I have gained a lot of knowledge, especially in modeling using industry-standard Maya software
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Anwar Makarim launched the Eighth Episode of Merdeka Learning, specifically the Center for Excellence Vocational School Program.

This policy is an effort by the government to produce qualified SMK graduates.

The Center of Excellence Vocational School Program is a realization of President Joko Widodo's vision of producing superior Indonesian human resources (HR) through vocational education and to improve domestic HR objects.

Currently, several vocational schools in Indonesia had yet to meet the requirements of the industrial sector. This creates challenges and problems that must be addressed to produce the best vocational school graduates.

These include improving the competence of teachers and school principals as well as synergizing between various stakeholders.

"This includes synergizing with companies and industry. The participation is quite rare,” Makarim noted.

It is necessary for vocational schools to improve their curriculum development with companies and industries, add school facilities in accordance with the standards in the vocational high school unit, and streamline school management that is still encumbered by various administrative issues.

The Center of Excellence Vocational School Program will later produce graduates, who will be absorbed by the industry and companies or become entrepreneurs. The ministry will also conduct a link and match between vocational education and employers.

Vocational school graduates are projected to work and be absorbed by the industry, continue their studies, and work for themselves or as entrepreneurs.

The Center for Excellence Vocational School is expected to cooperate along with all industries in the related sector.

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The Center for Excellence Vocational School is also required to take eight predetermined steps: a curriculum prepared along with the industry, real project-based learning from companies and industries, the number and role of teachers or instructors from the industry and experts from the company, fieldwork or industry practice, competency certification, technology updates, and training for teachers or instructors.

Moreover, there will be additional coaching from universities. Of the 895 vocational schools involved, seven sectors will be prioritized: the creative economy, machinery, construction, hospitality service, maritime, agriculture, and foreign cooperation.

Collaborate with RUS Vocational School

Nowadays, the creative economy sector in Indonesia has experienced rapid development.

The development of this sector is directly proportional to the demand for experts in various industries in the creative economy sector.

This has prompted the Ministry of Education and Culture to collaborate with Raden Umar Said (RUS) Vocational High School (SMK RUS) in Kudus, Central Java, by conducting an internship that was attended by vocational students and teachers from various regions in Indonesia.

SMK RUS is one of the Excellent Vocational High Schools (SMK PK) that is a vocational development program aimed at developing the students’ quality and performance.

The development can be achieved through partnerships with the business and industrial world (DUDI).

SMK RUS has its own advantage as a vocational high school, with curriculum similar to a professional industry.

In addition, the teachers at SMK RUS are industrial practitioners, expected to easily apply industrial cultures in the school.

This has become one of the considerations of the Ministry of Education and Culture in choosing SMK RUS as an internship location for selected teachers and students from vocational schools throughout Indonesia in order to improve their competencies.

The internship, which lasts for two months, is expected to be able to provide work experience, akin to being in the industry, for students and teachers of the Animation and Multimedia Vocational High School.

In addition, this internship activity is expected to improve the skills of participants and add to their portfolio.

Vocational schools selected to participate in the internship program at SMK RUS Kudus are Garut 2 Vocational High School (West Java), Semarang 11 Vocational High School (Central Java), Darul Ulum Muncar Vocational High School in Banyuwangi District (East Java), Bondowoso 1 Cerme Vocational High School (East Java), Malang 11 Vocational High School, and Malang 4 Vocational High School (East Java), Delanggu 1 Vocational High School in Klaten District (Central Java), Boyolangu 1 Vocational High School in Tulungagung District (East Java), and Buer 1 Vocational High School in Sumbawa District (West Nua Tenggara).

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Apart from improving hard skills, this internship also aims to improve soft skills through the work and task given to the interns.

For instance, interns are required to work on tight deadlines, be able to communicate and collaborate with various divisions, and have critical and creative thinking to overcome difficulties in their project.

The work given is a real project from the industry to help interns understand and experience the real industry culture.

A total of 11 teachers from SMK RUS became assistant staff, who were responsible for improving the skills of participants in order for them to gain industry-standard skills.

One of the ways to improve this skill is by providing jobs having tight deadlines with the same quality as industry standards.

Big challenge

Although it looks simple, several participants say that this internship program is a big challenge for them.

One of the participants is a 3D modeling teacher from Boyolangu 1 Vocational High School, Erwan Septiyono.

Septiyono said that working with industry standards was not common in his school. This internship was a challenge for him, although he believed that this challenge could be overcome.

"Actually, this is quite difficult because we are not used to working like in the industry, but I am sure that after this internship is over, my friends and I can apply it in our vocational school,” Septiyono stated.

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Meanwhile, a student from Malang 4 Vocational High School, Muhammad Rafli, felt honored to be able to participate in the internship activity, with applicants from across Indonesia.

Rafli admitted to having gained several new and different types of knowledge as compared to what he had learned in school.

"I have gained a lot of knowledge, especially in modeling using industry-standard Maya software," he stated.

In addition, he received correct texturing and rendering knowledge.

In fact, Rafli also learned about the animation production pipeline applied in the industry.

The internship, attended by 18 students and four teachers of the Animation Department, was held at SMK RUS that has become one of the vocational schools assisted by the Djarum Foundation.

Through this internship opportunity, the participants also get to learn about concept art, 3D modeling, and motion graphics to UI/UX.

The Djarum Foundation Education Program associate Galuh Paskamagma noted that this internship activity can turn out to be a great experience and increase knowledge to compete in the work field.

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She is optimistic that the interns can apply their knowledge and experience gained from this internship to improve the quality of graduates in the respective vocational schools.

Paskamagma also noted that through the SMK RUS Inspirational Class, students are not only provided with theoretical knowledge but also practice that is directly given by experts in their fields. Inspirational classes are free to be followed and chosen by students according to their interests.

Meanwhile, film producer and writer Ita Sembiring stated that SMK RUS has provided students with survival skills to become competent graduates.

Minister Makarim also conveyed that SMK RUS had implemented the learning concept of independent learning.

The internship, which was started since February 2022, has been made to industry standards. It is very likely that if the participants apply their knowledge in their respective vocational schools, then there will be several experts in the field of quality animation produced by vocational schools in Indonesia.

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Translator: Andi Jauhary, Resinta S
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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