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Education Ministry Set to Improve Vocational Training in 2017

posted Jan 26, 2017, 1:59 AM by Brook Ross
Abridged from The Jakarta Globe, January 13, 2017

The Ministry of Education and Culture has set the improvement of vocational training as one of its top priorities for 2017. This priority was highlighted further after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo ordered that the vocational training curriculum should be reformed.

One of the improvements is the transfer of management to the provincial level, instead of district level. According to Ananto Kusuma Seta, senior advisor for innovation and competitiveness at the ministry, this would help get rid of the micro-perspective district heads have about their graduates. "With this blinkered point of view, the district heads are only concerned with the industries in their district, which is why graduates are unemployed – who knows? The neighboring district might just need that graduate for their industry," Ananto said. Ananto believes this would make it easy for governors to link and match graduates with province-owned enterprises, and provide them with apprenticeship opportunities.

Another aspect the ministry will focus on is strengthening of human resources in vocational institutions, as teachers in these schools have been found to lack adequate skills. Ananto revealed that only 22.3 percent of vocational school teachers have the correct qualifications, while the remainder are orientated more towards traditional subjects, such as mathematics and biology. "Since last year, we have initiated a one-year program to train teachers to become multi-skilled compared to being focused on one module only," Ananto said.

The ministry is also opening the program to industry experts to hone their skills and gain certificates, or skills passports, so that they can become teachers in their respective fields. 

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