Nabire, Jubi – Teachers and students from the Titigi Catholic Education and School Foundation Elementary (SD YPPK Titigi) protested at the Intan Jaya Regent's Office in Sugapa, the capital of Intan Jaya, Central Papua Province, on Tuesday (14/11/2023).
They voiced their concerns over safety following an incident where one of their students was injured by an explosive device placed on the road in Titigi on November 9, 2023.
Representing the Intan Jaya Regional Generation Care Forum, teachers and students from YPPK Titigi Elementary School, led by Yohanes Weya, expressed their fears of a recurrence of the incident involving their student, Misana Hasinijau (10). Misana sustained severe leg injuries after encountering an explosive on the road between SD YPPK Titigi and her home.
The explosive device was discovered near the school, which sits only about 150 meters from Misana Hasinijau's residence. Currently receiving treatment at the Timika Regional General Hospital in Mimika Regency, Misana's situation prompted the demonstration.
Yohanes clarified that the protest aimed to secure assurances for the safety of teachers and students at SD YPPK Titigi. He cited constitutional rights, specifically Article 31 (1) and Article 28C (1) of the 1945 Constitution, which guarantee every citizen's right to education, personal development, and welfare.
Highlighting the gravity of finding explosives close to YPPK Titigi Elementary School, Yohanes emphasized the government's responsibility in ensuring the safety of children for the sake of the country's future. He expressed concern over the absence of state presence in the community under such circumstances.
Emphasizing the essence of education and educational institutions, he further urged the withdrawal of troops stationed in Titigi, claiming their presence disrupted students. He reiterated the constitutional right to education for all citizens, demanding an obstruction-free learning environment. He also emphasized the teachers' unease regarding the students' security.
Concerned about the students' safety, Yohanes stressed the desire for an educational environment free from disturbances, free from gunshots from either the security forces or the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).
Yohanes announced the suspension of teaching and learning activities at YPPK Elementary School until receiving satisfactory answers and guarantees from the government and security forces. (*)