Traces of Educational Methods in the Hinterland of Papua

(Part 1) – The entry of the zendelings for spreading of Protestant Christianity in 1855 and missionaries for propagating of Catholic Christianity in 1833 in South Papua, had a great influence on the development of education for the people of Papua. In the early days of the spread of religion, education was used as a communication tool for Papuan people to be able to read, write and count in order to continue or spread religious doctrines to around Papua.

The first teacher education school was established in Mansinam for about 1917-1918. The school for teacher candidates is the first school and is reserved for indigenous students only. This is where the human development of Papua begins to develop and begins to recognize what is the purpose and nature of education itself.

The missionary schools and the Netherlands ones have produced many talented people who are able to solve problems and are able to educate the Papuan people themselves. In such background, the author describes the development of early education in Papua, but the author will discuss to be further in this article the development and approach to education that is already undergoing on Papuan land.

The entering of education in the hinterland of Papua, especially in the central mountainous areas, cannot be separated from the spread of religion [the gospel] in each region. For spreading education, pioneers couldnot immediately conduct the teaching and learning process because the people living in their respective areas in the mountains do not stay at one place but with different residences according to their hamlet. Here are religious teachings play a very important role in bringing together all the people living in groups.

 With a long process, the gospel approach can be joined and this is the point at which the school process can be taught. These pioneers were also able to educate and take advantage of local youth children who quickly became able to read and write, they returned to become teachers for local areas and groups and some began to assist missionaries carry out their duties and there were local youths who became translators for missionaries. It makes easier for missionaries too, so that in essence that religion and school go together.

 Education in the interior of Papua needs to be programmed by each local government in accordance with the context of education that can be adapted to the life of the local community. In the hinterland of Papua, problem-solving education in the style of Paolo Freire’s education is very appropriate so that what can be taught can help local people in their daily lives. This problem-facing model of education can be carried out in the hill of Twelve by means of an education program which can be pioneered by Butet Manurung et al (Sokola Rimba/Sokola Jungle).

The methods that can be taught there are not conveyed with using the national method in general, but the methods can be adapted to the lives of the people in the twelve hills. The teaching methods can be found there based on what they want. We need to apply this kind of method in Papua, after all there are many people in the inland who are completely illiterate or exist without knowing what the essence of education is.

In fact, as described early that education, especially basic literacy, can be useful for people in rural areas to support their daily life, especially in certain events, worship services and so on. Meanwhile, most of the parents over there are illiterate. Basic literacy such as reading and writing and arithmetic can also be done for parents, at least they can later read and write.

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