Education and Industry Collaboration is Important for Vocational Development

In order to prepare a workforce that is competitive, skilled, qualified, and relevant to the demands of the growing world of work, collaboration between education and the work industry is very necessary.

Therefore, the government actively encourages the involvement of the business world and the industrial world (DUDI) to participate in supporting and developing human resources in the projected vocational revitalization.

According to the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture (Menko PMK) Muhadjir Effendy, investment in Indonesian human resources must start from now on, considering that superior, cultured Indonesian human resources, and mastering Science and Technology, are the main capital towards an advanced Indonesia.

The projection of this vocational revitalization focuses on preparing an additional 58 million workers with 21st century skills over the next 15 years.

Achieving this target requires a strong commitment, not only by the government, but also by DUDI.

“All of these efforts require strong synergy from various sectors, both government and society,” he said during his keynote speech at the BISA National Vocational Showcase Kick Off at Muhammadiyah 1 Kepanjen Vocational School, Friday (17/6).

Also attending the event were Director of Vocational Education Directorate General of Vocational Education Kemendikbudristek Wardani Sugiyanto, Chief of Corporate Affairs Astra Riza Deliansya, Head of the Education Office of East Java Province Wahid Wahyudi, Assistant for Government and People’s Welfare of Malang Regency Suwadji, Head of CSR Astra Bima Krida Pamungkas, Representative of the Assembly East Java PWM Dikdasmen, and the Principal of SMK Muhammadiyah 1 Kepanjen Maryanto.

One of the real commitments is Astra’s contribution in the field of vocational education in the National Showcase SMK BISA (Astra Fostered) program which already has more than 3,000 fostered schools.

“I am proud because SMK Muhammadiyah 1 Kepanjen received the title of National Showcase for SMK BISA after a long selection process, including institutional, industrial culture, and the development of a teaching factory,” said the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture.

This achievement is considered very prestigious because this school has become a best practice model for other vocational schools in Indonesia.

“I also appreciate Astra which has become a tangible manifestation of the government’s harmony with the industrial world in developing vocational education in Indonesia.

Hopefully this collaboration between the world of education and industry will continue to be developed properly and intensively, for the progress of the nation,” said the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture.

Meanwhile, Astra’s Chief of Corporate Affairs Riza Deliansyah said, the SMK BISA program carried out in-depth and comprehensive SMK development by prioritizing partnerships and alignment with the Astra Group to make SMK a national reference center.

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“Later on, all expertise programs will be implemented by link and match, with related Astra Group companies.

So it is hoped that it can improve the quality of vocational human resources that have global competitiveness,” said Riza.

In addition, the government previously issued Presidential Decree No. 68 of 2022 concerning the revitalization of vocational education and vocational training which mandates that vocational education is the authority of the Ministry of Education and Culture and vocational training is the authority of the Ministry of Manpower.

With this Presidential Regulation, it is hoped that vocational management will be more focused.

Work ethic and mutual cooperation are the keywords to create a literate society

The realization of a literate or knowledgeable society is the goal of literacy culture.

Today’s literacy is not only seen as a hobby of reading and writing but needs to be understood as language skills (listening, reading, viewing, writing, speaking) combined with thinking skills (accessing, exploring, identifying, processing, calculating, questioning, understanding, interpreting, and evaluate) so that a person has the ability to use, express, create, and communicate the knowledge he has acquired (Trianto and Heryani, 2021)

Literacy activity programs have been started since the beginning of independence through the ABC Course and Community Education Plan (1951), Elimination of Latin Illiteracy (1960), Package A Program (1970), 9 Years of Compulsory Education (1990), Non-Formal Education (2003), Movement National Acceleration of Completion of Compulsory Education for 9 Years of Basic Education and Eradication of Illiteracy (2006), Growth of Character (2015), and the National Literacy Movement (2016).

At the beginning of independence, literacy activities were more focused on eradicating illiteracy and since 2015 began to be directed at increasing the love of reading through character development.

Increasing literacy culture to create a knowledgeable, innovative and creative society is one of the National Priority targets for Mental Revolution and Cultural Advancement in the 2020-2024 National Mid-Term Development Plan.

However, increasing the literacy culture has obstacles, among others, related to access and literacy services, providing quality literacy content in various modes, increasing a culture of liking reading, and increasing ICT facilities to support digital transformation.

Talking about access, according to data from the National Library of Indonesia, in 2020 there were only 34,306 villages/kelurahan that had village libraries or sub-district libraries.

