Tag Archives: Papuan marginalisation

New supermarket in Jayapura triggers complaints about goods on offer and price differentials

Bintang Papua, 9 and 10 July 2012

[Comment: This report reveals the continuing tendency to promote businesses from outside Papua while failing to advance the interests of local Papuan producers. TAPOL]

Many complaints about price differentials at newly open supermarket in Jayapura

Although the supermarket  Hypermart Jayapura has only recently open its doors to the general public, many people who have purchased goods have complained that there has been a huge differential  between the prices marked on the shelves and the prices of the goods when they reach the cashier to pay for their purchases. As a result people who have been shopping at the new store are being advised to take care about their purchases to avoid losing a lot of money.

One shopper who spoke to Bintang Papua said  that she was charged at the cashier for something costing Rp 91,000 although she hadn’t even purchased the product. Other shoppers made similar complaints. In once instance, the shopper was charged  Rp. 105,000 for cooking  oil while the oil normally costs only Rp. 29,000. Other shoppers complained of striking differences in the prices they were charged.

In most cases, the shoppers were able to get refunds from the store after complaining. A store manager said that they would give refunds to anyone complaining about price differentials.

In a subsequent article, Bintang Papua reported that demands were being made by many people for the supermarket’s licence to trade to be revoked, because the terms of the licence which had been agreed in Jakarta with the business had been violated.

Some people complained that many of the vegetables and fruit that were offered for sale had been imported from outside West Papua or even from abroad. Indigenous Papuans who were able to produce these products in large quantities had not been able to compete with the many products on offer at the store. Another complaint was that the store was selling alcohol

The Indonesian Consumers Association said that there was no need for foodstuffs to be imported from outside Papua or from abroad because they were readily available in the Land of Papua and would enable local producers to compete in the local market. Taking supplies from local producers would also help to improve the level of welfare of the Papuan people

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

Primary school education must be improved: teachers often fail to turn up in school

JUBI,2 May 2012
Many more primary schools needed

Merauke: The district head of Merauke, Drs Romanus Mbaraka has called for an improvement in primary school education. Teachers must be prepared to stay in remote places and accept responsibility for improving the level of primary education.

He said that the government should provide the necessary facilities to make this possible, in particular providing houses for the teachers.. He made these remarks while addressing a meeting of head teachers of higher level education.’ We cannot put too much pressure on  pupils at middle school who are not able to do well at school, because the education that they received at the primary school failed to reach the required level and the children did not get the education they needed at primary school.

He said that all too often, young people who had completed their education at secondary schools were not able to pass entry tests when they wanted to enrol at tertiary-level colleges in Java because they had not reached the same level as children from other parts of the country.

Such a situation represents a challenge for all of us, especially for teachers who should be thinking about  how to improve the level of schooling available for children living in kampungs. If children receive good education at primary school, it will be much easier for them to pass tests to go on to a higher school.

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Merauke: A deputy district chief has said that  one of the basic problems in the kampungs is that educational facilities are not sufficiently available. The problem is that teachers prefer to stay in the cities in order to get certificates for their own career promotion, and earn a better wage.

Sunarjo said that he had asked the central government  to provide the necessary funds to pay higher wages to teachers in Merauke. The certificates should be granted   step by step, making it possible for others to stay in the kampungs and deal with the educational needs there.

He said if the government fails to provide the certificates they need, this will make it difficult for them to improve their prospects. However, teachers who fail to comply with their teaching schedule for forty-five days running should be dishonourably sacked.

Medical personnel seriously lacking in Papua

JUBI, 2 April 2012

Taking into account the vastness of the territory of the Province of Papua, there is a serious shortage of medical personnel here. Moreover, the ratio between the number of medical personnel and the number of hospitals and clinics is also far too low.

‘If you take into account the number of hospitals, clinics and medical centres, I reckon that the shortage of medical personnel amounts to as much as 2,700,’ said the Head of the Provincial Medical Services in Papua, Josef Rinta Rachatmaka.

He said that as a way of reducing this shortage, the Provincial Medical Services intends, in co-ordination with the Agency for Personnel Education and Training in the Province of Papua, to look more closely at the data about healthcare personnel in the area.

‘On the basis of our present calculations, the number of healthcare personnel in Papua is very low indeed.. With 20 hospitals, 310 clinics and 760 healthcare centres, we need a further 2,700 medical personnel,’ he said. He said in particular that there was a need for more medical personnel in the medical health centres that are spread right across the territory.

He said that the shortage would become even more acute if new hospitals were built. The medical personnel includes the number of doctors, midwives, dieticians and so on. The key factor in any healthcare provision is that there is the right number of personnel. However many medicaments and however much money is available, if there are not enough personnel, then nothing will function properly. While agreeing that there are enough facilities, the most important thing is to have enough medical personnel. ‘Many of the facilities we have here are standing empty.’

He went on to say that whenever there are plans to build new hospitals, if the personnel are simply taken from those at the already existing facilities, this would only lead to a further lack of personnel. He said that they plan to open up new diploma courses for nurses, midwives and dieticians.’We very much hope that, as new healthcare facilities are built, there will be a sufficient number of personnel and not continue with the situation as it is at present.’

[Abridged in translation by TAPOL]

DPRP member criticises the absence of teachers and medics in Papua

JUBI
26 March 2012A member of the Papuan legislative assembly, the DPRP, said it was very regrettable that teachers and health personnel rarely go to the more isolated parts of West Papua. Kenius Kogoya,  secretary of Commission E of the DPRP, said that although this was nothing new, it was very unfortunate indeed that this was still happening.

‘This is happening all the time in Papua, particularly in the interior. We have seen it for ourselves and feel very unhappy about this situation. Aren’t the institutions monitoring the situation in the kampungs and other places which these people should be visiting? Do they never check up on whether these people come to these places?’ he said.

He said that there was widespread neglect by officials who were failing to check on whether teachers and health workers ever turned up in the interior for work. This was happening despite the fact that  these people were being paid and that this was in accord with government policy.

‘There are serious failings in the system. They get a decent salary but no one monitors to see whether they ever go to these places. .No-one should surprised to discover that is a number of districts and kampungs, these people never turn up. They are paid a good salary but they are living elsewhere.  It is the duty of the authorities to remind them (of their duties),’ he said.
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_*/The difficult geographical conditions in Papua should not be used as a reason by public service workers. These workers in the fields of education and healthcare in the regions have been given certain rights, so they should also carry out their responsibilities, he said.

He said that a considerable amount of money was being spent on education and health. ‘People are always talking about the lack of personnel and complaining that the economic circumstances were not good, but who is it that they are not good for? The authorities are simply failing to take this matter seriously. And this is a  problem that exists in almost all the districts of Papua,’ said Kenius.

Structural discrimination against Papuans in many districts of Papua

[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]JUBI, 23 March 2012

 

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.

Translated by TAPOL