Rural and Remote Education Initiative
Indigenous children in rural and remote areas of Papua remain severely disadvantaged, with almost 50 per cent of over 5 year olds in rural areas of Papua province never having attended school, compared with 5 per cent in urban areas.
Education opportunities have only modestly expanded in Papua and West Papua in recent years. Data indicates that there remain significant equity gaps across Papua and West Papua based on geographic distribution, wealth, urban vs. rural, and indigenous vs. non-indigenous divisions. In general, children in rural areas face significant obstacles to accessing effective education services. Although data is enduringly difficult to collect and validate, the low level of student enrolments is likely linked to the weak pedagogical knowledge of teachers, poor quality of teaching and presence of corporal punishment, and the associated low value attached to schooling by students and parents.
To address this context, UNICEF with support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Government of Australia, has implemented the Rural and Remote Education Initiative for Papuan Provinces, with the Government of Indonesia.