Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) is exploring cooperation in student exchange for marine and fisheries education units with ASEAN member countries in a bid to improve the quality of human resources.

Through its Marine and Fisheries Research and Human Resources Agency (BRSDM), the program aims to improve the quality of education in Southeast Asia and boost global competitiveness in the marine and fisheries sector.

"The quality of human resources is the key to ensuring the success of the nation's development. With this program, we expect information, input, suggestions, and opportunities for the development of Indonesian marine and fisheries education through student exchange activities and job opportunities in ASEAN member countries," Secretary of BRSDM Kusdiantoro noted during a series of the ASEAN Blue Economy Outings in Kupang, as quoted from an official statement received here, Saturday.

Kusdiantoro remarked that the program also aimed at providing grants to strengthen Indonesian marine and fisheries education institutions from the ASEAN.

Kusdiantoro stated that currently, the ministry had 20 educational units spread across Indonesia, comprising 11 higher education units comprising 10 Polytechnics and one Community Academy, as well as nine secondary education units, such as the Fisheries Business Vocational School (SUPM).

The number of active students currently reaches 7,335, while the number of graduates from the establishment of the education unit had reached 50,984, comprising 19,292 graduates of higher education and 31,692 graduates of vocational education.

“One of the higher education institutions that we have is the KP Kupang Polytechnic. By implementing the Teaching Factory (Tefa) scheme, students can experience first-hand the work environment and setting in the aquaculture sector as well as in processing and fishing vessels. (This is) because in managing the oceans, we need qualified and competent human resources," he stated.

ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi welcomed the plan on student exchange from ASEAN countries with KP Polytechnic. He believes that these activities can be utilized for sharing knowledge and technology as well as for providing opportunities for internships or work in ASEAN member countries to improve the quality of skilled human resources among member countries.

Kusdiantoro also expressed optimism that ASEAN and Seychelles member countries would be able to work together to invite the international community to mobilize collaboration and investment opportunities to realize sustainable marine management, economic development, and competent human resources in the implementation of the blue economy.

Earlier, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono said that development of the blue economy was one of the most important aspects, as it had become the main reference for restoring marine health and marine potential that would become Indonesia's economic strength.

Human resources are the key to the success of blue economy development. Thus, the ministry's higher education institutions are required to develop educational flexibility and innovation to understand the importance of maintaining the marine ecology and the seas.

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Translator: Aditya Ramadhan, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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