Meanwhile, based on the results of the 2018 Village Potential data collection conducted by BPS, it shows that of the 83,931 villages/kelurahan in Indonesia, only 15,804 villages/kelurahan have Community Reading Parks (TBM) or around 18.83%. In addition to the number, the distribution of library services is also uneven.

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A total of 121,549 libraries or 47.89% of the 253,809 libraries in Indonesia, are located on the island of Java (Perpusnas RI, 2020).

In terms of literacy content, the number of collections of reading materials in all libraries spread throughout Indonesia in 2020 is 22,318,080 copies or only 4.13% of the ideal number of 540.40 million copies, as standard by The International Federation of Library Associations.

and Institutions (IFLA)/Unesco, which states that the adequacy ratio of library collections is at least twice the population. According to the 2020 Population Census, Indonesia’s population is 270.20 million.

The level of fondness for reading in Indonesian society is also relatively low.

Based on measurements carried out by the National Library of Indonesia, the level of reading pleasure of the Indonesian people in 2020 is measured through three variables, namely reading frequency, duration of reading, and number of books read; only 55.74.

Meanwhile, to support digital transformation, currently there are still some areas that cannot access the internet.

Based on the results of the 2018 Village Potential data collection, there are 6,961 villages (8.29%) villages that do not or do not have an internet signal.

To overcome some of the problems that surfaced above, the relevant Ministries/Institutions have made efforts through various programs, such as:

  • The National Library of Indonesia through the Library Guidance and Development Program, the Development of a Passion for Reading, and the Improvement of the Community Literacy Index;
  • Ministry of Education and Culture through the Literacy Strengthening program in Schools, as well as Literacy Culture Development through Community Reading Parks (TBM);
    The Ministry of Home Affairs through the Regional Reading Love Improvement program;
  • KemendesPDTT through the Village Library and Village Internet programs; as well as
  • Ministries/other technical institutions through programs to increase knowledge/capacity of the community in accordance with their fields, for example Digital Literacy by the Ministry of
  • Communication and Information; Financial Literacy by OJK; Safety Literacy on Highways by the Ministry of Transportation; Religious Moderation Literacy by the Ministry of Religion;Trade Literacy by the Ministry of Trade; Green Literacy by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Agricultural Literacy by the Ministry of Agriculture, and many more.

Although there have been many programs or activities to improve literacy culture that have been and are currently being carried out by ministries/agencies, in their implementation there are still not synergies and seem to run independently.

So that the impact of the implementation of the program has not been felt by the wider community.

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Several indicators, both at the national and global levels, which show the low level of literacy culture in Indonesia strengthen this assumption. Some of these indicators include:

  • Literacy Culture Value in 2019 is 59.11;
  • The Level of Love to Read in 2020 is 55.74;
  • The 2019 Reading Literacy Activity Index (Alibaca) was 37.32%;
  • Indonesia National Assessment Program (INAP) 2016, for the Reading Ability Score of 46.83;
  • The value of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Indonesia in 2018 is in the 80th position out of 85 countries.

Observing the results of some of the indicators above which are not good, synergy and mutual cooperation between stakeholders in improving literacy culture must be carried out to improve literacy access and services.

A form of collaboration and synergy is needed from the relevant ministries/institutions, for example National Library as the supervisor and development of all libraries; Kemendikbudristek as the person in charge of developing school libraries, universities, PKBM, PAUD and TBM; Ministry of Religion in charge of libraries in Islamic boarding schools, religious schools and colleges; Ministry of Home Affairs as coordinator of local government policies; KemendesPDTT as the regulator of the use of village funds, Bappenas, District Secretariat, Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, and the Regional Government, as well as other relevant stakeholders (academics, DUDI, communities/activists, and the media).

Preparation of literacy content also needs mutual cooperation between stakeholders.

Based on monitoring and evaluation, many village/kelurahan libraries and community libraries lack literacy content, but on the other hand the technical ministry produces a lot of literacy content in various modes according to their field of work and requires a lot of media for distribution.

The two sides are often not connected, so a mechanism is needed to facilitate this mutually beneficial relationship.

Synergy and mutual cooperation between stakeholders in improving literacy culture need to be designed and formalized.

Currently, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture is developing a Literacy Cultivation Roadmap, as a forum for collaboration and mutual assistance of all stakeholders in improving literacy culture.

The Literacy Cultivation Roadmap (PJPL) will later become a common guideline in improving literacy culture among stakeholders.

In addition to mutual cooperation, the work ethic of all stakeholders also needs to be improved.

Indonesia’s lagging behind in various national and global indicators forces us to try seriously and consistently.

With the work ethic and mutual cooperation of all stakeholders, surely the goal of increasing literacy culture to create a knowledgeable, innovative, and creative society can be achieved.