The development of quality education is the dream of all nations. Those nations include West papua, which wants to realize the civilization of a moral and dignified country through education.
But education is often overlooked. This condition includes areas in Indonesia’s frontier, underdeveloped, remote and outermost regions.
East and West Inequality
In Indonesia, it is very visible and can even be proven that inequality between the East and West regions occurs in all fields.
There is no change despite regional autonomy and regional expansion.
Inequality occurs as a result of status quo development and policies. No change in economic structure or breakthrough development by the government characterizes it.
The government needs a breakthrough in the education sector to overcome the challenges and find solutions to education problems in West papua,
Especially if the government want to overcome the inequality in eastern and western Indonesia.
Papua is one of them. In terms of education, Papua is often in the public spotlight for the “absence” of the state in providing unequal, quality and equitable education.
It is undeniable that Papua’s geographical location and terrain are very difficult, causing the development and growth of education not to be done optimally.
However, that does not mean it is impossible. The important thing is how to organize the system well and involve every element to jointly intervene and synergize in improving education in West papua.
The Big Challenges of Education
1. Geographical Conditions of Papua
First, the education areas in Papua are mostly on the outermost and most remote lines. Naturally, education there is more likely to be integrate with traditional local culture.
For this reason, teaching methods in Papua must focus on the concept of general nature. Education must be organize and adjust to the partial context that exists there.
It should not necessarily follow or apply the current education curriculum, let alone the 2013 Curriculum. This fact is very contrary to the theory that we have understood together.
The reality is that the government seems to “force” the new curriculum without first evaluating the quality or uniqueness of each region in the Indonesian hemisphere.
2. The Urgency of Teachers West Papua
Second, it refers to the issue of teachers who are unevenly distribute throughout Papua. The facts show that many schools in remote areas still need teachers.
For example, many schools have left the business in the Central Highlands of Papua due to a need for teachers.
So what can we expect in education in remote areas like Papua if the teachers are unavailable?
In conclusion, can quality and equitable education be achieve if educators are not well distribute?
In addition to the availability in quantity, the problem of educators is also in their quality.
The progress of our education is see in the presence of teachers and their quality in conducting teaching and learning activities in the classroom.
The quality of education is no longer pegged to the greatness of a curriculum but to how to produce capable, creative and superior teachers.
Logically, an incompetent teacher needs to implement a better curriculum.
But, no matter how difficult the curriculum is, if our teachers are competent, then the implementation can be realize well. In essence, it is the teachers who must be equipped first.
3. Negative Stigma of the Papua Region
Third is the negative stigma that is still developing in the perception of our society today that Papua and West papua are often identify as areas of conflict, primitive and prone to various diseases.
For these various reasons, many people finally discourage the intention to serve or visit. This stereotype is pervasive and deeply rooted in the perception of many people.
Of course, changing this image is challenging. All parties must work together, including the media, the community and the government.
Even if the truth of this stigma exists, it does not mean we become “allergic” and have a heavy heart toward building education in Papua.
The above few issues are obstacles to developing education in West Papua.
Without excluding the real actions taken by the government so far, the government needs to improve its performance and programs to enhance the quality of education in West Papua.