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An Ethnographic Analysis of the Use of Schooling as an International Development Tool in Eragayam Tengah, Papua

SHAH, RACHEL,CAROLINE,HUGHES (2016) An Ethnographic Analysis of the Use of Schooling as an International Development Tool in Eragayam Tengah, Papua. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Though reports of schooling's failure to meet the needs of indigenous people are consistently prevalent in Papua Province, Indonesia, little is known of indigenous perspectives on the dilemma of how to effectively use schooling to benefit Papuans without harming them. I use data from eighteen months of participant observation, a time allocation study and a shadow method in Eragayam Tengah, a rural Walak-speaking region of the Papuan highlands, to investigate the nature of education outside of schooling, analyse what effect schooling has on this education, and compare a Walak understanding of the purpose of schooling with that of other stakeholders.

I found that education in the private Ob Anggen school and education outside of school are not mutually exclusive and argue, controversially, that as an education already exists which prepares children well for rural Walak life, indigenising schooling is unnecessary. Indeed, schooling is valued by many indigenous Papuans precisely as a means of accessing what rural life does not yet offer; Walak people hope to use schooling to move themselves from the margins of global society towards the centre, where power, status and material resources appear abundant.

Walak perspectives on schooling ostensibly align with mission and international development agendas but though Walak people hope schooled individuals will gain foreign knowledge, they fully expect them to retain Walak values, such as egalitarianism, autonomy and reciprocity. As my analyses of time and work demonstrate, these values, and the concepts they employ, contrast starkly with those held by other stakeholders, which results in competing and incompatible visions of schooling success.

This thesis explains some of the reasons why state schooling appears to be failing in Papua Province and provides important insights into indigenous perspectives on the purpose of schooling, without which neither understanding nor improvement of Papuan highlanders' educational prospects can be built.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:indigenous education; international development; Papua; Walak; Eragayam Tengah; Ob Anggen; school failure; comparative education; educational anthropology; education; socialisation; enculturation; indigenous rights; schooling; indigenous knowledge; social change; Melanesia; low cost private schooling; knowledge transmission; marginalisation; inequality; egalitarianism;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Dec 2016 13:56

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