Sunday, December 1, 2019

Indonesia-German Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training

To reduce the unemployment rate, Indonesia has focused since 2007 on the development of Vocational Education and Training (VET). VET is one of solutions that would enhance human resources quality in Indonesia, which has 262 million people. However, the number of unemployed graduates from vocational education is still high until 2019. It means there is something wrong in Indonesia’s current VET system. Meanwhile in Germany, VET is a pillar of national education which is based on a dual system. This system is successful in Germany. As one of the biggest donor countries in promoting VET, Germany tries to introduce a dual education system through bilateral relations with developing countries such as Indonesia. Indonesia seems to need to try to develop VET base on dual education system through cooperation with Germany. Thus, the research question of this article is “why does Indonesia need to make a co-operation with Germany in developing VET based on a dual education system?’ To answer the research question, this paper uses qualitative method which results in the following conclusion: Cooperation with Germany makes Indonesia gain support in developing the VET system in this country and get transfer of knowledge and technology from Germany as a developed country. Moreover, the cooperation would open the opportunity for abundant human resources in Indonesia to fulfill a huge labor demand in Germany particularly and Europe in general.

Keywords: Indonesia, Germany, Cooperation, VET, Dual Education System

Indonesia is not only blessed with abundant natural resources, but also abundant human resources. It is populated by 262 million people as the best assets a state can have. If these assets are developed effectively, Indonesia could become one of the world's most influential states. One of the effective ways to improve the quality of Indonesia's human capital is to develop Vocational Education and Training (VET). That is why the government has ratified the Convention on Technical and Vocational Education within Indonesia's Presidential Regulation since 2007. The purposes of improvement of the VET system in Indonesia are to transform the Indonesian VET system into one that provides demand-driven and practice-oriented programs which improve employability and participation in lifelong learning.

Moreover, Joko Widodo’s administration wants the VET system to grow the labor market for skilled workers. The government plans to build more vocational schools, especially in technology, agriculture, and fisheries. The government has allocated 700 million IDR for each vocational school to enhance fun learning, with the precedence given to vocational schools in the subjects of marine and fisheries, which are the main elements of President Joko Widodo‘s vision for Indonesia (Effendy, 2016).

The Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) has increased its investment in VET and made its improvement a priority. In 2018, the ministry aims to make the ratio of students that enroll in general high school compared to those in vocational high schools 40:60. Since 2015, students who graduate from vocational school have been provided with an expert certification to proof their knowledge in respective fields. The making of the certification program is a part of the commitment made via AEC members, which is valid as a part of free movement of labor in all ASEAN countries (Waidl, Abdul; Wardana, Kun; Ni’mah, 2018).

Nowadays, the international market requires many competencies in technical skills, including the vocational area. A large demand for skilled people in the labor market comes from developed countries, especially the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. On the other hand, there are still a large number of people who remain unemployed in Indonesia. Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), there are around 6.87 million people in Indonesia who are unemployed. Unemployed vocational school graduates are the largest portion of the Indonesia unemployment rate (Midayanti, 2018). Even though labor market demands are high, these demands are not met. It’s because most Indonesian vocational graduates don’t have the right set of skills.

In this case, Indonesia needs to take lessons from countries that have a qualified and strong VET system such as Germany. VET is a pillar of Germany’s education system which has important function in the economy. It is a lifelong learning that is essential to a knowledge-based financial system and society. Germany sees lifelong mastering as a way of improving both the employability of its residents and a way to produce a more knowledgeable citizenry.

Germany operates a dual program in which public vocational training schools work together with privately owned companies. The system of duality – VET in the vocational college and business enterprise – ensures well-qualified and expert employees. The VET machine serves the promises of the social market economy in two ways. Firstly, it increases the well-being of society via its good consequences on the competitiveness of the economy.  It also it allows many to participate in enhancing the economy (Raggatt, 1988).

Germany is one of the world’s biggest donors in promoting VET. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development developed VET strategies which can be implemented internationally. For making global improvement on VET, the ministry’s main task is to make comprehensive advisory services for the gradually developing VET trends. For Germany, promoting VET aims to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations, and also international cooperation.

Based on the background mentioned above, one can ask why Indonesia needs to make a co-operation with Germany in developing VET, based on dual education system. Basically, the purpose of this study highlights the importance of cooperation between states, mainly in education as one of the crucial aspects of society. Besides, the central topic   of this study is the large amount of unemployment in Indonesia. VET policy essentially aims to make everyone who tries to achieve prosperity able to obtain good education and qualifications. Before analyzing the problem, the following section explains the literature review regarding the VET conditions in other developing countries, the theoretical framework and the methodology of research.

*This article was published by UMM


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