Advertisement

Challenges to the Democratisation of Knowledge: Status Hierarchies and Emerging Inequalities in Educational Opportunities Amongst Oil Palm Settlers in Papua New Guinea

  • Sean Ryan
  • George N. CurryEmail author
  • Emmanuel Germis
  • Gina Koczberski
  • Merolyn Koia
Chapter
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 30)

Abstract

This chapter examines the educational levels and opportunities among migrant oil palm farming households in the three main oil palm-growing areas of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Whilst average adult education levels in oil palm farming communities are higher than the national average, they are still low given most children do not finish primary school. Moreover, findings indicate that population and income pressures are leading to increasing social and economic stratification within and between families. Inequality is most evident by the fact that children from families without regular access to oil palm income have lower education levels than those children from families living on the same block who regularly receive oil palm income. Stratification as differential educational opportunities is a new phenomenon reflecting greater individualism and the rise of market relations and has considerable development implications particularly for policies aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability levels in rural PNG.

Keywords

Inequalities Education Poverty Rural development Gender 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Many people assisted us during fieldwork. We would especially like to thank OPIC extension officers Jimmy Windu, Carlos Hildalgo, Justin Uraliu, Elly Lillius, Mark Bunita, Vincent Midal, Gideon Paul, Mckenzie Genau and Zachius Orutu. In addition, several research assistants were employed in each project area to assist with the surveys: Charlie Katepo, Jerome Kananai, Herman Kewaka, Alu Vegoa Jnr, Mosil Tickua, Abel T, Foksy Karaea, Owen Mongagi, Freddy Lapa and Fenny Nimalang.

