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Papua drops student fees, hikes teacher salaries JAYAPURA - With new powers under the special autonomy laws, the provincial legislature in Irian Jaya (Papua) has dropped all fees for elementary and high school students as of the 2002/2003 academic year to give children more of an opportunity to receive a quality education. Jerry Haurissa, chief of the local education office, said financial issues had been one of the main problems preventing school-age children from attending school. "With the new policy, all Papuan children aged between six and 18 are expected to go to school in attempt to improve the human resource quality in the province," he told The Jakarta Post here on Tuesday.
He admitted that various political and military conflicts had affected schools, by causing many teachers to return to their home provinces while many students chose to stay home. "We will hire more and more teachers from other provinces with higher salaries and interesting incentives to encourage them to work in remote areas," he said. Haurissa hailed the 2002 budget which gives a top priority to the education sector, saying the high budget was expected to be able to finance all development planning in the education sector.
"The provincial administration has allocated 30 percent, or more than Rp 183 billion, of the 2002 budget totaling Rp 1.9 trillion for the education sector," he said, saying that in addition to pushing for the nine-year development planning, that the local administration would also provide scholarships for Papuan people to study at home and overseas as well as to establish vocational training centers for high school graduates who decided not to go to university. The province's budget endorsed by the provincial legislative council on April 24, 2002, increased by more than 300 percent to Rp 1.9 trillion this fiscal year from the previous Rp 618.5 billion in 2001.
Under the special autonomy, the province was able to retain some Rp 1.3 trillion, mostly from its profits from exploitation of natural resources, including the copper and gold mines controlled by PT Freeport Indonesia, in the province. Previously, Jakarta kept more than 80 percent of that revenue. Of the figure, the provincial administration now receives some 60 percent or Rp 760 billion while the remaining Rp 621.9 billion was distributed among the regency administrations. The province will also receive some Rp 600 billion from other sources such as taxes and the state budget to pay civil servants and servicemen employed in the province.



Posted in PT Freeport @ 13 June 2002 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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