Educational Issues in Papua

THERE ARE SEVERAL ISSUES THAT THE GOVERNMENT MUST ADDRESS IN RELATION TO EDUCATIONAL SERVICES IN PAPUA, SUCH AS; LACK OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS IN REMOTE AREAS, HIGH ILLITERACY AND ILLITERATES, LIMITED AVAILABILITY OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE, LOW AVERAGE OF SCHOOL DURATION, AND INEQUALITIES IN EDUCATORS’ BACKGROUNDS.

The shortage of elementary school teachers in inner and remote areas has resulted in the inability of the learning process to proceed properly. There are still many elementary schools in remote and isolated areas where there are no principals and teacher’s home, hence many principals and teachers leave their duties and result in high rates of principal and teacher absentee on assignment.

The minimum number of teachers in Papua is also very alarming. And as we know, teachers play an important role in education, whether or not the success or failure of education is essentially in the hands of teachers. Teachers have strategic roles in fostering students to become smart, intelligent, skilled, moral, and knowledgeable in accordance with the goals of national education.

The High Number of Illiteracy and Illiterates
The problem of education in Papua is also the high number of illiteracy and illiterates. The figure on illiteracy or illiterate population aged 15 - 59 years in Papua has reached 675,253 from 1,876,746 inhabitants.

2.1.3 Limited Availability of School Buildings and School Infrastructure
Looking at the educational problem in Papua, the problem really lies in the limited availability of school buildings and infrastructure in a number of villages scattered in Papua and the lack of educators so a lot of Papuan children cannot get education.

2.1.4 The Low Average of School Duration
This is due to lack of adequate facilities and faculties. Children aged 7-12 years and 13-15 years, who should be in elementary school (SD), did not get the chance to experience elementary education. This is due to the limited availability of school buildings in a number of villages scattered in mountains and valleys that do not have basic educational infrastructures. As a result, 7-12 and 13-15 year olds who were supposed to be in primary school were unable to enjoy it resulting in the low achievement of Primary Participation Rate and Junior High School Participation Rate in some districts, which has an impact on the low rate of school duration and literacy rate in Papua as an indicator of the success of educational development in Indonesia.

Inequalities in the Background of Educators
The distribution and placement of teachers in Papua is still considered uneven. Most teachers are in urban areas, while there are still many teacher shortages in isolated suburbs. The disparity of teacher distribution is also expected to trigger inequalities in the background of educators. Based on the 2014 Education Basic data of the Office of Education and Culture, it is known that there are 14,629 teachers in Papua province who are not qualified because they still have diplomas from the Teacher Education School (which was closed in the 1990s) and High School (SMA) and its equivalent. In percentage, there are 60-68 percent of teachers who need additional education. The inequalities in the background of educators will affect the quality of Papuan education. One of the areas pointing to this educational problem is Biak Regency, which reportedly experienced a low trend in reading ability. Most of the elementary school (SD) students from grade one to grade three in that area is still unable to read.

Tabloid West Papua
No. 004 Tahun I - 15 Februari - 14 Maret 2017

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