Study shows PNG Education has improved

There have been significant changes over the past 10 years in the education and health sector, according to a preliminary survey finding.
The findings were highlighted at a development policy forum on a discussion project called Promoting Effective Public Expenditure Project (PEPE). 
The findings state that education sector experiences much change with increase improvements compared to health. 
The changes are due to massive increase in revenue, changes to funding mechanisms such as growing function grants, abolition of school fees, school subsidies with direct financing, District Service Improvement Program (DSIP), Donor interventions and the growing population
Eight provinces in four regions were selected in the 2012 preliminary survey. The survey was conducted after 10 years on schools and health facilities from which a 2002 World Bank / National Research Institute had conducted a public expenditure and service delivery services survey. A 10-year comparisons are made between the same schools (166) and health facilities (63). 
In education, students enrolled and present (at the time of survey) have increased by much more than the student age population, increased in availability of teachers and numbers of classrooms.
There are fewer books available per student now, but still more than one text book per student in grades five and six. 
Also teachers and head teachers reported improved but still low availability of resources.
In comparions there is a slight increase in the number of schools over this period, and corresponding decline in the number of health facilities.
Schools also show improved availability of resources such as posted teachers per school grew by 16 percent; number of health workers posted to clinics grew by only one percent with likely decline in health centres, absolute decline in rural health workforce.
Schools are more adequately resourced for non-salary needs with 85 percent of schools received both education subsidies, which have largely prevented decline in funding per student. 
Health facilities benefit from function grants, but not to the extent that allows them to carry out their basic functions. 
Generally schools saw improvements with;
Enrolments and attendance have grown faster than population growth.
School facilities have improved and expanded, and number of teachers increased.
We can see at least some of the doubling of increased education funding percent translated into increased outputs.
The preliminary findings states a different story for health clinics:
Decline in the number of users of the clinics, despite a shift towards free health.
Drug availability has declined.
Hard to see where the tripling of health funding has gone.

The Post Courier


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