References

  1. Asfaw, A., & Admassie, A. (2004). The role of education on the adoption of chemical fertiliser under different socioeconomic environments in Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics, 30, 215–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asian Development Bank. (2012). Papua New Guinea: Critical development constraints. Mandaluyong City. http://www.nicta.gov.pg/publicinquirynew/%20%20RSD%202nd%20Discussion%20Paper/Digicel%20Response%20ADB%20PNG%20-%20critical%20development%20constraints.pdf. Accessed 15 May 2013.
  3. Azhar, R. A. (1991). Education and technical efficiency during the green revolution in Pakistan. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 39, 651–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becker, G. S. (2004). Economic approaches to understanding families. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1038, 201–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, G. S., Murphy, K. M., & Tamura, R. (1990). Human capital, fertility, and economic growth. Journal of Political Economy, 98, S12–S37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bourke, R. M., & Harwood, T. (Eds.). (2009). Food and agriculture in Papua New Guinea. Canberra: ANU Press.Google Scholar
  7. Boyd, D. J. (2013). Creating an alternative modernity in rural Papua New Guinea: The Irakia Awa case. In F. McCormack & K. Barclay (Eds.), Engaging with capitalism: Cases from Oceania (pp. 303–119). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Connell, J. (1997). Papua New Guinea: The struggle for development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Curry, G. N., & Koczberski, G. (2012). Relational economies, social embeddedness and valuing labour in agrarian change: An example from the developing world. Geographical Research, 50, 377–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Curry, G. N., & Koczberski, G. (2013). Development implications of the engagement with capitalism: Improving the social returns of development. In F. McCormack & K. Barclay (Eds.), Engaging with capitalism: Cases from Oceania (pp. 335–352). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Curry, G. N., Koczberski, G., Omuru, E., Duigu, J., Yala, C., & Imbun, B. (2007). Social assessment report for the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project (SADP) Papua New Guinea. Report prepared for World Bank.Google Scholar
  12. Dammert, A. C. (2010). Siblings, child labor, and schooling in Nicaragua and Guatemala. Journal of Popular Economics, 23, 199–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Muro, P., & Burchi, F. (2007). Education for rural people and food security: A cross country analysis. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Google Scholar
  14. Feil, D. K. (1987). The evolution of highland Papua New Guinea societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gannicott, K. G., & Avalos, B. (1994). Pacific 2010: Women’s education and economic development in Melanesia. Canberra: National Centre for Development Studies, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  16. Gibson, J., & Fatai, O. K. (2006). Subsidies, selectivity and the returns to education in urban Papua New Guinea. Economics of Education Review, 25, 133–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gibson, M. A., & Sear, R. (2010). Does wealth increase parental investment biases in child education? Current Anthropology, 51, 693–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hill, M. A., & King, E. M. (1991). Women’s education in developing countries: An overview. In E. M. King & M. A. Hill (Eds.), Women’s education in developing countries: Barriers, benefits, and policies (pp. 1–50). Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  19. Huffman, W. E. (2001). Human capital: Education and agriculture. In B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (Eds.), Handbook of agricultural economics vol. 1, part a (pp. 333–381). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
  20. Hulme, D. (1984). Land settlement schemes and rural development in Papua New Guinea. Unpublished PhD thesis, James Cook University, Queensland.Google Scholar
  21. Kaplan, H., Lancaster, J. B., Tucker, W. T., & Anderson, K. G. (2002). Evolutionary approach to below replacement fertility. American Journal of Human Biology, 14, 233–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Koczberksi, G. (2007). Loose fruit mamas: Creating incentives for smallholder women in oil palm production in Papua New Guinea. World Development, 35, 1172–1185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Koczberski, G., & Curry, G. N. (2004). Divided communities and contested landscapes: Mobility, development and shifting identities in migrant destination sites in Papua New Guinea. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 45, 357–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Koczberski, G., Curry, G. N., & Gibson, K. (2001). Improving productivity of the smallholder oil palm sector in Papua New Guinea: A socio-economic study of the Hoskins and Popondetta schemes. Canberra: Department of Human Geography, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  25. Koczberski, G., Curry, G. N., & Imbun, B. (2009). Property rights for social inclusion: Migrant strategies for securing land and livelihoods in Papua New Guinea. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 50, 29–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lederman, R. (1990). Big men, large and small? Towards a comparative perspective. Ethnology, 29, 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lepowsky, M. (1990). Big men, big women, and cultural autonomy. Ethnology, 29, 35–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mendano, S. K. (2012). The effectiveness of extension services provided by OPIC for the production of oil palm to smallholder growers in Hoskins, West New Britain Province. Unpublished Master’s thesis, Curtin University, Perth.Google Scholar
  29. Mosko, M. S. (2013). Dividuals, individuals, or possessive individuals?: Recent transformations of North Mekeo commoditization, personhood, and sociality. In F. McCormack & K. Barclay (Eds.), Engaging with capitalism: Cases from Oceania (pp. 167–197). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Papua New Guinea Department of Education. (2009). Province profile – West New Britain Province. http://www.education.gov.pg/Province_Profile/province-profiles/province-profile-west-new-britain.pdf. Accessed 15 May 2013.
  31. Papua New Guinea Institute of National Affairs. (2012). Gender and economic choice: Papua New Guinea country work: Rapid qualitative assessment to inform the World Development Report (WDR 2012) on gender. Port Moresby: http://www.inapng.com/pdf_files/PNG%20Gender%20Report%20brief.pdf. Accessed 08 Apr 2013.
  32. Ploeg, A. (1972). Sociological aspects of Kapore settlement. In R. J. May (Ed.), Hoskins development: The role of oil palm and timber (New Guinea Research Bulletin, Vol. 49, pp. 21–118). Canberra: New Guinea Research Unit, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  33. Rigg, J. (2007). An everyday geography of the global south. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Sahlins, M. D. (1963). Poor man, rich man, big-man, chief: Political types in Melanesia and Polynesia. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 5, 285–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Todaro, M. P., & Smith, S. C. (2003). Economic development. Boston: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  36. UNDP. (2011). Human development report 2011: Papua New Guinea. http://hdrstats.undp.org/images/explanations/PNG.pdf. Accessed 02 Apr 2013.
  37. UNDP. (2013). Human development report 2013: The rise of the south: Human progress in a diverse world. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/Country-Profiles/PNG.pdf. Accessed 02 Sept 2014.
  38. UNDP. (2014). National human development report: Papua New Guinea: From wealth to wellbeing: Translating resource revenue into sustainable human development. http://www.pg.undp.org/content/dam/papua_new_guinea/docs/Publications/FINAL%20PNG%20NHDR_low%20res.compressed.pdf. Accessed 17 Dec 2014.
  39. UNESCO. (2000). The education for all 2000 assessment: Country reports: Papua New Guinea. http://www.unesco.org/education/wef/CountryReports/papua_new_guinea/rapport_2.html. Accessed 21 Jun 2013.
  40. UNICEF. (2010). Information by country – Papua New Guinea. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/papuang_statistics.html. Accessed 11 Feb 2013.
  41. UNICEF. (2013). Statistics at a glance: Papua New Guinea. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/papuang_statistics.htm. Accessed 07 Feb 2014.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Ryan
    • 1
  • George N. Curry
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emmanuel Germis
    • 2
  • Gina Koczberski
    • 1
  • Merolyn Koia
    • 3
  1. 1.Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.PNG Oil Palm Research AssociationKimbePapua New Guinea
  3. 3.PNG Oil Palm Research AssociationPopondettaPapua New Guinea

Personalised recommendations