2833
  • Port Moresby International School - Tel: +675 325 3166

Teachers are mainly expatriate from a variety of countries. The curriculum follows New South Wales (Australia) and the children are a mixture of Papua New Guineans and expatriates. The truly international flavour of the schools provides a rich and stimulating learning environment for children.

High Schools

There are two International High Schools in Papua New Guinea they are:

  • Lae:
    International School of Lae - Ph 472 3994
  • Port Moresby:
    Port Moresby International School - Ph 325 3166

Once again the children wear school uniforms which can be purchased at the school on your arrival.

The curriculum for grades 9 – 12 is accredited with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) system and on completion of satisfactory work children are awarded Year 10 ACT Certificate and Year 12 ACT Certificate. The ACT Year 12 Certificates then provides the entrance mark for university.

In Grade 10 students can also elect to sit for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education from Cambridge, UK. In Grade 12 they can elect to sit for the International Baccalaureate from Geneva. Both of these are internationally recognised qualifications.

After school activities

  • Ballet
  • Horse riding/lessons
  • Swimming - lots of it, almost everyone has a pool and most places have swimming club
  • Scouts
  • Music lessons
  • Martial arts