Kompas, page 13, Saturday, Sept 17
Relevance of vocational education and industries should be strengthened to increase employment absorption rate of vocational education graduates. The availability of vocational education graduates with quality skills will be surely beneficial for industries to get employees. Currently, vocational education applies the supply and demand approach. As a result, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), in 2015, vocational education graduates, who were supposed to get ready for working, were at the top of unemployment rate (9%).
Expert staff in the Presidential Staff Office, Unggul Herigbaldi, said that vocational high schools should be developed based on users’ needs, instead of the current approach applied to vocational education development. According to him, vocational revitalization in Vocational High School is aimed at coping with irrelevance between what schools provide and what industries need. According to him, employee education models in vocational high schools are dominantly akin to learning models in ordinary schools. In fact, workplace learning which is very important is still insufficient.
Therefore, Unggul added, the teaching factory approach is very important. However, to have quality vocational high schools need huge investment commitment. One of the focuses of vocational high school revitalization is agriculture. Indonesia should be able to produce modern famers from highly educated and skillful generations. They should be well connected to advanced technologies so that they can produce quality agricultural products.
To do so, the Govt. should prepared several matters including a qualification framework which is clear and relevant for schools and industries, mergers of vocational high schools, and availability of pilot vocational high schools for, in particular, agricultures and manufacture industries. Demographic bonus should be used to strengthen vocational education so that the available work forces are not dominated by elementary school graduates anymore.