Sharpen Direction of Polytechnic Studies

Kompas, page 12

Of the 43 state universities or vocational PTN in Indonesia, only 12 have directed study programs. This condition affects the quality of graduates and manpower absorption/employment. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct fundamental reform. It was raised by Director of Higher Education Institutional Development, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education Totok Prasetyo. He said the growth of polytechnics in Indonesia is fairly rapid. However, most are not specific and do not have superiorities to be highlighted.

Totok said the educational curriculum in all polytechnics will be reorganized starting 2017. Polytechnics are encouraged to have specific study programs with learning scheme of 70 percent practice and 30 percent theory.   Gradually, 50 percent of teachers/lecturers in each polytechnic must come from industry. Revamping the curriculum does not mean shutting down certain courses. Polytechnic could have multiple fields of study, including non-technical studies, provided they have special superiorities/advantages, for example, agriculture, shipping, and manufacturing.

Dean of the Vocational School of Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Wikan Sakarinto said vocational workers should be able to directly participate in the working world. Currently, what is really sought after by industry and the world of work is skilled and competent labor force. He emphasized that vocational education should be able to create graduates who are ready for use in the workplace. Besides being in line with government policy to reduce unemployment by creating skilled and ready personnel, vocational education is also providing life skills.

Meanwhile, Head of the International Affairs Office of Semarang State Polytechnic Lusia M Silitonga added, polytechnic internal reform is constrained by the difficulty in cultivating cooperation with foreign polytechnics. State polytechnics need to improve the curriculum system, ranging from the choice of courses to competency assessment based on the Indonesian National Qualifications Framework.

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