Article VI of the Constitution of the Republic of Palau mandates the provision of free and compulsory public education for citizens.
Palau National Code (PNC) 2§102 establishes the Ministry of Education as one of the major departments of the Executive Branch. PNC 2§116 specifies the responsibilities of the ministry as:
- managing, operating, and promoting the public elementary and secondary school systems.
- developing and implementing educational curriculum and standards.
- other related matters.
PNC 22§101 mandates the national government to provide for an educational system which shall enable the citizens of Palau to participate fully in the progressive development of the Republic as well as to gain knowledge in all areas. To this end, the purposes of education are to:
- increase citizen participation in economic and social development,
- unify the Republic by giving the people knowledge of their islands, economy, government and [the] world, and
- provide citizens of the Republic with the knowledge and skills required for self-development and the development of the Republic.
PNC 22§111, 22§159, 22§181-184 further clarifies that:
- it is the MOE who is responsible for setting up the elementary and high schools and providing educational services
- the target population is children ages 6-17 and school attendance is compulsory
- the MOE is allowed to charter and oversee non-public elementary and high schools to serve this target population.