There are many allegations that discrimination against Papuans exists. Racial slurs derived from stereotypes are indeed part of discrimination. Achieving success as Papuans might sound doubtful to some. While this could happen in any part of the world, it is a nationwide belief that indigenous Papuans have been associated with battling discriminations. However, there are unseen realities that Papuans have been given special treatments compared to the rest of the Indonesians. This is indeed part of the problem-solving for the main problem, and the fix has been working.
Discrimination and Papua
The rest of the nation, or even world, may imagine Papua as a place different than theirs; underdeveloped with minimal technology as well as lack of equal opportunity for the Papuans. That might be true decades ago. Papua had been abandoned by the nation and it was hard back then—the price of commodities there are way higher than the rest of the nation. But that has stopped, and Papuans have been recovering for decades.
In truth, Papua has been developed and indigenous Papuans have not only been served equal opportunities, but they have also been given special treatments. Papuans are exposed to scholarships to various career options. Their chances are way heightened as well. Now, the question is, are indigenous Papuans really get discrimination that everyone believes so?
Special Treatment for Learning Opportunities
A lot of Papuans have been going abroad to get their degrees through fully funded scholarships. Scholarships from Otonomi Khusus Papua (Otsus/Papua Special Autonomy) and Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan (LPDP/Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education), to name a few. These scholarships provide a special path for Papua’s citizens to apply for, so they are not competing with the other cities in Indonesia. Papuans are given special chances to gain knowledge abroad, so any types of success they may achieve are actually reachable.
The scholarships given to Papuan have continued to develop and a priority program of the government. From the regulations, financial and students’ welfare, each year there are a lot of improvements to be made. Thousands of Papuans have received scholarships each year, whether it is for undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate program. Some universities in around 17 countries are involved in this program. Achieving success as Papuans does not stop there, because they may continue to pursue a further degree as long as they are ready.
In addition to that, the learning method and progress of Papuans kids are constantly evaluated. This is done to ensure that they have a good standard in education as well as ready for the work-life they’re going to face. Papuans can work wherever they desire, but statistically, most of them work in the private sector in Papua.
Good Careers Ahead
The special treatment for indigenous Papuans does not stop at pursuing a degree abroad. Papuans are also treated more especially than the rest of the nation through career options. This law called Otonomi Khusus or Special Autonomy was created as Papuans were abandoned. The creation of Special Autonomy Law was the beginning of privilege creation for indigenous Papuans.
The law proves that the opposite of discrimination is happening in Papua. Papua is specially treated and different from other cities, as the regional leaders, both at the provincial and district or city levels, must be Papuans. On the other hand, Papuans can become officials anywhere in Indonesia. They are presented by various careers options in different fields as well. From commander to the police chief, Papuans become officials in various government agencies.
Constant Evaluation and Improvement
While Papuans have been underprivileged due to the previous treatment they have received, this law has been a working solution that improved the welfare of indigenous Papuans. One thing for sure is that Papuans’ quality of life has been increasing for years. This is a program that is evaluated and developed constantly, minimizing more problems to ensure the best treatment is received by the people of Papua.
Problems are being fixed, namely, the financial problem that has indeed happened before. The number of students who received scholarships is matching the budget they have in the year. In 2017, this problem has been resolved, proving that they indeed pay attention to how the program works, and how it works in the best possible way.
The Special Autonomy Bureau has been working transparently with detailed plans. Not only they aim to maintain what has been working well, but the aim is also to increase the quantity as well as the quality of the scholarships. From the selection process to implementation, their rights and obligations are being fulfilled with regulations and funds from the Special Autonomy.
Looking at these things that have been happening in Papua, there are a lot of paths for achieving success as Papuans. While Papuans may be feeling discriminated by the other citizens from other cities, Papuans have been supported to be free from discrimination in order to be the people of tomorrow.