Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology and the Ministry of Trade have invited college students to help improve community markets through the Young Drivers of People's Markets program.

"We welcome this cooperation where college students can become the drivers of community markets, which is part of the Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka (MBKM or Freedom in Learning and Campus) program," Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, Nadiem Anwar Makarim, remarked at the program's launch here on Tuesday.

Since the philosophy of MBKM is collaboration and working together, universities or higher education institutions can conduct programs involving student exchange, internships with industry, or even independent study certifications, he added.

"Moreover, the ministry is encouraging college students to blend in with society to provide solutions to existing challenges," he said.

"Since we are still in the phase of economic recovery, the young generation needs to take part in building Indonesia's economy, one of them is by strengthening community markets," Makarim added.

Through an internship at community markets, college students can follow the development of local markets, he explained.

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In 2022, 13 thousand college students will participate in internships and the independent study program, he pointed out. Meanwhile, another 50 thousand are targeted to join other programs of MBKM outside the campus, he added.

"We have a target of 50 thousand students to join the Freedom in Learning and Campus program off-campus in 2022. They will learn about real problems in the real world," he explained.

Furthermore, Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi said that during the pandemic, the sales turnover of people's markets fell by 30 percent. However, traders who adapted to digital technology saw their turnovers increase by 40 percent, he pointed out.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity, (requiring) a progressive mindset. Through the program, (students) can become Indonesia's future economic backbone," Lutfi remarked.

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Translator: Indriani, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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