The total of 253 native Papuan youths have been pursued their higher education given by the Religious Affairs Ministry in six big cities in Indonesia to obtain Sarjana (bachelor) degrees at least.
Moreover, after the recipients successfully get their Sarjana degrees with satisfactory grades, they will be encourages to take another scholarship program to help them continue their studies at the post-graduate level. The Minister is currently implementing the 5,000 Doctoral Degree Program. This real service for West Papuan education will answer a problematic challenge for Papua and West Papua’s human resources as the human development index scores for the provinces remain low compared to that of other provinces in Indonesia.
On Indonesia’s 2019 human development index, the scores of Papua and West Papua were recorded at 64.7 and 60.84, respectively. At the global level, Indonesia’s human development index is lower than that of several other countries. As the world’s fourth most populous country, Indonesia is yet to rank among the world’s most literate nations.
A 2016 study conducted by John W. Miller, a noted researcher at the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), categorized Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Germany, Latvia, and the Netherlands as the 10 most literate nations in the world. In the research, Indonesia had ranked 60th out of 61 countries. Its rank was better than that of just Botswana, though far behind Singapore, which was placed 36th, and Malaysia, which took the 53rd position. The 2016 study synthesized “literacy achievement tests (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and Programme for International Student Assessment) and literate behavior characteristics (population, newspapers, libraries, years of schooling)”. Miller added, a nation’s literate behaviors contribute to its successes and failures in dealing with the demands of the world’s knowledge-based economics.
According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in 2016, there were 117,529 elementary school students and 39,529 junior high school students in West Papua, and 336,644 elementary school students and 94,897 junior high school students in Papua during the 2013/2014 school year.