Quality Education for Papuan People: A Resolution to Build Papua

Education for Papuan People
Education for Papuan People

The Republic of Indonesia struggles for providing a good or even better quality education for their people, including the education for Papuan people. The number of schools and colleges in the land of Papua gradually increased since 1962. The Cendrawasih University was then built in 1963.

When Special Autonomy Law in Papua began in 2001, it was meant to solve the political issues and the daily challenges experienced by the Papuans. A dozen years later, most of the people of Papuan still live in misery: poverty, low rate of life expectancy, also the highest cases of malnutrition, HIV, and tuberculosis. If proper education is provided in Papua, the quality of the youth will increase and the land won’t suffer too much.

Education Services in Papua

Education for Papuan People
Education Services

Education for Papuan people is supported by the facilities. The good educational facilities such as a good school mostly provided in big cities like Jayapura, Manokwari, and Sorong. Diverse ethnic group-many people across the nation- gather, live, and stay in these cities, as well as the middle class and well-educated Papuans.

While in the other provinces of Papua and West Papua, particularly the rural areas, are left behind with limited education facilities. Most indigenous people of Papua prefer to live in rural areas than the city due to the comfortable living close to nature as well as working preferences like fishing or hunting.

Challenges of Education for Papuan people

Education for Papuan People
Challenge of Education

Geography is only one of the challenges to building a stronger, better education in Papua. A lot of highlands there are quite challenging to reach; some of them are even reachable only by airplanes. Of course, the expenses become the next issue. The absence of infrastructure is also slowing the progress.

The human resources are just another challenge. Data from SMERU Research Institute in 2017 show that 1 out of 3 teachers in Papua absent to work, forcing another teacher to replace. If so, one teacher can teach 50 students or more, up to 3 classes. Unfortunately, the Indonesia government doesn’t have tools to monitor transparency.

While the next challenge to build a good quality education for Papuan people is the lack of support from the community, especially in rural areas. Few parents may force their daughters to marry at a young age because it is costly to take them to school. Some children even work to help their parents.

The Support of Government of Indonesia

Education for Papuan People
Support Government

To build a better education for Papuan people, the government of Indonesia shows their support in every aspect. Here are some of their programs:

  1. Adik and Adem Programs

Previously in 2012, the government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education and the Ministry of Home Affairs provided “free” education specifically for young native Papuans to pursue secondary and higher education through Adem (Pendidikan menengah) and Adik (Pendidikan tinggi) program.

  1. Papuan Education Acceleration Team

The Ministry of Education and Culture has inaugurated the Secretariat for the Acceleration of Education Development in Papua and West Papua at the Papua Education Quality Assurance Agency (LPMP) office, Jayapura.

One prominent program that will be the focus to increase the quality of education for Papuan people is the provision of one roof boarding schools to increase school enrollment rates. In the last five years, the government has built 34 junior high schools (SMP) with boarding patterns according to the geographical conditions of each region.

  1. President Joko Widodo Provide 1000 Vacancies in State-owned Corporation (BUMN)

Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), there were 174,338 Papuan graduates in 2018. Of that number, 11,160 people—including unemployed—and 163,178 scholars from Papua are already working.

There are still more than 16 thousand university graduates, including scholars in Papua and West Papua, who are unemployed. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) promised that 1,000 Papuan scholars would be accepted to work in BUMN and private companies.

The Best State and Private Universities in Papua

Education for Papuan People

The following is a list of some of the best state and private universities as the facilities of education for Papuan people. The guidance of these universities is under the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education.

  • Universitas Cendrawasih (UNCEN) in Jayapura: Jl Camp Wolker
  • STISIPOL Yaleka Maro: Jalan TMP Polder No 23, Merauke
  • Universitas Sains & Teknologi in Jayapura: Jl Raya Sentani Padang Bulan Abepura
  • Universitas Musamus in Merauke: Jl. Kamizaun Mopah Lama
  • STK ST. YAKOBUS Merauke: Jl. Missi II Merauke, Merauke
  • Akademi Pariwisata (AKPAR) 45 in Jayapura: Jl Ferry Kelapa Dua Entrop
  • Universitas YAPIS Papua in Jayapura: Jl Sam Ratulangi No 11
  • Universitas Ottow Geissler: Jl. T. Nyak Adam Kamil No. 116/121, Jayapura


Advancing the quality of education for Papuan people is the resolution to build Papua. The solutions could be: cover the shortage of teaching staff and train the locals with a higher functional level to write and read in their area as assistant teachers.