In 2013 UGM’s Papua Task Force in collaboration with the Centre for Capacity Development and Cooperation at Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, and the local government of Puncak regency in Papua initiated Pioneer Teachers programme.
As many as 33 teacher were dispatched to several schools in Puncak, Papua. Six years later, as many as 582 teachers joining the Teachers for Remote Areas movement had been dispatched to 3 regencies in Papua, namely Puncak, Intan Jaya, and Mappi.
“The programme is to respond to the low quality of education in Papua due to the lack of teachers as well as facilities,” said chairman of the task force, Drs. Bambang Purwoko, M.A., Kamis (5/9).
He explained the programme was a real contribution from UGM to improve the human resource quality among the Papuan community. The Teachers for Remote Areas group is expected to advance education in Papua and improve the capacity of the local teachers.
Bambang added the teachers had been selected from across Indonesia. They had to have a strong commitment to educate the children in isolated areas of Papua in a contract scheme that lasted for 2 years.
Before the assignment, the teachers ought to do training for 7 days related to socio-cultural and education condition in the area. This was also to improve the team’s capacity, survivability, and social awareness.
“The presence of the teachers in those areas has been warmly welcomed by the local community and school children. The movement has indeed awakened the spirit of learning among them, and improved availability, accessability, and quality of education for the people of Papua,” he said.
The movement also gave positive impacts to the regional governments. For example, according to BPS, Human Development Index year 2016 in Puncak was 39.96 percent, increasing by 2.23 percent from 2013. Literacy also increased by 4.65 percent in 2013 to 2016. Besides, school expectancy increased from 4.04 in 2013 to 4.48 in 2016. Similar impacts have been felt by the Mappi regency that received 446 teachers.
“Let’s build Papua with love,” Bambang concluded.