One in Five Residents in Mimika Illiterate

Jakarta Post

by Markus Makur, Mimika, Papua

 

More than 22 percent of the population of the Mimika regency in Papua, or about 40,000 people there, are illiterate. Mimika, with a population of 175,000, ranks fifth in term of the illiteracy rate in the province, after Wamena, Merauke, Paniai and Nabire regencies, said Yesaya Sombuk, head of Mimika Education Agency, on Tuesday.

Papua itself has the highest illiteracy rate among the country’s 33 provinces.  The agency is offering a three-month literacy course in the regency’s 12 districts with 1,200 residents joining the program, which kicked off Tuesday. Those who are illiterate – both native Papuans and migrants – are found not only in remote areas, but also in urban areas, including in Timika, the regency’s capital. The first course, however, is targeting those in the hinterlands, mountains and coastal areas.

Mimika is home to one of the world’s richest gold mines operated by US-based company PT Freeport Indonesia.

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