Jayapura, 28/12 (Jubi) – Rural and remote Papua and West Papua are among the most important regions for Indonesia to achieve the second MDG on primary education with equity. Both provinces have gross, net enrolment and literacy rates which barely touch the national averages. Given the distinct political, socio-cultural, and geographical aspects of Papua and West Papua from the rest of the country, central government provides greater autonomy for local policies. In that light, Papua and West Papua have launched the Affirmative Education Policy Document which outlines key strategies to increase access and quality for indigenous Papuans and population in rural and remote areas.
A fundamental concern about the quality of education, acknowledged in the policy document is the high rate of illiteracy among indigenous Papuans and population in rural and remote areas. A number of recent reports confirm the high illiteracy levels and reiterate the concern that illiteracy rates are not only high among rural and remote out-of-school school children and youth but also among children enrolled in primary schools. A number of factors have been identified as contributing to illiteracy rates and poor education attainment in basic education for children in Papua and West Papua.