Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Governor Lukas Enembe has underlined the importance of ongoing endeavors to improve the quality of Papua province's human capital through education, the governor's spokesperson, Muhammad Rifai Darus, has said.

To this end, Enembe will maintain the budget for his administration's priority programs, particularly the Superior Papua Scholarship scheme, Darus said in a statement that ANTARA received here on Wednesday.

Governor Enembe's commitment to a continuous improvement in the quality of Papua's human capital through education shows his concern for native Papuan communities' self-esteem and welfare, he added.

Enembe believes education is a valuable asset for Papua's future generation for building the province, he said. Therefore, he does not want to see a decline in or reallocation of budget for his priority programs, he added.

"Whether Papua has a bright future or not relies on the quality of young Papuans who are currently pursuing their education," Darus quoted Governor Enembe as saying.

Enembe has urged the central government and all stakeholders in Papua to keep maintaining constructive and effective communication, he said.

Enembe has expressed the hope that the central government will remain attentive to the Papua administration's priority programs related to human resource development of native Papuans when it formulates policies on special autonomy, he said.

Related news: Preparing native Papuans for becoming agents of change

Young Papuans who are currently receiving scholarships to study in reputable universities in Indonesia and abroad are keen to discuss policies related to Papua province with the central government, he added.

ANTARA has earlier reported how, despite receiving a significant chunk 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 index. Their scores remained lower than Aceh province, which got 71.94 points.

BPS data released in February this year 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 at its intention of extending the allocation of special autonomy funds to Papua and West Papua by two more decades to accelerate efforts to close the development gap and bring prosperity to all communities in the region.(

Related news: Indonesia's endeavors to improve Papua, W Papua's human capital lauded

Translator: Hendrina DK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
Copyright © ANTARA 2021