Jakarta. The Youth 20, commonly abbreviated as Y20, on Saturday kicked off its fourth pre-summit in Manokwari, West Papua, with discussions revolving around promoting diversity and inclusion, including ways to promote inclusive education.
According to Y20 Indonesia 2022 co-chair Nurul Hidayatul Ummah, inequality affects all segments of the population. It is particularly detrimental to marginalized and vulnerable groups, which are often the youth. Nurul also named inadequate human capital investment and rising intolerance among societies as some of the biggest challenges that the youth of today are facing.
“At the moment, the world has the largest young generation in history with more than 1.8 billion people. Young people can be a powerful force for development and social and economic transformation when provided with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities,” Nurul said in her remarks.
Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali —in a speech read by the ministry’s deputy assistant for youth partnerships Manalu— echoed a similar sentiment. He said he hoped the Y20 forum could come up with recommendations on improving human capital to boost the youth’s quality of life.
"Focusing on increasing the human capital capacity and quality amid the greatest youth generation in history can be a powerful way to achieve social development,” Wisler said, reading the minister’s speech.
West Papua Governor, represented by the province’s regional secretary Nathaniel Dominggus Mandacan, said that the Y20 Pre-Summit included a diverse range of young people from Indonesia and abroad.
At the same event, the Y20 held a high-level panel discussion featuring policymakers and practitioners, namely Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno, G20 Indonesia co-sherpa Dian Triansyah Djani, Wahid Institute founder Yenny Wahid, and Jaleswari Parmodhawardani of the Presidential Staff Office.
Promote Inclusive Education
The Fourth Y20 Pre-Summit also featured a talk show on promoting inclusive education. The speakers addressed issues ranging from education during the Covid-19 pandemic to education for children with special needs.
Kipin.id chief business officer Steffina Yuli highlighted the digital infrastructure gap such as internet connectivity between urban and rural areas. In response, Kipin.id offers a technology that enables students to access learning materials without the need to connect to the internet.
“We need a solution to reach them without waiting for digital infrastructure to be ready. Its affordability is also important,” Steffina said.
According to G20 2022 Education Working Group co-chair Iwan Syahril, every province should have a teacher education university that provides a quality degree program in special education.
"We must believe whole-heartedly that in education, everyone, every child, including those with disabilities, has and can reach the highest [educational] expectations. This is the fundamental belief of good teaching and education," Iwan said.
According to presidential staff and Kitong Bisa founder Billy Mambrasar, non-formal education centers can be a way to take real action in realizing inclusive education, especially in the incredibly vast Indonesia.
“Indonesia has 17,000 islands. In Papua itself, villages and regencies are far from one another,” Billy said.
"Education solutions that we can do right now is to return to our villages, open non-formal learning centers, adopt the Education Ministry curriculum, provide access to other Papuan students and motivate them that tonight, 50 young leaders from all over the world gathered in Manokwari and you can be one of them in the future,” Billy told the audience who were mostly youth delegates.
At the event, World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022 manager O'Neall Massamba said, “education, especially for youth, is a way for youth to take part in the economy and reap the benefits of economic opportunities. It's also a way to foster inclusion."