[A very revealing report about how indigenous Papuans are being denied access to something as basic as education, thus maintaining their position as the underdog – TAPOL]
The author of the book, Paradoks Papua (The Papuan Paradox) said that there is systematic discrimination against the indigenous Papuan people in Keerom in all fields of endeavour.
Cipry Jehan, the author, was speaking at a seminar on Just Development which was convened by the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Keerom.
‘There is structural social injustice in the district of Keerom and it is structured around peoples’ clans and religions.’
He said that this discrimination is apparent in all facets of life and is because the government concentrates all its development activities in the districts of Arso and Skamto.
‘Both these districts are populated by transmigrants (newcomers from outside Papua) whereas indigenous Papuans live mostly in Waris and Towe and they are not catered for in all this development.’
He said that discrimination in the field of education is evident from the nursery school level right up to secondary school level. For example, in this district [Keerom], nursery schools [taman kanak-kanak] are spread right across the districts, whereas in the districts of Waris and Towe Hitam which is where the majority of the population are indigenous Papuans, there are no educational facilities at all. ‘Education facilities for the Papuans are very disappointing indeed.’
The author who is himself from the island of Flores said he feels very sorry for the indigenous people in Keerom who are not getting their right to education. ‘This is after all one of the most important of all peoples rights. The government pays no attention to this important matter.’
‘The government is much more consistent about sending troops to this area than sending teachers.and doctors,’ he said.