STEM Courses in Papua New Guinea

 The following are the general information on the STEM Courses offered in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The statement below outlines the following

  • The Introduction of STEM Education into PNG Curriculum
  • Background of STEM 
  • STEM Education in PNG
  • STEM Curriculum in PNG 
  • Eligibility of STEM Education
  • Benefits of STEM Education
  • conclusion 

STEM Courses in Papua New Guinea [STEM Teacher of Sogeri SoE/ Photo by Australian High Commission]


National Department of Education has launched National Schools of Excellence (NSOE) Policy – 2020 NDOE has investigated the effectiveness of using an integrated approach to teaching and learning of STEM disciplines for students to be creative and innovative in the field of Science and Technology. National Schools of Excellence (NSOE) have introduced STEM Courses as of this Academic Year 2021. 

Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Subjects and STEM education have become the focus of considerable significance in this millennium. Widespread concern about Papua New Guinea’s performance in STEM disciplines and take-up of STEM careers has resulted in the development of the National Schools of Excellence Policy – 2020 and emphasizing STEM Education that is to be implemented from 2021. 


National Executive Council # NG141/2009, had approved NSOE and the STEM curriculum to be implemented. STEM skills in the workplace are widely recognized as being crucial to our long-term future as envisioned in Vision 2050. 

            Technology and Economic Growth  

Introducing STEM curricular in the modern world is in view of the fact that we are witnessing a surge in the adoption of technological innovations in delivering solutions to many of its problems, such as drones, smart phones, satellite technologies, cloud-based computing, surveillance, national identification system, software and apps, etc. While these applications solve some shortfalls, there are many areas that require technological solutions which can be adopted from existing technologies and others customized to country-specific requirements. 

Table 1: Economic Components and their main products

Economic component        Product                                              Education System*

Knowledge-based   Innovations, inventions and intellectual property rights STEM

Production-based   Import replacement and exports                                      STEM and TVET

Service-oriented Customer services (tourism/hospitality, medical services, etc.)

                                                                                                                              STEM, TVET and HASS

Tools-based Precision machine tools for high value products; tools are also required for productivity and efficiency gains STEM and TVET

Education system: 

STEM = science, technology, engineering and mathematics

TVET = technical and vocational education and training

HASS = humanity, arts and social sciences

3. STEM Education: 

A cross-disciplinary approach needed to teaching that increases student interest in STEM-related fields and improves students’ problem-solving and critical analysis skills. Academic Excellence through Research, inquiry and project based learning. Turning local context into STEM knowledge.  

The strategy outlines five areas for action in STEM education around Papua New Guinea: 

1. increasing student STEM ability, engagement, participation and aspiration 

2. increasing teacher capacity and STEM teaching quality 

3. supporting STEM education opportunities within school systems 

4. facilitating effective partnerships with tertiary education providers, business and industry 

5. building a strong evidence base. 


STEM Curriculum is addressed through the learning areas of Science, Technologies and Mathematics, and through general capabilities, particularly Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability, and Critical and Creative Thinking. The Curriculum is offered to widen the career path. 

Engineering is addressed in Design and Technologies through a dedicated content description at each band that focuses on engineering principles and systems. It is presented across the curriculum through Science, Digital Technologies and Mathematics. Engineering often provides a context for STEM learning. 

Evidence from the project suggests that STEM knowledge, understanding and skills seem to be: 

Strengthened when the connections between learning areas are emphasized 

Enriched when learning areas combine to find authentic learning opportunities for students in answer to an identified problem or in the creation of a solution. 

STEM SUBEJCTS:  (7 Subjects) 

ENGLISH: Advanced English Language 

MATHEMATICS MAJOR (A):  Advanced Mathematics 

SCIENCE: Biology, Chemistry, Physics

TECHNOLOGY: Information & Communication technology (ICT)

ENGINEERING: Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering


Any Grade 10 student who has high academic abilities can apply. There must be consistency of Very High Achievements (VHA) in Gr 8 and Distinction (D) in Gr 9 & 10 internal assessment.  Selection is very competitive therefore; teachers must guide the students well before choosing STEM in Schools of Excellence.  There will also be additional IQ Test or DAT tests conducted before taking STEM in Term 1 of Gr 11. 


Students who take STEM Courses will have more chances of Career pathways in Science and Technology. They are able to apply and secure Degree Program spaces in PNG Universities such as 1.University of Technology, 2.University of PNG, 3.Divine Word University, 4.Pacific Adventist University, 5.University of Natural Resources and Environment. 6. Western Pacific University, 7.University of Goroka .  There are more opportunities to get Oversea’ Scholarships including PNG Government Scholarships to do Bachelor Degree in overseas Universities.  Students are to become Innovators and Creators and secure future employments.  


Grade 10 Students will be guided to take up STEM Courses, when students are selected to come to NSOE, they will further be guided on STEM. Parents, Teachers and Students are to be made aware of this new Challenging STEM Courses available for High Performing Students in Science and Technology. All of us are part of creating opportunities for our future generation of children who will be highly skilled work force and our country PNG will be Scientifically, Technologically and technically advanced Society.   

Also read : Swire Scholarships 2023 are now Open

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