Challenges in the education system in Papua
This section identifies specific challenges in the education system in Papua, based on needs-assessment and fact-finding activities conducted 1 – 12 March, 2008, in Papua. Lists of school visits and of interviews with government, private-sector and other key informants can be found in “Annex A: List of schools visited.”
The section presents education challenges using a “six-pillar” framework. In this framework, elements of the education system are considered according to the following categories:
• Education and financial management
• Capacity building of education personnel
• Teaching and learning resources
• Curriculum and assessment
• Research and evaluation
These six pillars are used throughout the ICT Strategy and Implementation Plan for Education in Papua as a structure for considering needs, current initiatives and gaps in those initiatives, strategies, and implementation.
This section focuses on challenges in the first four pillars listed above, based on needs and conditions encountered in schools and reported in interviews. For additional information about challenges in the Papuan education system, refer to “Current initiatives: Limiting factors.”
Remote areas and coastal population centres
This section consistently presents needs-assessment information for schools in two categories: those in remote locations and those in or near Papua’s coastal population centres. Remote areas include the Baliem Valley and other parts of highlands, coastal areas such as Asmat, and other areas that are removed from major population centres and transportation routes.
To gain first-hand knowledge of relevant conditions, the fact-finding team visited schools in remote areas. In the highlands, these visits included schools in the town of Tangma, Kab. Yahukimo, and the town of Bokondini, Kab. Tolikara, as well as SMK 1 Sota, in a border town in the Merauke kabupaten that includes in its catchment students from Papua-New Guinea. While Tangma is only one full day’s walk from Wamena, Kab. Jayawijaya, schools in Tangma area report to DIKNAS Kab. Yahukimo, which requires more than one week’s travel by walking.
Communities in these and other isolated areas are not reached by roads, are outside of mobile-telephone service areas, and generally lack access to transportation or communications. Some of these communities have airstrips and can be reached by missionary plane. Kecamaten in these areas may communicate with district government by single-sideband (SSB) radio, although use of SSB in many instances is infrequent and not reliable. The isolation of the schools and teachers who serve these communities degrades their administrative and educational effectiveness almost to zero.
Coastal popuation centres, as defined in the Strategic Plan, include:
In addition to being accessible by both air and water, these areas will be reached by the Palapa Ring fibre-optic cable (discussed in the section, “Current initiatives”), which will greatly enhance the quality and lower the cost of communications. It is important to bear in mind, however, that at present many schools in areas surrounding coastal centres lack mobile-telephone service and Internet connectivity.
In this section of the Strategic Plan, challenges and current conditions are described as they were encountered in schools in both remote areas and coastal centres.
Education and financial management
Effective education and financial management provide the enabling conditions for all educational activities, ranging from facilities upgrades (civil works) to teacher accountability to student performance.
Three main areas of challenge in education and financial management:
• Financial reporting and management
• Data-handling capacity
• Reporting and communications n remote schools
Together, challenges in these areas limit transparency and accountability, as well as the overall functioning of the education system. In this way, these challenges increase levels of risk associated with initiatives planned by DIKJAR Provinsi, other education organizations, and those proposed by this Strategic Plan.
Among the problems associated with management are:
• Burdensome reporting processes in coastal centres
In and near coastal centres, the burden of administrative reporting increases teacher workloads, removes teachers from classrooms, and removes head teachers from schools.
Head teachers in the Kurik and Tanah Miring kecmaten, one to two hours from Merauke, engage in a variety of practices to complete their monthly reporting requirements. In different schools, these include: hand entry of reports each month; overnight stay in Merauke to use computer facilities (WarNet) to enter and print report information; developing “one-off” forms for use on a school computer, traveling to Merauke to print and deliver reports.
In many schools where computers are not used to support reporting, administrative activities require both the head teacher and a second teacher to assist.
• Very limited reporting by remote schools
Approximately 30 percent of SDs in Kab. Jayawijaya complete their monthly reporting, as compared to 80 percent in Kab. Merauke. Although information is not available, in Kab. Yahukimo and other isolated areas reporting among SDs is likely lower than in Jayawijaya.
Reporting failures by remote schools links to larger complex of problems related to schools’ isolation and lack of communications. Aspects of the situation include: difficulties in receiving salary disbursements, and extraordinarily high teacher absenteeism.
• Complex information flows
• Poor financial management processes
Financial management and reporting processes in the primary and secondary school systems are extremely limited. According to head teachers and teachers in various schools, lack of reporting and transparency results in funds transfers that are—or that may be—significantly less than the amounts allocated. The impact of this problem reportedly encompasses stalled civil works, lack of learning resources in science labs and libraries.
