Referral SMKs Accelerate Improvements

Kompas, page 11

The government seeks to accelerate the improvement of the quality of vocational high school (SMK) students by forming 1,650 Referral SMKs. These schools are prepared to be able to issue their own certificates of expertise competency for students and graduates. Director of SMK Development, the Ministry of Education and Culture Mustaghfirin Amin said Referral SMKs focus on four government flagship fields, namely marine and fisheries, agriculture, tourism and the creative industries.

By involving Referral SMKs, other schools can emulate good SMKs. The public could also choose quality schools. Referral SMKs shall accompany two vocational schools in the vicinity.

He explained Referral SMKs should be able to provide certification license recognized by the National Professional Certification Board (BNSP). So, student expertise competency is not recognized by the school, but by industry and the association. Now there are 300 licensed Referral SMKs providing certificates of competency.  In 2016, it is targeted to increase to 750 Referral SMKs. Only next year, all Referral SMKs are scheduled to be able to provide certificates of competency.

Marlock, Coordinator of the Indonesian Forum for Education and Training Care of Vocational High Schools, assesses, determining schools made into Referral SMKs should not be based on the number of students, but based on the quality of learning and industry collaboration. These SMKs should be prepared with a business development proposal. In fact, the SMKs should be prepared to be the assembly center for household, office, and industrial electronics goods. If possible, SMKs become the center for the assembly of motorcycles and cars.

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