Programs aimed at improving human resource development are always essential for Indonesia, as human resource development is essential for any nation to achieve developed country status.
President Joko Widodo has repeatedly stressed that the Indonesian education system must focus on providing professional skills to the younger generation.
Preparing young people to become skilled professionals is essential to achieve the demographic dividend and to face increasingly intense competition with other countries.
Vocational education and training in Indonesia will be further strengthened as its development strategy shifts from physical infrastructure development to human development.
While Indonesia has focused its efforts on building infrastructure for the past four years, improving the quality of its human resources is a prerequisite so that it does not get trapped in the middle income group. .
In Indonesia, the existence of a skilled workforce is not only essential for scaling up development but also for the productivity of businesses and industries.
However, vocational education units in Indonesia, especially Vocational High Schools (SMKs), which are expected to produce work-ready graduates, still face various challenges in meeting human resource needs in line with industry requirements.
To this end, concrete advances are needed in human resource development, including efforts to build skills through the optimization of vocational schools.
One of the current efforts of the government is the Vocational High School Center of Excellence (SMK PK) program, which was initiated by the General Directorate of Vocational Education of the Ministry of Education, Culture, of Research and Technology (Kemendikbudristek). .
Since 2020, the government has made several efforts to achieve progress in achieving harmony between vocational training and the world of business and industry.
The 2022 SMK PK program has been updated by adding a corresponding support program which will involve industries more intensively.
General Director of Vocational Education at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology Wikan Sakarinto revealed that 901 vocational high schools across the country have joined the program, and the number will continue. increase until enrollment in the program. closes January 14, 2022.
The ministry believes that schools have four stages of development and it is committed to assisting the development of schools at every stage through the SMK PK program, he said.
In fact, he even analyzed the performance of SMK PK participants in 2021. He noted that most schools had reached stages three and four. Although some schools are in stages one and two, their numbers were minimal, he added.
When they reach the fourth stage, the government aims that the educational factory is already optimal, that the link and correspondence are complete and that the school can have an impact on other vocational high schools, he explained. .
The main objective of the SMK PK program is to develop vocational high schools which can produce competent graduates who can work or become entrepreneurs with competitive incomes.
In 2022, the goal has been strengthened by stepping up partnerships that can have positive economic impacts.
The SMK PK program also aims to produce schools that can become an example and have a positive impact on other vocational schools in a spirit of freedom of learning (Merdeka Belajar).
Each school in the SMK PK program receives funds to strengthen learning activities focused on employment needs through the teaching factory method which actively produces, increases human resource capacity (both the technical skills and general skills), develops project-based learning (PBL), as well as improving the quality of facilities and infrastructure.
In terms of boosting productivity and the economy, the SMK PK program focuses on skills that support industries with a positive growth trend so that they have high potential in the future.
In 2021, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology introduced the Matching Support Scheme to strengthen collaboration with the world of work.
The government will also encourage industries to provide more concrete support, for example, by providing budgets for SMK PK supervisors.
Through the SMK PK Correspondence Support Program, industry can provide further interventions for the SMK PK program.
These industry interventions can take the form of upgrading or re-qualification of professional teachers, alignment of study programs, project-based learning, fieldwork practices, assistance with facilities and infrastructure to develop educational factories, to produce downstream.
Therefore, the program should help promote a sense of belonging among industries. For example, industries will participate later by giving preferences regarding the specifications of the tools used, the program, etc.
Sakarinto said the ministry will help attract industries to the SMK PK program through meetings with industry. He said the ministry would explain the different added values that will be achieved through such reconciliations in order to convince the industry.
If this effort is made intensively, it could increase the competence of human resources in the country through the optimization of vocational schools.
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