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90% of children in Kamoro leave school before completing


JUBI, 8 September, 2011

It is estimated that around 90 percent of children from the Kamoro
ethnic group fail to continue their education after completing primary
school. There are many reasons for this.

'Many Kamoro children dont attend primary school and this affects the
number who go on to further education as a result of selection and the
minimum standards attained by the children,' said a local official.

This also reflects the situation of the primary school in Mapar, in the
regency of Central Mimika where most of the children who attend primary
schools fail to continue to the lower secondary schools. The main
problem is where the children live.

'We do everything we can to motivate them and accompany them but for the
parents the main problem is that they cannot find anywhere to live in
Timika. And in those cases where children do attend a school in the
town, many of them returned home to their kampungs after only two months
for a variety of reasons, primarily because of the cost of living in
the town.'

Actually, there are indeed many opportunities for Kamoro children in
Timika. Freeport Indonesia has built several hostels for primary and
secondary school children but there are hardly any Kamoro children
living in these hostels.

One secondary school teacher said: 'There is the problem of looking
after the children and the limited capacity available for pupils coming
from the Kamar primary school. We very much hope that the education
service will appreciate this problem and find a way out as soon as
possible, so that these children can grow up to be masters in own land.'

---------------------

A number of teachers in the East Mimika district have complained about
the lack of facilities for education at primary and secondary schools
many of which have nothing in the way of books or writing equipment.

Veronica Lasol, a primary school teacher at the Mapar primary school,
complained that the government, in particular the education and cultural
service, pay no attention to all this.

'We have been suffering from a lack of facilities for a long time, and
have spoken about this with the media as well, hoping to draw the
attention of the government to the problem of paying attention to
education facilities for children living in the kampungs,' she told Jubi.

'In our district, almost all the schools are functioning without decent
facilities and end up teaching the chidren anything they can mange to do
so as to ensure that they can complete their primary school education,'
said Agustinus Maniawasi, a primary school teacher at the YPPK primary
school in Pronggo, Mimika district.

Similar complaints were made by Denisius Faruan, a primary school
teacher at a school in Timika. He said that there is a need for
facilities to support the education of the children. If the teachers
were to get the necessary training, the complaints would decline. 'It is
all a matter of giving proper attention to the schools that now exist.'


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