Robert Santoso | Papuan Observer
The sustainability of the Special Autonomy Program (Otsus) has received public appreciation. Apart from improving infrastructure, Otsus has proven to be able to improve the quality of education for the Papuan people.
The right to education is something that must be pursued, the government’s concern for education is proven by the existence of the Smart Indonesia Card and the College Card, which allows anyone to get a decent education.
Meanwhile, specifically for the Papua region, the government has disbursed Otsus (Special Autonomy) funds, where this policy has succeeded in making young Papuans receive education up to university level.
A native Papuan woman was lucky to be one of the first dozen people sent to Australia to study for an undergraduate degree at the expense of the local government.
Asna Kristina Krebu, a native Papuan born to a couple who works as an elementary school educator in Dosay village, West Sentani District, Jayapura Regency.
Asna admitted that without the Special Autonomy funds, she would never have had the opportunity to receive higher education, because she grew up in a family where both parents were only elementary school teachers. So it is impossible to study abroad at their own expense.
“The Special Autonomy Fund itself is a grant from the central government to the provincial governments of Papua and West Papua which have the status of special autonomy”
It was originally mandated in Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Law Number 35 of 2008 to also cover the Province of West Papua.
Twenty years since the implementation of Otsus Papua, the law has undergone another revision which is now Law Number 2 of 2021. The budget allocation for Otsus Papua and West Papua is set at IDR 8.5 trillion in the 2022 State Revenue and Expenditure Draft (RAPBN).
The priority areas of the Special Autonomy Fund provide for the basic needs of education, health and economic empowerment of the people. Recently, the central government has also made general allocations, among others, for the development and improvement of the welfare of indigenous Papuans and strengthening customary institutions.
In its implementation in the field of education, the special grant funds were used, among other things, to finance the tuition of Papuan children such as Tina.
On a different occasion, Thomas Sapanfo as the deputy of the Asmat Regent considered that Otsus had a positive impact. Because apart from providing scholarships for Papuan sons, there is a special program for those who have graduated from high school. Youths can enlist in the army, and all costs from recruitment to training are assisted by Otsus. This policy, of course, supports native Papuans to become guardians of the NKRI territory.
According to Thomas, there should be socialization about the success of the Special Autonomy program. The program is not only broadcast in Papua, but also throughout Indonesia. So that all the people will know that this program has been successful, and they will support the extension of Otsus. Because it has been proven to advance Papua in various fields.
Socialization about the success of Otsus is very necessary, because at this time there are people who reject the Otsus policy, for whatever reason, but their existence is quite disturbing. So they must be approached and nurtured, so that they know that Otsus has a positive impact in Papua and finally agree to agree to the extension of this program.
Otsus is an opportunity for the government and the people of Cenderawasih Earth to accelerate development processes in various fields. Both physical and non-physical.
Meanwhile, the Director of the Young Kalaway Institute, Nanny Uswanas, said that the development of human resources (HR) in the education sector in Papua and West Papua has increased. According to him, the increase in human resources in the education sector is none other than the impact of the Special Autonomy funds provided by the central government.
In fact, many Papuan friends have come out of their comfort zone because of the times that are not fixed on being Civil Servants (PNS). Many of them are also entrepreneurs.
Not to mention, there are many young people from Papua who have good talents. Thus, education in Papua has developed and changed the mindset of young Papuan children.
The existence of the Otsus policy is considered successful in improving the quality of human resources in Papua, thanks to this policy, young people in Papua have succeeded in setting foot in universities both domestically and abroad, however the Otsus funds granted by the government are still required to be monitored and evaluated so that funds Special Autonomy can be put to good use.