Teachers in Papua’s conflict-prone areas must be protected

Teachers
Head of the Vocational Development Division of the Papua Provincial Education Office, Yulianus Kuaiyo, giving a press statement to Jubi, some time ago. - Jubi/Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – Head of the Vocational Development Division of the Papua Education Office Yulianus Kuaiyo said there should be special protection for teachers serving in conflict-prone areas in Papua.

“I hope the government prioritize the safety of these teachers,” Yulianus Kuaiyo told Jubi on a phone call on Monday, November 28, 2022.

“Even when teachers in conflict areas do not experience violence directly, the government must ensure they are safe and able to carry out teaching and learning activities smoothly. That should be a particular concern for the government,” he said.

Kuaiyo added that since teachers in conflict areas often end up leaving the place, schools would become vacant and students displaced.

“Teachers leaving their duties leads to a shortage of teachers in conflict areas. This has made children in conflict areas not get their basic rights,” he said.

Teachers
Illustration elementary school students in rural Papua JubiDoc

Papua lacks teachers in all education units

Kuaiyo said that according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data as presented by Agus Sumule, there were as many as 407,560 children who did not go to school because there was no teacher. The number of teachers needed is 14,460, consisting of7,038 elementary school teachers, 3,973 junior high school teachers, 1,217 high school teachers, and 1,162 vocational school teachers.

One of the steps suggested by Kuaiyo to address the lack of teachers was by appointing honorary teachers or fresh graduate teachers.

“Appoint graduates of Faculty of Teacher Training and Education (FKIP) and post them at elementary, junior high, high schools, and vocational schools which are currently short of teachers. Many Papuan teacher graduates are still unemployed,” he said. (*)

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