Muliama Elemetary School in Asologaima (Baliem Valley) is a bit of an odd one out. It maintains the rule of “education is there for the students and not the other way round.” A logical thing, one might say, but not for Papua. Education in Papua is plagued by absentee teachers, underinvestment and Indonesia-centered curriculum with scant regard paid to local culture. Here, the interests of the children are the guiding principle. Children are for the first couple of years taught in their local native language. Not in Indonesian.
Respect Local Traditions
Furthermore emphasis is being put on respect for their local traditions, the surrounding nature and fellow human being. The reason behind this is that pupils are more motivated and do not drop out. Dropping out is an undesirable but understandable thing, when you get educated in a totally unfamiliar curriculum by sparsely attending non Papuan teachers lacking motivation.
Quality based Approach
The principal, Daniel Tena Bolo, strictly selects teachers on quality and motivation. The teachers originates from the surrounding countryside. The grand scheme of the principal consists of expanding the school into a regional educational centre. The government does not allocate financial resources to it. For reasons of its innovation, cultural awareness and quality based approach Hapin has subsidised the staff and teachers for one year. As a start-up incentive.