A Papua New Guinea researcher says it's difficult to reach the millennium goal of free basic education for all by 2015 because the country is so diverse.
Many children can't attend school because their parents can't afford the school or transport fees, or they drop out for other reasons.
The National Research Institute's, Patricia Paraide, says it's difficult to address the issue.
"There are some parents who have money, there are some who don't make money, there are some communities who don't have any money at all, they don't live on money. They have the school subsidy that is based on enrolment. However, the same amount is given to the children across all areas. In the remote areas it's more expensive to send the children to school. It doesn't work."
Patricia Paraide, from the PNG National Research Institute.