The Jakarta Post
In supporting the development of the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, the government urged education institutions to cooperate in improving the quality of Indonesia’s human resources.
In a recent seminar focused on manpower in Industry 4.0 in Jakarta, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati called for an upgrade in the current educational system.
She said schools should adjust their approach to teaching soft skills, training new teachers and simplifying their curriculum.
As part of these efforts, she said the government had allocated 20 percent —equal to Rp 495 trillion (US$35.4 billion) — of its total state budget this year for education.
“With the allocation, we have to ensure that everyone, including the 9.8 percent of the total population who are still categorized as impoverished, has access to education,” she said.
She said the funds would be used to support scholarships, provide education allowances for the poor like Indonesia Smart Card (KIP), as well as to establish and operate more vocational schools.
“Improving education is a part of President Joko [‘Jokowi’] Widodo’s plan to invest in human resources,” she said, suggesting that the country should require an early start to education to prepare its human resources sooner as part of Industry 4.0.
Running for a second term in office this year, Jokowi is promoting human capital development as a central theme of this year’s state budget to improve essential services, such as education, health care and basic infrastructure.
Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri said last year that the government would focus on improving the competency of skilled workers by offering them certification programs. Its efforts include improving boosting access to and further developing the quality of vocational training and internship programs with the support of the state budget.
The government also plans to cooperate with the private sector to provide independent internship programs, he said.
At the same event with Sri Mulyani, Vice President Jusuf Kalla urged every university graduate to be aware of the changes in the economic system and the fast development of technology.
Experts worldwide have also predicted that the rapid development of technology will continue to disrupt the job market as it set to replace humans in workplaces. According to a 2018 research by global consulting firm McKinsey, 800 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2030.
With the changes that come with technological development, Kalla said the country should take advantage of Indonesia’s demographic bonus in 2030 when the majority of the population would of productive age.
He said awareness of rapid technological development would help workers secure a job amid surging economic growth.
“An economy that grows as quickly as the technology means a lot of jobs will vanish while new roles emerge,” he said, “These new fields are what educational institutions should focus on for their students.”
One school that has joined the trend of improving its education system is Prasetiya Mulya University, which introduced an applied science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program in 2017 to prepare students for the challenges of Industry 4.0.
Prasetiya Mulya University rector Djisman Simandjuntak said last year that the school had prepared various facilities for students, including the Prasetiya Mulya laboratory building and a digital learning hub.
The university’s School of Applied STEM now offers six undergraduate study programs, comprising business mathematics, computer system engineering, digital business technology, renewable energy engineering, food business technology and product design engineering.
In pushing for a better-skilled workforce, Sri Mulyani assured that the government would always utilize the country’s fiscal instruments for the development of human resources through various fields.
She said her ministry was currently working to better support the industrial sector through various fiscal policies.
“Our fiscal policies related to tax holidays and tax allowances aim to support the country’s digital economy,” she said. (aak)