If we are talking about education in Indonesia, we cannot overlook the effort from Indonesian education figures such as Ki Hadjar Dewantara, R.A. Kartini and other figures who fight for better education access and freedom in Indonesia. This effort in turn is realized into a national education program called 9 years mandatory education program, and now is developed into a 12 years program.
The same program is run in West Papua. In the constitution (Undang-undang) no. 12 year 2001 about special regional autonomy of Papua article 56 about Education chapter 1: “Pemerintah Provinsi Papua bertanggung jawab terhadap penyelenggaraan pendidikan pada semua jalur, jenjang pendidikan (The Papuan Provincial Government is responsible for providing education at all levels of education). Chapter 3: setiap penduduk Provinsi Papua berhak memperoleh pendidikan yang bermutu, sampai pada tingkat pendidikan menengah dengan beban masyarakat yang serendah-rendahnya (Every citizen of Papua Province has the right to obtain quality education, up to the level of secondary education with the lowest possible burden on society)”.
The reason this constitution is passed is in order to give better access for Papuans about higher education and to evenly distribute the quality of average educational level in West Papua. Indonesian government through the Ministry of Culture and Education (Kemendikbud) launched Afirmasi Pendidikan Menengah (ADEM) and Afirmasi Pendidikan Tinggi (ADIK).
These programs were recently launched and were not known very well, but still received a good appreciation and response from the people of West Papua. Today we are going to discuss these programs.
Equal opportunity and access to education in West Papua through ADEM Program
According to Function Coordinator of Education Participants, Directorate of People Education and Special Education (PMPK), Rika Rismayanto stated that through ADEM Programs, West Papua and Papua Peoples have received the benefit and given a good result for the quality and accessibility of good educational level in Indonesia.
ADEM Programs are tailored for High School students who are receiving top 10 of their class, and eligible to be granted ADEM scholarships. These students will go to rigorous tests and selection to be an awardee of ADEM scholarship.
By registering through this program, the students who are getting a difficult access to better higher education are given a chance to do so. The Indonesian government funds Rp. 104,4 Billion for this program. These funds are covering education facilities, students’ accommodations, health insurance, and the students are also getting training for civil defense.
During the program, the students will be enrolled to top schools with good accreditations in their program. Not only that, the students will be admitted to talent & interests examination in sports and academics.
By doing so, the enrolled students will gain more confidence and receive better education to attempt for university enrollments in the best universities in Indonesia.
Continuing to the best universities in Indonesia through ADIK Program
For the students who have received ADEM scholarship during High School or those who have not, they are eligible to enroll for ADIK scholarship program.
The ADIK program is granted for the top students of West Papua to continue their studies in the best universities in Indonesia. These students will receive grants to enroll in the best universities in Java and Bali.
By entering the ADIK and ADEM scholarship program, West Papua will have a chance to have better human resources by gaining access to higher education and creating a positive impact in the society. For instance, by having a better higher education, the people in West Papua can improve their tourism sector in order to provide a better quality in their tourism sector, nationally or even internationally, or in their cultural sector to preserve their long lasting heritage. If this goal is achieved, it is hoped to further improve the economic sector of West Papua.
Strictly speaking, the access for higher education is a right for each and every person, including those who settled in 3T (terdepan, terluar, dan tertinggal) areas or frontier, isolated, outskirt regions, one of which is including Papua and West Papua. For this reason, the students of Papua and West Papua hope to follow ADEM and ADIK education programs, whether recommended by the local government or privately.