Jayapura, Jubi – Founder of Papua Language Institute Samuel Tabuni said education in Papua especially in elementary school must be strengthened by implementing a contextual Papuan culture-based learning curriculum.
"It is indeed challenging because Papua consists of many tribes. However, I think we can make a contextual curriculum design," Tabuni told Jubi in Jayapura City on Saturday, November 27, 2022.
"Education should not only make us smart but also love the identity that is inherent in each of us, Papuans. What kind of people do we want to be? If we want to be Papuans in the Republic of Indonesia, first we must know who we are," he said.
Tabuni said the right education would make Papuans able to make the right decisions, including in efforts to develop Papua.
"We cannot blame Jakarta for the underdevelopment of the education sector in Papua. Jakarta actually needs to be helped by us who were born and live in this land. I hope that the education that we build together on this land can give birth to experts in various fields so that we can help the government build the land of Papua," he said.
Tabuni, who is also the founder of the Papua International University, said the government must keep raising parents' awareness that education was important. It must create programs or innovations to convince parents to send their children to school.
"I think the government and all parties must campaign for education, and it should not stop in cities. It must reach villages throughout Papua," he said.
Maiton Gurik, the deputy of the Peace Literacy Institute of Indonesia in Papua, said that in Papua, with hundreds of tribes and languages, it was necessary to encourage contextual education. "We cannot apply the Javanese education system in Papua because it is not relevant," he said.
Gurik said the implementation of a culture-based contextual learning curriculum required a special regional regulation made by the Papua Legislative Council (DPRP).
"I think we have a great opportunity to realize contextualized education through the Special Autonomy. For example, the language subject, we often heard 'This is Budi'. Budi is not a common name in Papua, we can replace it with 'This is Marianus' or 'This is Matthew' because those names do exist in Papua. The Education Office and the DPRP must develop a contextual education in a policy as mandated by Papua's Special Autonomy already," he said. (*)