Education as one of the essential things in life must be noticed of any nation, either by government or the society itself. It is because their people’s education can identify the better life from the nation.
Regarding that needs, Indonesia also has to consider people’s education there, from Sabang to Merauke. It is related to Indonesia’s provinces that need the government’s attention about academics or education.
West Papua has become one of the provinces that need attention from the government. Some of the reasons for this province’s educational backwardness include a lack of educational infrastructure and teacher educators.
Besides, the problem is also about communication access. As a result, the government is supposed to be able to deal with this issue.
Issues found in the academics of West Papua
People in that province do not only receive the issues belonging to transportation or communication access. On the other hand, those people face some issues related to the academics or education field.
Here are some issues faced by West Papuan people in the field of education:
Shortage of teachers
Because of a shortage of teachers, notably at the elementary and secondary levels in West Papua, not all school-aged children attended. With limited success, the Indonesian government recruited teachers from West Papua and other parts of Indonesia.
It was widespread for military and police personnel stationed in remote areas to provide technical assistance by teaching schools.
Teachers frequently live in houses owned by locals, and it is difficult for teachers to bring their families to the remote region. Due to a lack of Puskesmas and medical personnel, some highland areas of the province have no public assistance.
Because of traditional customs and the students’ low level of basic competence, the national curriculum is difficult to implement in West Papua. Students from various ethnic and regional backgrounds receive the same school curriculum.
Lack of Student Motivation
The traditional agriculture sector employs the vast majority of West Papua‘s population. They grow vegetables or staple foods for their consumption, with some surplus sold in the traditional market.
In rural areas, it is common for students to assist their parents in finding food, growing crops, hunting, and fishing.
Schools in rural areas do not open during the harvest season because no students can attend because they are needed to help their family members.
Government Exertion to Improve Academics in West Papua
Concerning those issues, the government should make some exertion in the province, as the list below:
Investing education in primary school and junior high school
The implications of education, in particular, appear to be more advantageous to functionaries and members of parliament.
The vast majority of the education budget is spent on improving the human resources of local government officials and legislators.
To lay a solid educational foundation, local governments should provide adequate school facilities such as libraries. Many education systems do not currently have libraries. The lack of libraries contributes to students’ lack of motivation to read.
Investing education in the institution
The university seems to be unable to transfer lecturers to pursue Master’s or Doctorate degrees. Some lecturers have only finished their undergraduate studies.
Furthermore, public schools supported by the local government budget have provided some training to teachers to improve their capacity to educate.
Investing education in teachers
A critical issue in West Papua has been a lack of teachers in remote areas. This issue can be resolved if the local government focuses on improving resources for primary and secondary school teachers.
As a result, local governments should provide scholarships for competent indigenous students to pursue advanced certificates and degrees at school or university.
Investing education in the future curriculum
The national educational curriculum was not created with the local context in mind. As a result, the local curriculum should be used, focusing on real-world activities such as an orientation program encompassing linking and matching.
Because agriculture employs most people in West Papua, the education curriculum should focus on this industry.
Many aspects in the province should support those exertions from the government for better education or academics of West Papua. It aims to create a better life in Papua Island as many people wish.