Alfreds P. | Papuan Observer
Special Autonomy or Special Autonomy in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua has provided many benefits for the progress of the Papuan people themselves, especially the younger generation who thanks to Otsus funds can protect higher education, not only in the country but also abroad.
Otsus has been going on for 20 years. During that period, the government has transferred Rp138.65 trillion in Special Autonomy funds. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said the use of special autonomy funds in 2019 in Papua for the education sector amounted to 25.3 percent of the special autonomy funds received amounting to Rp8.67 trillion. Meanwhile, in West Papua, it was 27.1 percent of the special autonomy budget of Rp. 3.9 trillion.
“In the education sector, the special autonomy funds are used for scholarships for Papuan students and students through the Special Autonomy Affirmation Scholarship Program.”
According to the records of the Papuan Provincial Government (Pemprov), from 2009 to 2020 as many as 1,051 Papuan students and students passed the Special Autonomy Affirmation Scholarship Program. Of that number, more than a thousand Papuan students graduated from universities both at home and abroad.
Papuan students themselves are very enthusiastic about the scholarship program. Currently, there are 1,236 Papuan students actively studying at universities at home and abroad which are financed from the Special Autonomy fund.
Previously in September 2020, the Papua Provincial Government announced that 112 native Papuan doctors had passed the administration of the 2020 Special Autonomy Affirmation Specialist Doctor Scholarship program.
Of the 112 native Papuan doctors who graduated, most of them worked in Jayapura City, Lanny Jaya Regency, Biak Numfor, Waropen, Yapen Islands, Mimika, Puncak, Boven Digoel, Nabire, Mamberamo Raya, Merauke, Intan Jaya, Sarmi, Bintang Mountains, Paniai, Dogiyai, Supiori, Jayawijaya, Teluk Bintuni Regency and the City, and Sorong Regency.
These doctors choose specialist programs in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinical Nutrition, Neurology, Internal Medicine, Clinical Pathology, Neurosurgery, Radiology, Pediatrics. There are also Heart and Vascular Diseases Specialists, Pulmonology and Respiration (Lung Specialists), Orthopedics and Traumatology, Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Dermatology and Venereology, Psychiatry, Anesthesiology, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Clinical Microbiology, and Physical Medicine. and Rehabilitation.
In May 2021, the Provincial Government of Papua sent 30 superior Papuan students (OAP) to study in the United States. They are special autonomy scholarship recipients.
Later these Papuan students will study at several well-known universities in the US, including The Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, The University Of Kansas, Auburn University and Louisiana State University.
This note from the Papua Provincial Government explains directly the benefits of the special autonomy scholarship for OAP. Call it the Millennial Special Staff (Staffsus) of the President of the Republic of Indonesia and CEO of the NGO Kitong Bisa Foundation, Billy Mambrasar. Billy, a native of Papua, said that the Papuan Special Autonomy (Otsus) program was very important for the indigenous Papuans.
According to Billy, the special autonomy policy has made the younger generation of Papuans more educated. Thus have a higher chance of sucess or ideals.