West Papua Language Diversity: For Language Preservation

West Papua

Indeed, there are challenges to preserving regional languages, one of which is the regional language of West Papua.

However, acquaintance with local culture and language can be made in various exciting ways, such as revitalizing and using language in literary works to make them more beautiful.

Challenges and Opportunities for Preserving the West Papua Language

West Papua consists of various tribes and cultures that should not become extinct. Therefore, it is crucial to introduce the culture and language from an early age.

Many indigenous people of West Papua have forgotten their local language. Usually, only hinterland people use the local language because they don’t know other languages.

Here are some challenges and opportunities for preserving the West Papua Language:

1. Encouraging the Preservation of Regional Languages

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology encourages local governments and communities to preserve regional languages in West Papua.

Head of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Language Development and Fostering Agency E Aminudin Aziz said,

Based on a UNESCO report, every two weeks, one regional language in the world experiences extinction.

Aminudin added that the reason was that the language was no longer used. Responding to various challenges in preserving regional languages,

He said he had discussions with the local government through the education offices.

This share responsibility is implemented through the Regional Language Revitalization Coordination Meeting in 2023.

This activity is in Sorong Regency, Southwest Papua Province, by one of the Language Agency specialized units, the Papua Province Language Center.

The RBD program goes through three phases. The first stage is the survey and coordination stage, the learning and training stage, and the performance stage.

2. Revitalizing Language

The Head of the Papua Language Center, Sukardi Gau, said through the 17th Freedom to Learn policy, there will be a revitalization of seven regional languages in Papua in 2022.

In 2023, Papua will add two regional languages to revitalize the Hatam language in Manokwari and Moi language in Sorong Regency.

Many people consider that technological advances make young people embarrassed to use local languages, especially Moi, in social communication.

The implementation of West Papua regional language preservation needs the support of all stakeholders, starting from the provincial and regional governments and the district/city regional government.

It also needs the support of traditional and cultural stakeholders, clergy, artists, academics, school principals, school supervisors, teachers, literacy activists, practitioners, parents, and children.

3. Through an Interesting and Not Boring School

Several regional languages are endangere due to many factors. One of them is the reduce number of speakers.

For this reason, since 2021, the Language Agency has made various efforts to preserve endangered local languages.

One of the strategies for preserving the local language is through schools that are package in an exciting and not boring way.

In this case, the Language Agency allows students to learn local languages by writing poetry, fairy tales, short stories, regional scripts, speeches, and stand-up comedy.

This change in program strategy to preserve regional languages has received good responses from the community and local government.

It is because the revitalization of regional languages is an essential step in efforts to protect speech and literature.

4. Adopt the Principle of Flexibility

Meanwhile, for the speaking community, the Ministry of Education and Culture will intensively involve families, maestros,

And activists to protect language and literature in preparing regional language learning models.

The Ministry of Education and Culture will also train primary and local language teachers to adopt student-centered flexibility, creativity, innovation, and fun principles.

It is to adapt the learning model according to the conditions of each school, as well as build creativity through language and literature workshops.

Preserving the local language is essential, and don’t let the local language become extinct, likewise with the regional language of West Papua. It is because the regional language is the identity of the nation.