An Uncen Rector: Despite the Pandemic, Keep Providing the Best Education Services in Papua – The Covid-19 pandemic has provided an illustration of the continuity of the world of college in Indonesia in general and Papua in particular. One of the important aspects during this pandemic is the presence of ‘assistance’ and the use of information technology which is still sufficient in various universities in Papua.

In a US – Indonesia Education Virtual Discussion forum (23/05/2022) entitled “Building a Country from Eastern Indonesia; Kitong Bisa”, Apolo Safanpo, a Rector of the University of Cendrawasih (Uncen) Papua who was also a speaker said that the task of higher education (university) is very important as a means to support the sustainability of national development so that academics in higher education are expected to be able to compete in the future both in national and international escalation. Universities in Papua such as Uncen will be key in the axis of human resource development in Eastern Indonesia, especially Papua.

On the other hand, he also explained that college is also an important instrument that aims to print character, character, and values, as well as develop technology and soft skills of students. So that, university is transformed into a pillar of science and technology through research that pays attention to and applies humanities values ​​so that it is beneficial for the progress of the nation, as well as the progress of civilization and the welfare of mankind.

“Unfortunately, in the era of the covid-19 pandemic, the challenges of colleges at Uncen are quite complex, of these many goals, only science and technology can be maximized”. He said enthusiastically.

This is not without reason because other educational goals such as character and soft skills require face-to-face encounters and face-to-face meetings. In the era of covid, the challenges are the same, both in Papua and outside Papua. Uncen Trying as much as possible in the midst of the limitations of covid-19 to continue to provide the best service for students in Papua. That is, keep pushing as much as possible curriculum development, lecturer quality, and optimal technology development.

He added that Uncen is a university that is characteristically known as a university that is quite expert in the fields of anthropology and natural resource studies. So that Uncen can explore further with various developments and research related to natural resources in Papua.

It should be noted that technology still cannot replace the role of teachers, lecturers, and learning interactions between students and teachers, because education is not only about acquiring knowledge but also about values, cooperation, and competence. This pandemic situation is a challenge for each individual’s creativity in using technology to develop the world of education.

The discussion was lively joined by Ida Bagus Sade Bimantara (Deputy Ambassador of Indonesia to the United States), Billy Mambrasar (Special Staff for the Preside from Papua), Popy Rufaidah (Educational and Cultural Attache of the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, DC), Paskalis (Papuan students in the United States of America). United States), Isaschar Mambrasar (a Phenomenal Educator from Papua) and Apolo Safanpo himself. Apolo Safanpo is an Indonesian academic who has served as a Rector of Cenderawasih University since 2017.

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