Lenna P. | Papuan Student
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has coordinated the plans for the repatriation of Papuan students receiving scholarships from a number of countries. His party has also held talks with related parties such as the Papua Province Resource Development Agency (BPSDM), the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs, to the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and related institutions.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received information from representatives in several countries regarding the repatriation plan. And to ensure that the repatriation process can run smoothly, we have held a joint meeting between the Papua BPSDM and several related representatives,” said the spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teuku Faizasyah,
Based on the presentation of the Papua Province BPSDM, the reason for the repatriation of some of the scholarship recipients was based on internal developments on their respective campuses abroad.
Faizasyah said, according to BPSDM Papua there are three criteria in deciding to repatriate students, one of which is the maximum study time limit of six years for S1.
“In addition, the value of study results, and student discipline. This is related to regular reports on learning progress to the Papuan regional government. This is taken into account in the decision to return home.”
Faizasyah said the Papua BPSDM’s decision to repatriate some of the students was in fact related to the progress of their studies. “So this is not at all like the issue that developed with the transfer of central funds to the regions. Based on the changes to the special law, it is no longer to the Provincial Government but to the Regency Government,” said Faizasyah.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia has facilitated a meeting between the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs and BPSDM Papua so that issues that are technical ministries can be heard by all parties. “Based on the meetings we have held, it is very clear that the repatriation is really related to the academic progress of the students,” he said.
Previously, the International Alliance of Papuan Students Abroad (IAPSAO) issued an open letter in January. They say that changing funding under the new autonomy law will have a crippling impact on education.
IAPSAO urges the central government to return 10 percent of the special autonomy funds (otsus) for the education sector to the Papua Provincial Government. According to them, this step must be carried out for the sake of the continuity and sustainability of Papua’s human resource development policies.
According to the Asia Pacific Report website, around 125 Papuan scholarship recipients were ordered to return home. They consist of 41 students in New Zealand, and 84 in the US.