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Infrastructure Development to Accelerate Papuan Human Resource Development

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By : Misael Pranza )*

Papua is one of the areas rich in natural resources in Indonesia. However, this wealth has not been able to be utilized optimally. This province has high-value mineral resources, abundant forest products, river resources for large power plants, as well as other potential such as extraordinary natural panoramic beauty. The inability of local residents to manage local Papuan assets has resulted in the poverty rate in Papua reaching 27.43%. Therefore, the government continues to accelerate efforts to develop Papuan human resources. 

The vastness of the territory, the diversity of natural riches and the beauty of the land of Papua are not commensurate with the number of its population. According to BPS data (2017), Papua Province had a population density of 10 people/km2 in 2015. This population density is in stark contrast to Java Island which had a population density of 19,872 people/km2 in the same year. The low population density in Papua is believed to be one of the factors causing less than optimal management of existing natural resources. Apart from that, inadequate infrastructure is also the reason why Papua Province is still lagging behind other provinces in Indonesia. 

The availability of educational infrastructure is one of the reasons for the low average number of years of schooling (RLS) in Papua. The average number of years of schooling is a reference for the quality of education in a province in Indonesia. The more advanced the quality of education in a province, the higher the RLS rate for that province. It should be noted that the Average Years of Schooling value will influence other progress indicators, such as the Human Development Index (HDI) and literacy rates. BPS data explains that the HDI value for Papua Province is 60.06, lower than the average HDI value for Indonesia from 34 provinces, which is 71.39. According to the definition from BPS (2014), HDI explains how residents can access development results in obtaining income, health, education, and so on.

The central government continues to strive for various methods to create a more advanced Indonesia. The steps taken are through infrastructure development efforts, improving the licensing bureaucracy, improving the provision of health services, and so on. Papua Province is included in the main attention of the Joko Widodo government because this province is a province that requires more attention compared to other regions in Indonesia.

Deputy Governor of West Papua Province, M Lakotani, said that infrastructure development in Papua, especially in the education and health sectors, would be able to improve the quality of Papuan human resources. In this way, prosperity will slowly be realized and the Papuan people can be on par with other regions. This can also have a positive impact on the sons of Papua so they can manage their own natural resource wealth and regional potential. 

There are five development priorities for 2023 in West Papua province, first: accelerating economic development and community empowerment, second: improving the quality of superior human resources and contextual character of West Papua, as well as social protection. The third priority, development in improving the quality of basic infrastructure and connectivity between regions, as well as the quality of regional spatial management, fourth: improving fair and sustainable environmental and natural resource management. Fifth is improving governance and strengthening Special Autonomy governance based on regional stability.

West Papua’s economic growth rate in 2023 is targeted to reach 5.5 percent from 0.51 percent in 2021; The HDI in 2023 is targeted at 66.19 points from 65.26 points in 2021. This target is what spurs the government to continue to strive to accelerate the development of Papuan human resource competencies.

Acting Head of the Jayapura City Education and Teaching Service, Abdul Majid, said that his party would ensure that education and school management in Papua continued to show improvement. It is hoped that educational services for Papua’s young generation will become more advanced. Therefore, teaching staff or teachers must be able to maintain the quality of each educational unit. Technical guidance will continue to be provided to teaching staff so that the quality of education continues to improve. Apart from that, the central government is asked to continue to focus on building educational infrastructure such as schools, transportation, school assistance and teaching staff.

Meanwhile, Special Staff to the Minister of Manpower, Casiwiyono Rusydie Cakrawangsa, said that the Sorong Vocational and Productivity Training Center (BPVP) is now ready to become a center for competency development for Papuan human resources. He explained that the transformation was carried out by the Ministry of Manpower with an agenda of rebranding, institutional reform, training redesign, infrastructure revitalization, increasing training human resources and developing collaboration. 

It is through this breakthrough that BPVP Sorong can have better governance, training programs that suit the needs of the Papuan job market, adequate training buildings and facilities, competent training human resources and increasingly wider partnerships and work networks.

The Ministry of Manpower is also redesigning training to suit the local job market and the needs of the local job market and the needs of the Papuan people in various sectors, including the tourism sector as Papua’s strategic sector. This step is considered important in order to equalize access to human resource development as a form of state presence to fulfill the rights of all Papuans to improve their competencies. 

Currently, HR has become a keyword in facing various challenges in the dynamic world megatrend. The government views the development of Papuan human resources as a step to accelerate Papua’s development. Accelerating Papua’s development will implement development that is in line with the 2030 sustainable development (SDGs) context.

Acceleration in building educational infrastructure and health facilities is a concrete step for the government to advance Papuan human resources. Because with these steps, Papuan human resources can manage abundant natural resources.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Gorontalo

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