There is a school system in rural areas in Papua, but teachers are rarely present in the villages and many of these schools are too far and too dangerous to walk to from the remote villages.
In this difficult situation, the Yasumat education program is a shining light. The principle objective of the program is to strengthen the capacity of literacy and numeracy amongst children and adults.
Papua Partners supports the Yasumat education program in finding funds and in program management, strengtening the education teams’ capacity for delivering a more effective and far reaching service.
Yasumat establish “parallel schools” in remote communities which are proving successful amongst the local communities as they become responsible for running their own schools and there is a strong sense of ownership.
At present, Yasumat have 32 parallel schools running in the Yahukimo District, which have approximately 7,000 children. These schools are taught in Indonesian so that children will then be able to progress to the Government school without any trouble once they are old enough. Teachers are voluntary and only receive a salary if Yasumat has specific funds. Yasumat are currently lobbying at District and Provincial levels for school operational costs.
Literacy Groups: Literacy groups are established and run through local Church congregations, and generally use Church buildings or local huts (honai). They focus mainly on adults but sometimes children are included if there is no Government or parallel school nearby. They meet at night or early mornings before going to their gardens (not as we know the term, but mostly sweet potato plantings growing on extremely steep mountain slopes) to get food. Some teach in the local language but some other literacy groups choose to teach in Indonesian as mentioned earlier. This methodology has been successful because it is completely owned by the community and responsibility is with the local Church. There are continuing challenges, however, as teachers are voluntary and capacity is low.
Teacher Training: Yasumat provides training for teachers for both literacy and parallel schools. The training is normally carried out at the main post/headquarters of the Church area where there is an airstrip and facilities.
Ensure more children get a basic education … support the Yasumat education program by going to: