Achmad Faisal |Master’s Degree of Law Student
“The Papua Special Autonomy Scholarship really helps Papuan children continue their studies at various universities at home and abroad”
President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo’s commitment to advancing Papua is no joke. One of them is with the special autonomy fund (Otsus) for the Provinces of Papua and West Papua.
In the 2021 Draft State Revenue and Expenditure Budget (RAPBN 2021), the Papua and West Papua provinces special autonomy funds are recorded at IDR 7.8 trillion. This is a fantastic amount because it has increased from the 2020 Revised State Budget, which is IDR 7.6 trillion.
One of the special autonomy funds is budgeted for the education sector. The goal is to improve human resources in Papua and West Papua so that they are highly competitive. Of the amount available for education, including special autonomy scholarships for children of Papua and West Papua. The scholarship can be used for education at home in Indonesia and abroad.
Earlier this October, the Papua Provincial Government announced that 100 Papuan students who completed Senior High School (SMA) were the recipients of the 2020 Special Autonomy Scholarship. They were previously selected in the Papuan Superior Student program. They will study at home and abroad with special autonomy scholarships in Papua.
Previously, in June 2020, as many as 50 native Papuan students from the Papua Special Autonomy scholarship program who were going to study at a number of US universities, were undergoing an “online summer term” program. Even though Covid-19 is currently endemic, the Papua Provincial Government’s commitment to improving and developing the human resources of indigenous Papuan children through education continues to be encouraged.
In 2020, the Papua Provincial Government is collaborating with eight universities in America and England to prepare indigenous Papuan students who receive Special Autonomy scholarships before studying abroad. Cooperation in the form of an international class in Papua involving two institutes, namely the Papua Language Institute (PLI) in Wamena and the Papua Hope Language Institute (PHLI) in Sentani.
Of the eight universities that are collaborating partners, seven of them are in America, namely University of Rhode Island, Corban University, California Baptist University, Moody Aviation, Seattle Pacific University, Multnomah University and Highline College. Meanwhile, one other university is the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, England.
The step of the Indonesian government with the Papua Special Autonomy scholarship is very noble. The government has clearly proven that it does not defeat the province at the eastern tip of Indonesia. Papuan human resources are prepared in such a way so that Papua can progress and is no longer isolated.
The government believes that native Papuans Youth have high intelligence. They are the best who will make the Indonesian nation proud. And it is proven. Many Papuan students who receive the Papua Special Autonomy scholarship have made achievements abroad.
Jane Christine Mebri and Ilse Debora Abisay, both of them successfully completed their studies in the United States and are ready to serve in Papua.
Jane Christine Mebri completed her undergraduate studies at Iowa State University in the United States, a Mathematics study program. Then she went on to pursue a master’s program at Western Michigan University in applied mathematics and computing.
Meanwhile, Ilse Debora Abisay holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Montana and will continue his master’s studies in science and chemistry courses at Western Michigan University.
Jane Christine’s parents, Yustina Yaboisembut, representing mothers and Papuan parents expressed their appreciation and prayer support to the Governor and Deputy Governor of Papua Lukas Enembe, and Klemen Tinal who have facilitated thousands of Papuan children studying at various universities abroad and domestic in Indonesia. They are grateful for the special autonomy scholarship.
Mama Yustina said, that most of the Papuan children who received scholarships came from underprivileged families. So that the Papua Special Autonomy scholarship is very helpful for Papuan children to continue their studies at various universities at home and abroad.
Obviously not, the Indonesian government’s attention to Papua is not an empty barrel and a figment. The Papua Special Autonomy scholarship program has led thousands of Papuan children to become smart so they can build a better papua land in all aspects of life. ()