Building Quality Indonesian Human Resources Through Higher Education and Vocational Education

The public believes that the higher the level of education that is passed, the better the standard of living will be.

God also raises the level of people who believe and have knowledge.

Therefore, many people want to pursue higher education, and of course through higher education.

By having a diploma / degree from a university, a person can get a higher degree, rank, or position.

However, due to limited capacity, many cannot get higher education.

In terms of quantity, there are more than 4,000 universities in Indonesia.

Compared to China, there are less than 3 thousand universities.

But when viewed from the capacity, the capacity of higher education institutions in Indonesia is only about 1.8 million new students, or about half of the number of graduates of high school and equivalent.

According to BPS, PT Indonesia’s APK in 2021 will only reach 31.18%. That is, the number of students is only 31.18% of the total population in the student age group (18-24 years).

PT Indonesia’s GER level is the lowest in ASEAN.

The government is very aware of the important role of education in creating quality human resources.

The state has also given mandates through laws, be it Law 20/2003 on the National Education System, Law 14/2005 on Teachers and Lecturers, and Law 12/2012 on Higher Education.

Technically, the administration of government affairs in the field of education is now the duty and responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Dikbudristek).

On the other hand, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture (Kemenko PMK) has the task of coordinating, synchronizing and controlling policies (KSP) related to human and cultural development.

The task of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture is very broad and of course quite heavy, because KSP covers from upstream (policy planning) to downstream (benefit for society and the state).

There are 7 Ministries coordinated by the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, 2 of which are major ministries that have a mandate from the state to manage 25% of APBN and APBD funds.

With such a task, it is appropriate that the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture has more qualified human resources compared to other places and also supported by an adequate budget.

Efforts to build quality Indonesian human resources can only be done through education and training.

The recently issued Presidential Regulation Number 68 of 2022 was prepared by the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture at the direction of President Joko Widodo in the context of revitalizing vocational education and training.

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The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture is also finalizing the formulation of higher education structuring policies organized by ministries other than the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Religion.

In this regard, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture has previously supported and encouraged the preparation until the issuance of Government Regulation Number 18 of 2022 concerning Amendments to PP 48/2008 concerning Education Funding.

This PP changes the ministry’s authority in determining the allocation of the education budget in the APBN and APBD.

The Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture was also assigned by the President to coordinate changes in the governance of the education endowment fund where the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture is the Chair of the Board of Trustees, which was later determined to be Presidential Regulation No. 111 of 2021.

Of course, that is not all that has been and is being done by the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, there are many other things that the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture has done other.

Presidential Decree 68/2022 is the government’s effort to accelerate and expand the creation of Indonesian human resources who are competent and competitive in facing global challenges. The new and significant policy in the Presidential Regulation is to assign the Minister of Manpower to be in charge of the implementation of Vocational Training and the Minister of Education and Culture to be responsible for the affairs of Vocational Education which includes SMK.

This policy was initially met with great opposition because it was considered contrary to Law 20/2003 which is still in effect today. Previously, training matters were also handled by the Ministry of Education and Technology because training is a non-formal education route.

However, the government is currently drafting a draft law that will amend Law 20/2003.

Another paradigm that is promoted in Presidential Decree 68/2022 is to make the needs of the business world and the world of work as a reference and reference in the implementation of vocational education and training.

This is intended to ensure that graduates of vocational education and training are truly able to become entrepreneurs or become workers needed by the business and industrial world, and are no longer the biggest contributor to the unemployment rate.

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This Presidential Regulation also orders the formation of a National Coordination Team with the Chief Steering Committee Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, to ensure that vocational education and training is held in accordance with the provisions of Presidential Regulation 68/2022.

President Joko Widodo’s assignment to the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture to complete the preparation of the Draft Government Regulation on the Implementation of Higher Education by Other Ministries and Non-Ministerial Government Institutions (RPP PTKL) is intended to improve the governance of higher education, especially those organized by ministries other than the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Religion.

The implementation of PTKL on the one hand can be said to “take” the tasks inherent in the Ministry of Education and Culture.

But on the other hand, there is PTKL which has been around for a long time before the Ministry of Education and Culture was established.

Several PTKL in the vocational field were established as a follow-up to the direction of President Joko Widodo at the time, as an effort to immediately provide human resources with specific competencies in large numbers needed by certain sectors.

As a coordinating ministry with cross-sectoral duties and responsibilities, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture strongly supports efforts to improve the quality of higher education, whether organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Religion, or by other ministries.

The low APK of PT needs to be overcome by increasing the capacity in a planned manner.

The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture encourages and supports the Ministry of Education and Culture to ensure that the implementation of higher education by all parties is carried out in accordance with the Norms, Standards, Procedures and Criteria (NSPK) set by the government.

Fake universities or simply selling diplomas/degrees, must be disciplined because they not only violate norms and ethics but can also damage the nation’s morale.

There is another thing that is also a big task of the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture from President Joko Widodo, namely the KIP (Smart Indonesia Card) Lecture program.

In 2019, the President initiated the KIP Lecture program (along with the Pre-Employment Card program) as part of efforts to improve the quality of Indonesian human resources as well as poverty alleviation efforts.

Through KIP Kampus, children from poor families are provided with scholarships that cover living expenses and tuition to attend quality higher education institutions until they graduate, without prioritizing academic achievement.

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It is very possible that children from poor families have no academic achievements and have never even dreamed of going to college. The President targets every year as many as 400 thousand poor children are given KIP College.

The children will be directed to participate in vocational education programs.

Thus, after graduating from college, these children have the opportunity to break the chain of poverty in their families.

And in the end, the quality of human beings, especially those from poor families, will be lifted and can get out of poverty.

In 2019, through coordination by the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, the KIP Tuition budget for 2020 has been allocated successfully for 400 thousand prospective students from poor families. Unfortunately, this program did not run smoothly, mainly due to changes in ministry institutions.

The limited capacity for vocational education at that time which could be an obstacle for the KIP Lecture program, a solution has also been considered.

The proportion of vocational higher education capacity has not yet reached 10% of the total capacity of higher education institutions.

In 2019, it is planned to increase the capacity of vocational education by building 500 new Polytechnics for 5 years.

This concept is part of the vocational education revitalization program which was initiated in early 2015 by the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture together with the Coordinating Minister for the Economy.

These polytechnics will be built in industrial development centers and special economic zones to ensure the supply of human resources for development in the area as well as to provide job opportunities for graduates of the vocational education concerned.

At that time, an estimate of the need for the budget was made.

However, efforts to develop human resources through vocational education that are integrated with the KIP Lecture program collided with a change in the ministry in the cabinet at the end of 2019.

The issuance of a number of regulations, especially Presidential Decree 68/2022, can be a momentum in efforts to build quality Indonesian human resources, especially through Vocational Education and Training.

Efforts to create superior human resources must be boosted in order to prepare a democratization bonus and welcome the 2045 Golden Indonesia era.

The Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture will be the determinant in this process.