Education in Nauru

Joined Commonwealth: 1968

Population: 10,000 (2012)

Nauru’s economy is entirely dependent on its dwindling phosphate deposits. The government recognises that diversification of the country’s economy is the way forward, and since diversification necessitates skills development, education is a national priority.

The Ministry of Education and Training is responsible for equal and easy access to free education and training to provide for the development and growth of Nauru. As part of the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), the Nauru Education and Training Reform Package combats declining literacy and numeracy rates and attempts to improve primary and secondary school attendance, as well as establishing the National Curriculum Committee, the National Moderation Committee and the Curriculum, Accreditation Statistics and Exams Unit (CASE). The Ministry is in the process of implementing a new Nauruan-based curriculum with programmes in life skills, culture, language, TVET and traditional subject areas of English, Maths, Science and Social Sciences. The Republic of Nauru Scholarship examination is taken at Form One and provides funding for secondary schooling overseas in Fiji; these scholarships are very competitive with over 200 students taking the exam and only 11 scholarships awarded in 2004. The Department of Youth and Community Affairs runs training courses in life skills and work experience.

There are 11 years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises six years and secondary six, with cycles of four and two years.The school year starts in January.

Students go overseas for higher education, mainly to Australia and New Zealand, and scholarships are available for this. Nauru is a partner in the regional University of the South Pacific, which has a centre in Nauru and its main campus in Suva, Fiji.