West Papua Education
We are living amidst what is potentially one of the greatest threats in our lifetime to global education, a gigantic educational crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing millions Indonesian students children and youth to be out of traditional schooling and they have to study through online learning.
Papua and West Papua provinces experienced more problems than other provinces due to limitation of infrastructure in communications. Another problem in the cost of online learning has burdened parents of the students. Thanks to quick response from national and local government to provide students with financial support specifically for mobile phone credit.
In the last several months, West Papuan students participated in an online teaching and learning process in Jayapura City, Papua. They seemed to focus on the cell phones they were holding, even though their learning locations were far from comfortable.
Papuan students were forced to take part in online learning by sitting on a any places like wooden trunk in a yard outside the house, or somewhere they feel comfortable. As is well known, internet access and signal problems are still a major obstacle to online learning for students living in remote areas.
Most school in Papuan and West Papuan cities require students to wear uniforms when taking online lessons. However, those who don’t have uniforms are allowed to wear t-shirt. Kompas newspaper for example published the stories of Yonas Kedeikoto (15 years old), Jekson Pigome (12 years old), ad Hagar Kegiye (12 years old).
Yonas Kedeikoto (15) and Jekson Pigome (12) attended an online teaching and learning process in Jayapura City, Papua, Monday (10/8/2020). Both of them seemed to focus on the cell phones they were holding, even though their learning locations were far from comfortable. Yonas and Jekson were forced to take part in online learning by sitting on a wooden trunk in a yard outside the house.
The story of Hagar Kegiye (12) who had to do schoolwork at an internet service kiosk in Jayapura City, Papua. When met on Sunday (9/8/2020), this VI grade student of SD Inpres Bhayangkara, North Jayapura admitted that she did not have an internet quota on her cell phone. This condition required him to rent internet services at one of the kiosks around his residence.
The mission of all education systems is the same. It is to overcome the learning crisis we were already living and respond to the pandemic we are all facing. The challenge today for West Papua education system is to reduce as much as possible the negative impact this pandemic.