Merauke, Jubi – The Archbishop of Merauke, Petrus Canisius Mandagi, revealed that education services in the interior of Papua's Merauke Regency were not running, partly because teachers did not carry out their duties properly.
Mandagi heard the people's complaints himself during his Canonical Visit to Kimaam and Ilwayab Districts two weeks ago.
"On May 16-20, 2022, I made an official visit to Kimaam and Ilwayab. I met and talked with the community, and saw many things," Mandagi told Jubi on Saturday, June 4, 2022.
He said the social, economic, educational, and health conditions in the interior of Merauke were very ironic given its rich natural resources.
"Education there was ignored. Where are the teachers? They live in Merauke, receive a salary, and do not teach. People say there are one or two teachers but they only manage fishing nets," said the Archbishop.
Mandagi criticized the Merauke Education Agency for rarely visiting and supervising schools in rural areas. "I will ask the Regent, how is the head of the service here? There is no supervision of the teachers," he said.
According to Mandagi, education is the key to a better future. He said we could not expect a future in Papua without proper and well-organized education.
"Education is destroyed here because of teacher shortages. Well, there are teachers, but they're lazy even though they receive a salary. How will the children be educated?" he criticism.
He further asked the Vicar General of the Merauke Archdiocese to list the teachers serving in Catholic foundation schools, and check whether the teachers were carrying out their duties or not. "If there are Catholic teachers who do not do their job, we will fire them. We need teachers who are truly devoted," he added.
Merauke Regent Romanus Mbaraka admitted that the teaching and learning process in villages had not been optimal yet. The Merauke Regency Administration has made efforts to improve education management and activate the control function of teaching and learning activities in rural areas.
"The community has always complained about this problem of teachers being absent. We will prepare an integrated control, as well as improve education management," said Mbaraka.
"Almost all elementary schools in the interior are not running as they should. The control function must be reapplied. District heads, village heads, and other leaders can work together to monitor schools in their area," said Mbaraka.