Being the only millennial representation in the cabinet, Makarim appealed for support from the young generation. “To fellow millennials, I ask for your support, as I am the sole representative of our generation in the cabinet,” said the 35-year-old in Jakarta, Wednesday.
His appointment is expected to create significant breakthroughs in human resources development, especially while preparing to enter the job sector, one of President Joko Widodo’s main visions for his second term in office.
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“We will create significant breakthroughs in the development of work-ready human resources, ready to strive, as well as link and match between education and industry,” said President Jokowi while introducing Makarim and his other ministers for the ‘Indonesia Moving Forward’ cabinet in the Presidential Palace.
After successfully raising Gojek from a small start-up into Indonesia’s first decacorn company, Makarim’s posting in the education sector may come as unexpected.
His expertise in business and innovative digital technology with Gojek may not seem to be directly linked to the education system in the country, especially considering his education background. He has two degrees from major Ivy League universities, a Masters of Business Administrations from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Brown University.
After being sworn in, he explained how his expertise and posting in the Ministry of Education and Culture can push the President’s ambition to develop Indonesian human resources and prepare them to excel in both domestic and international sectors, as he laid out the three reasons he was chosen for the specific posting.
“Even though I did not come from the education sector, the first reason is that I understand what lies ahead,” he said, adding that the President believed that he could anticipate future challenges and requirements that may come from the job and industry sectors in the future.
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He was bestowed with the responsibility to prepare Indonesia’s human resources to face and tackle such challenges.
The second reason was the vital role of technology in developing 300,000 schools and 50 million students in Indonesia, he continued. “Do not forget that Indonesia has among the four largest education systems in the world. The role of technology is imperative,” he added.
He then revealed the third and last reason for his appointment, which is the need for an innovative figure that can create breakthroughs and think outside of the conventional ways.
As part of the millennial generation himself, he is formulating a breakthrough involving technology and the young generations, especially those who are about to make the leap into the workforce after completing their education.
“We will focus on those who are leaving the education system,” he said, adding that he wanted graduates with character, competence, as well as collaboration and teamwork skills.
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