Improving access to education is a key priority for us. We believe that education is the key to economic empowerment and that all Papua New Guineans should have the opportunity to learn and feel empowered.
Through investment and partnerships with stakeholders in the public and private sectors, we are helping to strengthen education in PNG. We share a common goal with our partners to provide opportunities to Papua New Guineans.
Through partnerships with local and international tertiary education providers, organisations and government bodies we are providing opportunities for Papua New Guinean students to further their education through the following scholarships:
- The Australia Awards – PNG LNG scholarships: A partnership with the Australian Government through the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships program to help address the rural workforce gap in our project areas. The scholarships encourage students to complete tertiary studies in health and education. Interested participants can apply here.
- James Cook University and University of Papua New Guinea scholarship: A collaborative partnership to research and conserve dolphin species in PNG.
- University of Canberra scholarship: Facilitating scientific research into the Piku Project which aims to protect PNG’s pig-nosed turtle and raise community awareness around community conservation.
- Business and Professional Women’s Club scholarships: Available for financially disadvantaged women to undertake tertiary education studies.
- Baylor College of Medicine International Paediatric AIDS Initiative scholarship: Supporting community health care by funding studies for a recipient to complete a Masters in Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.
When students have a safe and comfortable place to learn, they have the best opportunity to receive quality education. We are supporting school infrastructure through upgrades to existing classrooms and construction of new classrooms in areas where we operate. Upgrades to school amenities such as sanitation facilities and water catchments have been carried out, equipment such as desks have been provided and volunteers have helped paint classrooms to improve school infrastructure. Our support to schools is targeted within our Project area including LNG Plant communities at Caution Bay and communities located near PNG LNG locations within the Southern Highlands and Hela provinces.
Teacher and school capacity
Children receive a better education when teachers feel supported and have access to the necessary resources. We are building the capacity of teachers through training, provision of learning and teaching materials and funding teacher housing. We are also working with District education officials, Boards of Management and school head teachers to strengthen academic and administration leadership. Workshops, training, and consultation meetings are also held with teachers and government as part of our support to schools.
To recognise achievements amongst Papua New Guinean teachers, we have partnered with the Department of Education to launch the PNG Teachers Excellence Awards as part of the Prime Minister’s Excellence Award program.
Science Ambassadors program
We are helping PNG students experience the wonders of science through our Science Ambassador program. The program is targeted at primary and high school students and has visited schools near the LNG Plant, Port Moresby and Hides. Students learn about the importance of science, technology, engineering and math through fun hands-on practical experiments. Each year our staff members volunteer to be science ambassadors and undergo training to be qualified to visit and teach lessons covering geology and the origins of oil and gas using specially prepared science kits. Since 2013 over 2600 students have benefited from the Science Ambassador Program.
To inspire students to study hard and further improve their understanding of science, technology, engineering and math, we provide a school excursion program at the LNG Plant. Students are given the opportunity to visit the LNG Plant facility and see how it operates first-hand.
Port Moresby Nature Park school excursion program
We are working with the Port Moresby Nature Park to educate students on PNG’s biodiversity. Our funding has enabled the Nature Park to develop a school excursion program that allows primary school students and their teachers to visit the park to learn and observe a selection of PNG’s unique and rare plants and animals. Since 2013, over 14,500 students and their teachers have participated in the program which is aligned with PNG’s education curriculum learning outcomes.
We have developed a series of educational books to help students learn about their country, culture and the environment.
The Toea book series is about a boy who travels across PNG to develop a cultural understanding of people from different areas of the country. A separate book titled Kastom Stori Sene Gori, or traditional stories, is a collection of handwritten stories and illustrations by students produced to reflect traditional stories from local villages in the PNG LNG Project area. An environmental book series dedicated to Piku, the pig-nosed turtle, was developed in partnership with the University of Canberra to educate students on the importance of biodiversity and conservation. The series of books continue to be distributed to schools and libraries throughout PNG.
Our partnership with Buk Bilong Pikinini children’s libraries is also increasing children’s access to reading materials through our sponsorship of National Literacy Week, National Book Week and donations of reading books and infrastructure upgrades. Our workforce volunteers also donate their time to Buk Bilong Pikinini libraries through activities such as working bees, book packing and distribution and reading sessions.
We have partnered with The Voice Inc. to fund the Centre for Leadership program to promote leadership development amongst Papua New Guinean university students. The Voice is a youth development organisation that runs an active citizenship program for youth in educational institutions. ExxonMobil PNG contributes funding to the program which is implemented by The Voice at the University of Papua New Guinea, University of Technology and University of Goroka.
Our support for the University of Technology also extends to the funding of an accreditation program to assess the standards applied and in practice by the School of Engineering. The long-term aim of the review is to raise the standards of assessments, drive academic results and align with international standards.