Govt offers 900 scholarships for native Papuans from poor families

Govt offers 900 scholarships for native Papuans from poor families

Head of the Papua Education, Library and Archive Office, Christian Sohilait. (ANTARA/Hendrina Dian Kandipi)

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Papua provincial government has offered 450 scholarships for native Papuans from low-income families under each of its affirmative action programs for secondary and post-secondary education.

The scholarship scheme has received a good response from all district and city administrations, head of the Papua Education, Library and Archive Office, Christian Sohilait, said here on Monday.

The district and city governments forwarded the names of 12 applicants on average, though some others sent less than 12 names, he informed. Jayapura city and Jayapura district sent 121 and over 40 applicants, respectively, he added.

The response to the scheme proves the success of the public awareness campaign on the affirmative action program for secondary education, or ADEM, and post-secondary education, or ADIK, in Papua, he claimed.

"This year, the government has set the quota for ADEM and ADIK at 450 scholarships, respectively," he said, adding that children from poor families would be prioritized under the program so they can get equal access to secondary and post-secondary education as children from middle-income and high-income families in Papua.

"We hope there will be no unlawful practices of corruption, collusion, and nepotism (KKN) in the application processes for these ADEM and ADIK programs at the district and city levels," he said.

Despite receiving a significant amount of central government funds, Papua and West Papua are still struggling to improve the quality of their human capital, as indicated by their scoring below the national average of 71.94 on Indonesia's 2020 Human Development Index.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Papua and West Papua scored 60.44 and 65.09, respectively, on the 2020 Human Development Index. Their scores remained lower than Aceh province, which got 71.94 points.

BPS data released in February this year has pegged poverty rates in Papua and West Papua at 26.8 percent and 21.7 percent, respectively.

Development outcomes also remain inequitable for native Papuan communities, as indicated by low income levels and lack of access to education and health services.

Amid this challenging reality, the government has hinted its intention of extending the allocation of special autonomy funds to Papua and West Papua by another two decades to accelerate efforts to close the development gap and bring prosperity to all communities in the region.(INE)

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