In the land of Papua, learning English opens numerous doors, whether for employment or a scholarship to study overseas. Back in 2008, when the BPN began, our Papuan partners requested support to enable the improvement of English language skills. This began in several ways. Firstly scholarships were awarded to disadvantaged highland students studying at the University of Otto and Geisler (Then STIE). Later the APCEP course was developed, followed by the Black Pearl English Course (BPEC) development.
The BPN hopes that the students not only learn to speak English but are also happy, healthy and confident to use their English skills to succeed in their chosen field.
The Black Pearl English Course (BPEC) was established in January 2017 in Sarmi and Nabire. Since then, additional classes have been established in other areas, including East Nabire, Apawer, Malamoi, Klabra, Maybrat, Teminabuan, Raja Ampat, Wasior, Manokwari, Koya Barat, Nafri, Muara Tami, Wamena, Merauke and north and south Biak.
Click the button below to view more information on the locations where the BPEC is run.
Teachers' Continuing Education
The BPEC aims to offer our students the highest possible standard of English tuition. This means regular continuing education is provided for BPEC teachers. In July 2018, the BPEC teachers had their first opportunity when they completed the IALF C-CELT course in Jayapura, set up and funded by the BPN.
Since then, COVID-19 restrictions have meant a new approach to staff education. An intensive three-week on-line course run by teachers in Perth was delivered to all our BPEC teachers who gathered in Nabire for the event with the support of the Nabire Klasis in 2021 and in Manokwari in 2022.
In June 2023, eighteen teachers and two administration staff were hosted to attend Perth for professional development training at Milner International College of English. The course was very well received by all of the participants.
A word from the BPEC staff
Fred - Head teacher and Manager BPEC
My full name is Fred Kees Charles Bundah, and my nickname is Fred. I am from Biak, Papua. I was born in Wamena which is in the highlands. I have a brother and two sisters and I am the oldest in my family. My hobby is playing football and watching movies.
In 2010, I graduated my study at Cendrawasih University, my major was pure Mathematics. I am married and I have a son named Daniel Joshua Bundah.
When I was at the university in 2006 I attended the English course at STIE Ottow Geisler Jayapura sponsored by Uniting Church in Australia. Then, in 2008, we had visitors from Perth (now BPN). To develop my English and keep the relationship I began to involved in the program (the BPN) starting with being a translator.
In 2014, BPN Perth team asked me to work full time in the project in Papua especially for establishing English Course in some Klasises. For me, working for BPN is such a dream comes true. When I was at the high school, I had a strong wish to work with foreigners. I did many things to achieve this and one of these is developing my English skills.
I remember after coming back from Brisbane (First APCEP Program) in 2009, I searched more information to work for Uniting World based in Papua, but I could not find it. However, it did not make me discouraged to have hope.
In 2013, I rebuilt my relationship with BPN Perth, as a result I was selected to work for BPN one year later. I am so proud as I was chosen to be the Program Manager for the Programme run by BPN in Papua.
Taking this responsibility, for me, is the blessing of God for me. I believe that God has led BPN to come to Papua to serve the locals, and as a Papuan it has been my responsibility to support the program to be successful.
Rita - Teacher
Rita has two brothers Stenly and Havel and comes from Sorong and has worked as a teacher for the BPEC since completing her Bachelor of English teaching at Cenderawasih University in 2016.
She enjoys having the opportunity to teach Papuan students English, especially those students living a long way from the big cities.
Siriwai - Teacher
“I joined the Black Pearl Network because I want to be a faithful Sunday school teacher”
Siriwai was born in Windesi, North Japen Island, Papua. He likes reading, playing soccer, jogging, writing,
doing small research projects, hiking, diving, travelling, and working with people from different cultures and backgrounds within and beyond Papua.
Siriwai is a graduate of the English Teaching Department at the State University of Papua in Manokwari and applied for the Black Pearl Network (BPN), Yayasan Mutiara Hitam Papua (Manokwari, West Papua) in March 2021.
Following his appointment he attended the BPN’s teacher training in Nabire between June and July 2021.
Exposure to BPN's staff and mentors in both Nabire and Perth, Western Australia have widened his horizons in language teaching and education. As an inexperienced
teacher, Siriwai has learnt how to be creative at teaching English and also how to protect students’ rights to equality of education. Not only has he advanced his knowledge of human rights he has also and increased his ability to communicate.
In Manokwari, Siriwai and his partner organise the BPN’s main program called the Black Pearl English Course at the Klasis GKI. They regularly meet and discuss with congregation leaders and share knowledge, ideas and skills through teaching BPN’s participants.
The Black Pearl Network has been life-changing for Siriwai and prompted his creativity, intuition, knowledge and faith.
Willy - Teacher
Wehelmus (Willy) now teaches in Apawer. He comes from the Papuan island of Biak and started working for the BPN in August 2018 in Napan.
He graduated from the English Language Program at Cenderawasih University in 2017. He has a young daughter called Abigail Sarce Msiren.
Willy joined the BPN team as he is interested in improving education, especially English, for Papuan people. Willy comments:
“As a Papuan I realised that I must be part of this network to share my knowledge with my brothers and sisters. In addition, the lack of English teachers in remote areas motivated me to accept the position to teach in Napan.”
Yanti - Teacher
Yanti loves jogging, reading and watching movies. She has been a teacher for over 3 years and has worked as a teacher for the Black Pearl Network since May 2017. Yanti likes working for the BPN as she is given opportunities to develop her career as a teacher whilst she is helping Papuan students to learn English.
“Papua needs English to take the people to study abroad, to improve their education and build their homeland. I am blessed to be part of the BPN. I believe we can grow together."
Yanti was teaching alongside Rita in Sarmi, but in August 2018 started up a new BPN centre in her home village of Waibu Moi.