Melanesian cultural cooperation
Jayapura (ANTARA) – The intellectual figure of a native Papuan, Dr. James Modouw, MMT, has encouraged the Indonesian government to strengthen Melanesian culture through cultural cooperation with countries of all nations in the Pacific region.
“Cooperation in the field of education and culture between people of the Melanesian race in Indonesia and countries in the Pacific region, namely Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Salomon Island, New Caledonia, and Timor Leste must continue to be encouraged under the banner ‘Culture brings values to education; Education shapes / sharpens society & culture ‘, “he said in Jayapura, Monday.
Dr James Modouw MMT has been involved in education in Indonesia for a long time and Melanesian culture continues to encourage the people of the archipelago, especially those in Eastern Indonesia who have traditionally inhabited five provinces including Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara Provinces to preserve Melanesian culture.
Modouw said that cultural cooperation, especially Melanesian culture between Indonesia and countries in the Pacific, is a historical necessity because of the demands of the times.
This idea was conveyed by James Modouw at the Melanesian Culture seminar when the Melanesian Cultural Festival was held in Kupang on 27-29 October 2015 where at the festival he was assigned the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia at the time, Anies Baswedan, to be one of the seminar panelists.
James conveyed his ideas at the cultural seminar with the main topic “Cooperation On Education and Culture”. However education is inseparable from culture. Cultural values penetrate the teaching and learning process.
It should be noted, continued James, that the Melanesian cultural community is very rich with its cultural heritage which can be seen, among others, in the arts of dance, music, crafts (carving, weaving, painting) and also rich in folk stories.
This cultural treasure is an amazing force for a collaboration in various fields including scientific research and tourism development.
According to James, people in the five eastern provinces of the Republic of Indonesia have a Melanesian culture. The people of East Indonesia are culturally aligned with people in the countries of the Pacific region.
The encounter of the people of East Indonesia with people from countries in the Pacific region through the Melanesian cultural festival is a very important and strategic moment to introduce allied cultures as well as forge closer friendships with allied brothers and sisters.
Delegations from countries in the Pacific region who at that time participated in the Melanesian cultural festival in Kupang were Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Timor Leste and New Caledonia.
“However, Melanesian culture itself is centered in the Pacific and Eastern Indonesia, namely in the five eastern provinces of Indonesia,” said James Modouw.
James argues, Indonesia’s participation in every Melanesian Cultural Festival is very important because many Indonesian citizens still have an understanding that the Melanesian race is only in Papua, while outside Papua it is not the Melanesian race.
“Understanding like this can generate a spirit of discrimination that is detrimental to all of us,” he said.
The Melanesian race, he continued, should not be limited to physical appearance without scientific understanding based on archaeological, anthropological, linguistic, archaeological research and highly advanced molecular biology and showing the true spread of the Melanesian race in Indonesia.
“My presence and participation at the Melanesian Cultural Festival apart from wanting to declare my existence as a native son of the Melanesian race; also gives a message about the existence of Melanesians in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia as well as acknowledging the existence of Melanesians in Indonesia based on scientific studies,” he said.
This condition, according to James Modouw, socially and psychologically will strengthen the ties of friendship and brotherhood of the Melanesian people in Indonesia with the Melanesian people in other Pacific countries who are present as delegates from Pacific countries.
In particular, his party wants to send a message that the Melanesian race is also in eastern Indonesia, namely in the provinces of Papua, West Papua, NTT, Maluku and North Maluku.
The Melanesian Cultural Festival in Kupang five years ago was filled with various activities, including a book review “The Melanesian Diaspora in the Archipelago”, cultural meetings, cultural exhibitions from each country and cultural seminars.
The participants who took part in the Melanesian cultural festival finally understood that there were many similarities in the characters in the Melanesian culture that stretched from the islands of NTT, Maluku and Papua in the territory of Indonesia to the Fiji islands in the Pacific region.
Papuan intellectual James Modouw, who is very familiar in his interactions, has earned a doctoral academic degree in social science and is now a teaching staff at ISI Denpasar, Bali.
He served as Head of the Papua Provincial Education Office from 2006-2009. Previously, in 2001 he served as Deputy Head of the Irian Jaya Province Education and Teaching Office.
Since 2015 James has served as Expert Staff to the Minister of Education and Culture in the Field of Central and Regional Relations and as Chairman of the Teams for the Acceleration of Educational Development in Papua and West Papua Provinces.
The Acceleration Team was formed based on the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture Number 342 / P / 2019 concerning Teams for the Acceleration of Education Development in Papua and West Papua Provinces.
James Modouw’s educational success began with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Education, a Cross-Disciplinary Bachelor, a Masters in Engineering, a Doctorate in Social Sciences.
Presidential Instruction (Inpres) Number 9 of 2017 concerning the Acceleration of Development in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua. A number of programs that will be his focus are 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.
The next program is vocational education and development of contextual curricula in Papua and West Papua which are prepared based on local content and according to regional languages to assist teaching and learning activities.
Facilitation is also especially the contextual curriculum by implementing the 2013 Curriculum through child-centered learning.
Accelerating education in Papua and Papua has become a commitment of the central government which is manifested through the preparation of educational facilities and the disbursement of special autonomy funds for the education sector aimed at improving the quality of human resources of indigenous Papuans within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
Melanesian cultural cooperation by Muhsidin