Information provided by teachers includes: “We don’t have any financial management here, so we don’t know how much money we’re supposed to receive. They say they can’t give us funds because we don’t have any management” (SMA 1 Bokondini); BOS receipts that are much lower than allocations (SD 1 Tangma reports receiving Rp. 1,000 for class 1 students, graduating up to Rp. 6,000 for class 6 students). The accuracy of this information is unclear; what is clear, however, is that inadequate reporting processes appear to limit the flow of resources to schools. Inadequate reporting without doubt contributes to failures of transparency and accountability, undermining the commitment and participation of education personnel from the district to the school levels.
• Lack of capacity at DIKNAS Kab. to receive reports electronically
Even in coastal centres such as Merauke and Biak, where significant numbers of schools complete reports on computers and have email access, district education offices lack the capacity to receive monthly reports electronically. Factors influencing this situation are unclear. However, limitations in terms of electronic communications and information management likely intensify other management challenges and will impede efforts to reform management processes.
Broadly considered, lack of resources—encompassing learning resources, financial resources and human resources—is the most significant challenge confronting the Papuan education system. Management of education information and financial information, in turn, limits the ability of DIKJAR Papua and other organizations to mobilize resources of all types on behalf of schools. Poor or non-existent communication contributes broadly to schools’ problems on all fronts. In addition, poor communication has the potential to limit the impact of efforts, such as the Strategic School Development Program, that target improved management and accountability. (See “Current initiatives: Provincial initiatives” for more information.)
Capacity and capacity building
The capacity of teachers, in particular, is tightly linked with other elements in the education system. The availability and quality of learning resources, the relevance and appropriateness of curricula, the effectiveness of education management and other factors are all reflected in teachers’ interactions with students. Highly skilled teachers may offset limitations in these other elements. Similarly, teachers who are unmotivated or who lack capacity may greatly reduce the effectiveness of these elements. In Papua, teachers’ limited skills are reinforced by other systemic limitations.
The nature and scope of the capacity-related challenges can be inferred from reports, from statements made to the fact-finding team, and from first-hand observations.
• Teacher qualifications
A majority of teachers at the SD and SMP levels, as well as many teachers at the SMA level, do not meet national standards for qualifications. Law number 14/2005 requires that all teachers hold the S-1 degree, equivalent to a bacherlor’s degree. In Kab. Merauke, a district with both new and established skills-upgrades initiatives and relatively high-performing management, 980 of approximately 2,000 teachers fail to meet the S-1 standard. No teachers in attendance at SDs visited in the highlands meet the S-1 standard.
• Number of teachers in schools
While reported student-teacher ratios vary from favorable levels to unacceptable levels, high rates of teacher absenteeism in remote areas in effect create a crisis situation. At S.D. 1 Tangma, Kab. Yahukimo, the fact-finding team found one physical-education teacher and approximately 200 students; seven teachers were absent, with the dates of their last appearances documented by one of the town leaders (Annex C). At S.D. 1 Seima, Kab. Yahukimo, two teachers were present, while seven other teachers were not. The head teachers of both schools were in Wamena at the time of the fact-finding visit, with the Tangma head teacher last observed at the school eight years previously.
• Multigrade-classroom management
No provision is made in pre-service or in-service professional development to build teachers’ capacity to manage multigrade classrooms. Papuan teachers, especially at the SD level, are confronted daily with the need to combine students of various levels or conduct several classes concurrently. Multigrade teaching techniques have been shown to be highly effective, but are not included in professional-development curricula in Papua.
Inadequate human capacity affects activities and quality-improvement initiatives in many other areas of the education system. With regard to ICT, limitations influence operation of school ICT Centres, local network maintenance and access to national networks, and other activities. Inadequate capacity also affects areas such as education management and learning-resource development.
Teaching and learning resources
The quality and availability of resources in schools influences not only the effectiveness of school activities, but the kinds of activities in which teachers and students engage.
Assessment of the teaching and learning resources available in schools in Papua is based on school visits. School asset management does not support system-wide assessment.
• Textbooks and teachers guides
In both Kab. Merauke and Kab. Jayawijaya, head teachers in SDs stated that textbooks and teachers guides were in short supply and/or out of date. In SMP 1 Kurima, Kab. Merauke, teachers continue to teach the old curriculum, because they have neither guides or textbooks for the 2004 revised curriculum.
• Aids to learning
In all schools visited, learning resources supplementing textbooks and teachers guides are inadequate. Libraries in SDs (SD 1 Seima, SD 1 Tangma) and other schools (YPK Maarten Luther, Kurima) have fewer than 25 books for students; additional resources in these and other schools typically consist of one or more globes of the Earth and one or more plastic human skeletons.
To cope with the lack of resources in their schools, teachers are increasingly using (or asking school aides to use) the Internet. SMK 2 Biak-Barat is the only school in Papua that offers the “nautical skills” vocational curriculum. Although the school is only two hours from Biak, it lack Internet connectivity, mobile-telephone coverage, and access to SSB communications. To access curriculum materials at dikmenjur.net and on other Web sites, teachers a travel to Biak, connect at a WarNet, and download materials for use on school computers.
