Kuyawage is a remote district consisting of 13 villages in the central highland of West Papua. West Papua was former Papua New Guinea under Dutch rule until 1962. They speak their own language”Lani”. The area can only be reached by plane, everything has to be flown in. Since 2016, a pilot project has been carried out in this area by an education project team from SIL / NGO initiated by theIndonesian government. Education focuses on multilingual education. Name of the MTB-MLE project (Mother Tongue Based – Multi Lingual Education). Children learn to read and write in their own tribal language and in Indonesian. The general aim is that pupils perform better, are better able to speak Bahasa Indonesia and find a connection with Indonesian secondary education.Playground kampung MumeLocal conditions in the remote area, 13 kampongs, 13 schools:* no electricity, so no light;
* no wheels, no roads (not even a wheelbarrow);
* no telephone network, so no internet;
* former government buildings not in use;
* no hospitals, doctors, fire brigade, police, etc;.
* laborious import and export, travel and visit traffic.
The purpose of our visit in July 2017 was to be informed about the progress of the 4-year pilot project MTB-MLE. Installing a solar panel including charging battery, a printer, a laptop and supplying 20 tablets for primary school in Mume. Provide instruction and information, how to deal with the supplied learning materials, in view of maintenance etc. We also brought an extra waka-waka charger and waka-waka solar lamps.
Install the solar system and solar panel
The primary school in kampong Mumé is in use and is situated next to the mission. At this school the first solar panels were installed including batteries connected and tablets delivered. The tablets contain 60 books with reading books in Dani and in Bahasa Indonesia. There are also practice apps installed with math games and language games. During our visit we were able to assist with the explanation and practice lessons for the teachers.
First lessons, tablets
It is almost impossible to recruit enough teachers for the 13 schools. This has many causes, a teacher must be recruited from his own community and speak the same language. Furthermore, he must control Bahasa Indonesian. The education team of SIL is responsible for the training of the teachers. The government contributes and pays the salaries of the teachers.
The school buildings leave much to be desired, currently there are 3 school buildings that meet in Kuyawage. The ten other schools still have to do with what they have now. During our visit we also visited the school in Ngudu- Ngudu. The school uses the church room there (built by the missionaries).
This year we visited the school in Mume and the school in Ngudu Ngudu. Teaching is still difficult for the teachers because the older children take their little brothers and sisters, their parents work on the land and there are not always grandparents to catch them. Teaching materials are almost non-existent, all schools now have readers and wall boards that they can use. There is a lack of writing material and books to read. We hope to be able to purchase new tablets of the donation money as soon as possible at the end of this year. We hope to be able to do this from the ASN donation.
When asked, the teachers seem to be very happy with the solar lamps that we took last year. They can now read in the evenings and prepare lessons. Also the solar panels and batteries, installed last year at the mission post. There is light and enough energy to charge the laptop.
Last year we noticed that the children have bad teeth. This year we also took 90 toothbrushes and planned a brushing class at the schools! That was a success, after all there are no dentists or hospitals.
Now that we have experienced the enthusiasm of the education team and of course the teachers and children, we are even more motivated to continue supporting the project on site. We will bring and purchase all materials ourselves.
We thank ASN for the solar panels and tablets (purchase at the end of this year) on behalf of all Papua teachers and students !!
Fliers & van Grinsven 2017