Religious Institutions Asked to Develop SMK

Kompas, page 15

Religious-based education institutions are expected to support the realization of vocational high schools. The support could be to build a school institution to supply teachers having the required competencies. It was delivered by Minister of Education and Culture Muhadjir Effendy, in East Java, Monday (22/5). He explained that the government is currently focusing on developing SMK in four areas, namely: maritime, agriculture, tourism, and creative industries.

Muhadjir assessed a number of areas in East Java, such as Banyuwangi, Situbondo, and Probolinggo, have the potential to establish marine/ maritime SMKs.  Since the area is strongly religious-based, such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), he considered that the marine SMK to be later built could be pesantren-based.

He reminded, because SMK is now a provincial domain, preferably prioritize the SMK to be revitalized. An unhealthy SMK could be revitalized to make it fit again. SMK is called healthy if it has students of above 500 people. As for the construction of new vocational high schools, they are prioritized for the disadvantaged, outermost, and frontier areas.

In terms of teacher availability, Muhadjir said that currently Indonesia lacks 91,000 SMK teachers of appropriate competencies.  Only 22 percent of teachers are in line with needs. Most are adaptive teachers (chemistry, biology, physics teachers, and so on) and normative teachers (religion teachers). This is why SMKs do not develop well. Efforts to meet teacher shortages are done by taking teachers from companies (with certification) as well as with multiple skills programs. With the program, until 2019, Muhadjir expects to make available 40,000 teachers of SMK appropriate to the needs.  In 2017, it is expected that 15,000 SMK teachers are generated in accordance with needs.

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