Infrastructure: Hardware, software and connectivity
The role of ICT infrastructure in schools and education systems should be seen as cross-cutting in relation to the other pillars of the system. ICT can be deployed to support enhanced quality and increased function in activities ranging from increased levels of monthly reporting, to participation in professional development, to the creation and dissemination of science simulations and other resources.
In general, overall infrastructural conditions and communications infrastructure among Papuan schools varies greatly, frequently in relation to location:
• Schools in coastal centres
Many schools in coastal centres have appealing, well-maintained facilities, are situated near good roads, receive consistent, well-regulated electrical power, and are within coverage areas both for mobile telephony and for Internet.
• Schools outside coastal centres
Several hours from coastal centres, good conditions give way to variable ones: school facilities may be adequate or even good, but electricity, transportation and communications are problematic.
• Schools in remote areas
In remote areas, conditions can be poor to very poor. School buildings at SMPs and SMAs, typically, may still be good, although construction of school labs, new classrooms, and other needed enhancements was in all cases stopped at the time of visits by the fact-finding team. Electrical power is available only when locally generated by pico-hydroelectric or diesel generator. Communications for schools in remote areas, as mentioned elsewhere in the ICT Strategy, typically requires use of SSB radio or acts of“physical communication”—walking or riding to a mobile-telephone service area or to a DINAS.
To be effective, any ICT deployment planned by DIKJAR Papua must take into account broader infrastructural conditions, both in relation to the needs of students, teachers and school leadership and in relation to enabling infrastructure.
ICT in district offices
Although assessment of computer hardware and connectivity at district offices was not a major focus of fact-finding investigations, relevant limitations in terms of infrastructure and related human capacity were discovered.
• DINAS Merauke
At this district office Jardiknas was poorly configured, providing very limited Internet connectivity to surrounding schools and other organizations. The fact-finding team assisted local personnel in reconfiguring the LAN to improve Internet performance. The team recorded the new configuration process to share with Jardiknas consultants.
• DINAS Biak
Configuration at this district office was similar to that of DINAS Merauke. The network was again reconfigured to improve performance.
• DINAS Wamena
This Jardiknas network is not currently configured to provide Internet access to local schools. Lack of capacity among technical personnel makes sharing access impossible. But it has been reconfigured on april and work normally
Internet-access limitations described in this section result directly from lack of technical capacity at district offices. However Jardiknas itself is best used as an intranet rather than as a gateway to the Internet. (For additional discussion, refer to “Current initiatives: National initiatives.”)
ICT in schools
Within the context of the ICT Strategy, it is critical to note that schools in Papua are already acquiring ICT—as a result of block grants by DIKJAR Papua and MONE, and independently, on the initiative of school leadership and community stakeholders. Emphasis on capacity building that appears throughout the ICT Strategy is based in part on the recognition that these substantial and ongoing efforts will deliver only a fraction of their potential value if the knowledge, skills and other enabling conditions in relation to ICT are not improved at the school and district levels.
Again, the current situation with regards to ICT infrastructure in schools varies with the schools’ locations.
• Schools in coastal centres
Several of the schools visited in coastal centres have acquired substantial ICT assets through government block grants and from other sources. Leading schools in this regard include SMK Yapis Sentani and SMK Yapis Biak, with labs funded by the Directorate of Vocational Education. SMP 5 Jayapura has experienced a rapid improvement in management and instructional quality as a result of new school leadership; improvements include acquisition of a school ICT lab via block grant. These schools, especially the SMKs linked to the Jardiknas network and managed by Jardiknas consultants, experience Internet connectivity of reasonable speed and quality. At other schools with ICT labs in these areas, such as SMA Muhammadiyah, Jayapura, bandwidth is so poor that the Internet is unusable.
At all of these schools, use and timetabling of ICT resources are primarily intended to support development of ICT skills by students. Schools with substantial ICT resources may also place one or two computers in school administrative offices. These computers are primarily intended to support administrative functions.
Teachers in these schools may access computers and the Internet either in administrative offices or in school labs. No computers were observed in rooms reserved for use by teachers.
• Schools outside coastal centres
The level of ICT activity among schools that are several hours from coastal centres is high. Schools’ efforts, however, are not systematic and result in installations that are not standardized and that have the potential to present challenges in terms of maintenance and in terms development of software resources to support learning and management.
Many of the schools visited in these areas have acquired ICT, ranging from one or two computers for administrative use (SD 1 Kurik) to a small number of computers (4-10) for student use (SMP 4 Kurik, SMK 1 Tanah Miring). When possible, these schools connect to the Internet using “fixed wireless” services (Flexi). Quality of the Internet connection is not high, but may exceed that of some schools in coastal centres, with differences possibly related to network platforms and the provider quality.
