Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education MEd




While the Territory of Papua and New Guinea from the year 1884 passed through several forms of British and German, civil and military government, mission native education, first set up in the Territory in 1872, developed through four consecutive phases. The first of these, the Establishment phase, aimed at winning the confidence of the native people, eliminating the worst forms of violence, mastering the local language, and conducting the beginnings of what came to be the second level of mission schooling in the Territory - the district school typically situated at mission district headquarters and taught by well-educated but untrained European teachers.

The second phase, Expansion, aimed at spreading mission influence as widely as possible into the area surrounding the district school by use of the native pastor-teacher system and the setting up of what came to be the first level of mission schools - the village vernacular school which aimed to provide the earliest years of the pupils' education, consisting mainly of simple vernacular literacy and calculations together with religion. On completing the village school work the native child was intended to go on to the district school which may have had boarding facilities. From the district schools the process of developing the lives of the young mission believers was to continue at the training school which was set up in the third phase.

Consolidation was the next phase to emerge in mission education. It became possible when the various district schools of a particular mission had so many students capable of continuing their education and becoming pastor-teachers themselves that it was most efficient to call in trained instructors to teach in centralised boarding training schools. These schools constituted the top level of mission schooling in the Territory and were aimed at speeding up the self-propagation process by the more efficient preparation of pastor-teachers with an improved background of general education.

By the 1930's all of the missions reaching the Territory by 1920 had moved confidently into the Consolidation phase and were enjoying a good deal of success in the achievement of the goals of vernacular education. Then World War II came with its far reaching changes in native, national, and international outlook. This precipitated mission education into its fourth phase: Reassessment, which involved examining and then striving towards the Administration - imposed objectives of an academically-oriented, English-speaking education.

Despite a succession of serious problems centred first in the nature of the Territory and its people, then in the financial limitations of the homeland constituencies, and finally in the scholastic and linguistic limitations of the native village teachers, the missions were able to provide a workably complete system of education achieving the majority both of its own goals and those imposed by the Administration in the post-War period.


Master of Education (MEd) Thesis. The University of Sydney.

Used by permission of the author.

Staff and students of Avondale College may access a print copy of this thesis from Adventist Heritage Centre (AHC 4301).

Recommended Citation

Lloyd, T. G. (1969). The history of mission education in the territory of Papua-New Guinea from 1872 to 1962 with special attention to the years 1932 to 1952 (Masters thesis). University of Sydney, Australia.