Papuan Graduates Prefer to be Civil Servants

Thursday, 17 February 2011 | 18:15 WIB (Free Translation from KOMPAS)

MANOKWARI, — Until now, graduates in Papua are still oriented to be civil servants and very few wants to be entrepreneurs. It is based on their paradigm that civil servants live in prosperous.

Yan Pieter Karafir, Dean of West Papua State University (Unipa), admitted almost 80 percent of graduates in Papua still prefer to work as employees, especially civil servants, to be entrepreneur. Daily influence of how civil servants live is the trigger.

“Graduates believe being a civil servant give them life guarantee, especially in old age. As a result, this thinking shaped their mindset upon graduation to be employees. They consider pensions as an obstacle,” said Karafir, after graduation ceremony of Unipa’s February 2011 period on Thursday 17 February 2011.

This employee mentality was shaped as the result of people in Papua believing that civil servants duty is an easy work with guarantee of welfare in old age. They are not driven to compete and achieve things when they serve as civil servants thus they only rely on their salaries.

The low interest of university graduates in Papua to be entrepreneurs is also the result of government’s lack of support to facilitate students’ business activities. According to Anom Indra, lecturer of Forest Products Technology from Forestry Faculty of Unipa, students business activities are only limited to internship. They do not consider to pursue these business after graduation.

“Students have limitations from acquiring business funds to marketing their products. It is a waste if they produce something but could not market them,” said Anom.

For the past three years, Unipa campus has conducted entrepreneurship programme by giving initial capital between IDR 10 million to IDR 40 million to student groups who wanted to start up a business. Whereas products Unipa students produce included furniture, bricks made of timber waste and food product for farming commodity. Unfortunately, this programme has not been successful. From 116 students who joined in 2010, only 4 students are considered entrepreneurs.

Manokwari Vice Regent, Roberth KR Hammar agreed graduates have high interest to become civil servants. This is due to the limited employment in Manokwari and West Papua. In addition, the low interest on entrepreneurship in West Papua is the result of lack of easy credit and product marketing for small and medium enterprises.

On the other hand, local district or provincial governments still require many civil servants. According to Statistical Central Bureau, in 2007, there were only 851 civil servants in West Papua and in 2009, rose to 1,149. The high interest to become civil servant was evident from the number of applicants for civil servant candidacy test last December 2010 reaching 3,020 people to fill only 200 positions.

To persuade graduates on entrepreneurship instead of orient themselves as civil servants, added Roberth, ease of bank credit or special autonomy fund allocation are options to start. Also, opening investment opportunities and trade network between districts and provinces. “Related departments, especially industry and trade should assist students’ entrepreneurial activities,” he said.

Timbuktu Harthana

Editor: Glori K. Wadrianto

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