“Vocational education must create graduates who are competent and have the skills needed by the business world and industry,” he stated during a hearing with Commission X of the House of Representatives, which oversees education, in Jakarta on Wednesday. The hearing was followed by a live broadcast.
According to Wikan, what the business and industrial world wants from vocational education graduates are technical skills (hard skills), non-technical skills (soft skills), and a strong character.
To achieve this, the Ministry of Education and Culture has made several strategies that are expected to be included in the education roadmap, starting from the development of the curriculum to the provision of scholarships from business and industry, he said.
"The vocational education curriculum must be in sync with the business world and industry. Then the lecturers from the industry must be multiplied, at least 50 hours per study program per semester," he added.
Research and innovation in vocational education must also be directed towards applied research that leads to the development of a product, he said. The publication of written work is still allowed, but must be accompanied by an applied commitment to make a product, he added.
"The vocational research policy is to start from the end, namely research, to make tools that can be used. So far, a lot of research has made tools, but it is not yet known whether they can be used or not," Wikan remarked.
In addition, a learning mindset needs to be developed, which means, lecturers and teachers must not just teach, but must also act as mentors, friends, and parents, who can educate and provide useful knowledge by making learning fun.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had earlier said that vocational education has a key role in efforts towards developing the human resources of the country.
"Vocational education holds an important position in the development of our human resources," the President said in an online speech, delivered at the official opening of the Vocational School building at Central Java's Diponegoro University.
Speaking from the Bogor Presidential Palace, Jokowi stated that one of the priorities for his cabinet for the next five years is human resources advancement.
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