Schools in these areas appear to be acquiring ICT independently at a relatively high rate. The quality of the hardware is typically not high; use in most of these schools is limited to a few teachers. Students have more opportunities to use the computers in the course of receiving basic-skills instruction in ICT, however those opportunities are brief (one period per week at most); in almost all instances, several students use one computer; instruction is of uncertain quality, typically provided by self-trained teachers.
• Schools in remote areas
ICT is far less prevalent among schools in remote areas.
Schools in Wamena, however, demonstrate aspects of the potential and of the challenges in terms of establishing ICT Centres in schools in remote areas. SMA 1 Wamena has acquired 14 computers, plus a 20-meter tower to enable microwave data transmission. However, as the Jardiknas network at DINAS Jayawijaya is not yet configured to enable Internet access to schools and other organizations, SMA 1 does not have Internet access. SMP 1 Wamena has a computer lab with 20 computers, intended to support the ICT curriculum and basic-skills acquisition. However the supply of electrical power (or possibly the facilities’ circuitry) does not support operation of all of these computers at once, so only 10 are used. SMK Yapis Wamena has 40 computers, with no Internet connection. SD Yapis Wamena, the top-ranked public SD in Wamena, does not have administrative or student computers.
Outside the Wamena and the Baliem Valley, schools have generally not acquired ICT. No schools visited in Kab. Yahukimo have acquired even administrative computers, although intermittent electrical power is available via pico-hydro-electric generation to SMP 1 Kurima. SMA 1 Bokondini has one laptop. The ICT Centre in Bokondini is located at the ABA Netaiken school for secondary-school graduates. The centre has approximately 15 computers, which it makes available twice weekly to 15 students from the SMA. ABA Netaiken is operated locally by staff of the EduVentures Foundation; these personnel also operate Bokondini’s pico-hydro-electric facility under an MOU with local government.
eWaste and sustainability
INCLUDE GRAPH OF INFORMATION FLOW WITH NOTE
ISOLATION AND TEACHER ACCOUNTABILITY / COMMITMENT
■ Pre-service teacher-education organizations lack ICT and lack capacity
Education students (the group most cost-effectively trained) are certified and placed in service without ICT skills
■ In-service teacher-training organizations lack ICT and capacity
Teachers in schools with computers and Internet use neither; Teachers in need of learning resources rely on administrative aides for Web searches
■ No program in Papua addresses development of IT coordinators
■ SMK training in computer maintenance and repairs for teachers is very small scale
ICT maintenance in schools is inadequate, leading to steady reductions in numbers of computers that are functioning (SMP 1 Biak)
MERAUKE BERMUTU: 980 teachers still need S-1, of 620 schools only 157 are fully certified. Concerns that funding will be maintained until all teachers are trained.
Opinion of DP Merauke: UnCen doesn’t have capacity to deal with all Kab.
Local government is considering opening a teachers college inMerauke.
Lack of instructional support for TV-e, such as teacher training or lesson
Limited use by teachers (“Teachers watch it, they imagine it can help, but it hasn’t yet”); very limited use by students (only SMP 1 Apo Jayapura)
Time zone and program scheduling don’t match school hours in Papua or curriculum units taught by teachers
Teachers have suggested that DVDs (such as those in production at BPP) would be more effective
Lack of electricity limits access to TV
Many TVs are still boxed
edukasi.net and dikmenjur.net
Few schools with computers; very limited Internet access
Teachers do use these Web sites when they are available to them; however few teachers have even intermittent access to them
Limited numbers of computers in schools
Students and teachers have limited or no access to computers, with few exceptions (SMK Yapis Biak, SMK 1 Jayapura, SMK 1 Biak)
In individual schools that have acquired computers, the age, components, and software vary significantly, complicating use and maintenance
Lack of access or irregular electrical power limits value of ICT
ICT labs not configured in response to power-supply limitations
Limited use of computer labs (at SMP 1 Wamena using all computers overloads the circuit)
Limited maintenance capacity in schools; limited access to private-sector maintenance
Computers in older labs are out of service (SMK Negeri 1 Biak, SMA 1 Wamena [14 of 20 computers functioning])
ICT curricula taught to students who lack access to ICT
ICT curricula taught by “auto-didact” teachers who lack formal training in either the subject or relevant methods of instruction
ICT is taught without relationship to meaningful tasks; while students pass national exams, their practical skills and usable knowledge may be limited
248 kecamatan(at least)
Availability of skilled human resources
Maintenance of equipment
Connectivity and other infrastructure
■ Cost / bandwidth
■ ICT Center di Sekola (Teacher ICT training)