As disclosed on the Papua Provincial Government's official website that ANTARA quoted here Sunday, the scholarship recipients are from poor families but they have good academic achievements.
The scholarship scheme is provided for native Papuan students facing financial problems to complete their higher education, Papua Governor's expert staff member for Special Autonomy, Triwarno Purnomo, said.
In dealing with their financial problems during their post-secondary education, several of the eligible scholarship recipients seek casual works to make money, he said.
Among the recipients are currently studying at such higher educational institutions as Cenderawasih University, Muhamadiyah University, Ottow Geisler University, and Port Numbay College of Economics (STIE).
Nine of the 1,436 scholarship recipients are currently taking up PhD Program, he added.
Meanwhile, Head of the Papua BPSDM Office Aryoko Rumaropen said the Papua administration has been offering the scholarship scheme for native Papuan students since 2012.
The total number of scholarship recipients is currently recorded at 1,884, he said.
They comprise 1,156 recipients who study at various universities in 19 Indonesian cities while 688 others are studying at 160 universities in 15 countries, Rumaropen said.
"This scholarship policy has become Governor Lukas Enembe's strong commitment to building Papua's excellent human capital," he said.
The presence of the highly-skilled and well-educated native Papuans would hopefully contribute to the creation of Papua's better society in the future," he said.
ANTARA reported earlier that despite receiving a significant amount of central government funds, Papua and West Papua are still struggling to improve the quality of their human capital.
The scoring of these two easternmost provinces remained 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.
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