Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has praised teaching as a noble profession that is irreplaceable by even a sophisticated machine.

"A teacher is a teacher. It is irreplaceable by any kind of machines, including the sophisticated one. Teaching is a noble profession as a teacher builds the character of children by imparting values of morality and tolerance and edifies them about other types of good deeds," he remarked while addressing 44,720 teachers, members of the Indonesian Teachers` Association (PGRI), who had gathered at the Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, Bogor, West Java, to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of PGRI and National Teachers` Day on Saturday.

"It is the teacher who builds social empathy, encourages imagination and creativity, and strengthens unity of the Indonesian nation," he emphasized.

President Jokowi admitted to the fact that the world was changing at a swift pace, while digitalization in education had brought about significant changes in the education sector.

"Classrooms are now no longer the only place to study. The virtual world has now become our campus. Let us speak frankly. Google has now become our library. Wikipedia has also become our encyclopedia. Kindle, electronic books have now become our lesson books," he pointed out.

In view of this, he called on teachers to be aware of digital media that has emerged.

"We are often surprised to find that our children can learn on their own. They know much more through technology. Hence, the role of a teacher is not only teaching but also managing students` learning activities. Teachers are called to be more flexible, creative, and attractive as well as make studying enjoyable," he explained.

Jokowi said in the past four years, the government had given high priority to infrastructure development.

"By this, the government aspires to reduce isolation and boost connectivity to strengthen national unity as islands, provinces, and districts will become connected while new economic centers will be built and access to services, including education, will be improved," he stated.

He said starting next year, the government will shift its infrastructure development program or its strategy to the development of human resources.

"The quality of human resources in all kinds of profession as well as young children and the youth would be improved significantly. Our human resources must be able to meet and use the opportunities offered in the world and fast technological progress that happens," he stated.

When human resource development becomes a priority, the role of a teacher would become more central and strategic.

"Teachers must become the agents of transformation that strengthen our human resources and develop our national talents. Teachers are called to boost their professionalism to lead the 21st era of education," he remarked.

The meeting was attended by Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy, PGRI general chairperson Unifah Rosyidi, presidential special staff Teten Masduki, and West Java Deputy Governor Uu Ruzhanul Ulum.

Reporting by Desca Lydia Natalia, Yoseph Hariyadi
Editing by Suharto

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Yosep Hariyadi
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