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VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CHARACTERISTICS IN NATIONAL EDUCATION CONTEXT AS A HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM

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VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CHARACTERISTICS IN NATIONAL EDUCATION CONTEXT AS A HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM Nur Endah Purwaningsih University State of Malang
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  INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR Reformulating the Paradigm of Technical and Vocational Education 104 VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CHARACTERISTICS IN NATIONAL EDUCATION CONTEXT AS A HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM Nur Endah Purwaningsih University State of Malang Abstract Vocational education is part of the whole education system, but it also has specific characteristics which differentiate it from other form of education. Those differences are (1) vocational education curriculum specifically has characters that lead to shaping students’ skills which related to the particular job; (2) vocational education has roles in preparing students to work either independently (entrepreneur) or filling up an available job vacancy; (3) vocational education is able to create alumni who fit with certain requirements of workplace as human resource who has work competencies, has ability to adapt and has a high competitiveness.; (4) vocational education is a platform in which a high quality of human resources are developed . It is expected that alumni of vocational education can become a productive person who can work as a middle level worker and has an ability to face work competition. Research in west Java has shown that 5- 10 % of vocational education’s alumni work as an entrepreneur and other findings also suggested that SMK’s alumni (alumni of secondary vocational education) were able to create their own workplaces and for others. About 15 % of SMK’s alumni aged 17-22 were able to open their own businesses. Keyword:   SMK = Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan (secondary vocational education level) Background Chapter 2 Verse 4 of The Regulation of National Education System explain that National education aims to educate nation and develop Indonesian human resources completely i.e. religious human being who supplicate to a Sole God and has good characters, has knowledge and skills, has a perfect physical and mental health, has a perfect personality, independent and has sense of responsibility towards his society and nation. Verse 10, education is conducted in two main methods that are formal education and non formal education. Formal education is classified into general education, vocational education, special education, normative education, religious education, academicals and professional education. Vocational education is an education that prepares its students to work in particular jobs (Chapter IV Verse 11). One of the formal education institutions that prepare its alumni to have an exception in workforce throughout vocational education is SMK. Part 3 verse 18, secondary education form Sekolah Menengah Atas (SMA), Madrasah Aliyah (MA), Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan (SMK) and Madrasah Aliyah Kejuruan (MAK) or other forms within the same level. SMK is secondary schools established by the government to prepare young employees who skilful and are able to correspond to industrial needs. Recent advancements in education have entered a new era which is initiated by fast innovation in technology which demanding a corresponding changes in education systems which appropriate with workplace demands. Education has to reflect a process of humanization in terms of actualization of all human’s potencies to become abilities that can be applied in everyday life of  people. Sudrajat (2003) said that the mainstream of educational process, whether it is an academic or vocational education, is workplace either formal or non-formal sectors. The achievement level of national development is affected by nation assets to optimize and maximize developments of human resources. These attempts can be pursued through education, formal or non-formal. One of  INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR Reformulating the Paradigm of Technical and Vocational Education 105 the formal institutions which prepared their alumni to be successful in workplace is vocational education. Vocational education is an education that prepares their students to be able to work in  particular job (Wikipedia.com). Vocational education which is developed in Indonesia is Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan (SMK) which is designed to prepare student in the workplace and they expected to manage to develop professionalism in vocational fields. Alumni of vocational education are expected to become a productive human being that can work in middle level of workplace and has an ability to face work competitiveness. Discussion Mahfud (2010) said that it is undeniable that vocational education contributed to develop and increase people’s economy. Related to this, Carr and Hartnett (2002) wrote “ the paradigm of vocational education is economic; to contribute to the generation and modernization of industry and so advance the economic development and the growth of modern society”. Competitiveness of a nation is affected by knowledge and skills of their workers which can be achieved through improvement in education and training, especially vocational education. Trained and skilful workers will add value to the product produced and indicated by improvement in productivity and  production cost reduction, better quality of product and faster returned investment. Likewise, vocational education is also believed as a key factor in economic development in some countries especially developed countries as said by Wilkins (2001), “vocational e ducation is one of the key factors in ensuring economic development, competitiveness and social stability in all countries, both developing and industrialized”. This is based on the believe that the successful of vocational education in producing skilful worker is an important part in human resources development in providing provision of knowledge and skills that further needed by the students. Vocational education is part of the whole education system, but it also has specific characteristics which differentiate it from other form of education. Those differences are (1) vocational education curriculum specifically has characters that lead to shaping students’ skills which related to the particular job. These skills have been facilitated by SMK’s curriculum s that are differentiated into normative, adaptive and productive groups. Curriculum used by SMK is KTSP arranged by education units according to SI and SKL and based on guidelines made by Badan Standar Nasional Pendidikan (National Education Standardization Bureau); (2) Vocational education has roles in preparing students to work either independently (entrepreneur) or filling up an available job vacancy; (3) SMK is one of institution which created alumni who fit with certain requirements of workplace. Workers which are needed is human resources who have work competencies, have ability to adapt and have a high competitiveness. Demand of having alumni who fit with job requirements need to be set as the base to divine vocational education’s goals. SMK as one form of vocational education, as suggested in verse 15 UU SISDIKNAS, SMK is a secondary education which prepared student to work in specific jobs. Based on education needs perspectives and accessibility workplace/ industry, at least there are 3 challenges for SMK in regional and national context i.e. (a) implementation of educational  programs and training need to focus on empowerment of local potency along with optimization link with partner institution. (b) Implementation of the curriculum has to be flexible according to current trend and development in technology so then the competency achieved by the students during and after study programs has a high adaptation ability. (c) Education and training program should be oriented to master learning which involving active participation of the stakeholders. An attempt to provide SMK which meets public demands, SMK has to play its proper roles and functions.  INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR Reformulating the Paradigm of Technical and Vocational Education 106 REGULATIONS RELATED TO VOCATIONAL EDUCATION 1. UU Number 20 in 2003 about National Education Systems Chapter II Verse 4 National education aim to educate nations and develop Indonesian human resources. verse 10, education is conducted in two main methods that are formal education and non formal education. Chapter IV Verse 11 Vocational education is an education that  prepares its students to work in particular jobs 2. PP Number 19 in 2005. Education  National Standard KTSP KTSP in basic and secondary level is arranged  by education units according to SI and SKL and based on guidelines made by Badan Standar Nasional Pendidikan (National Education Standardization Bureau); 3. PP No. 8 (2012) about KKNI Chapter I Verse 1 Sub verse 2, Learning Achievements Ability achieved from internalization of knowledge, attitude, competency and accumulation of work experiences. Verse 4 Sub verse 1 Learning achievement which is reached through education or work training is approved  by certificate. Qualification Level Verse 5 KKNI Alumni of secondary level at least at the level equal to second qualification level Qualification level 2 1.   Are able to finish one specific task using tools and information and  procedures that is commonly used and also shown measured level of quality under supervision 2.   Has knowledge on basic operational and knowledge in specific workplace so then is able to choose available  problem solving for common setback. 3.   Taking responsibility on their own job and can be given responsibility to assist others According to Djohar (2007: 1295-1297), characteristic of vocational education are: (1) education which is aimed to provide workers. Therefore, their alumni should be able to assimilate with the workforce, (2) justification of vocational education is the actual need of workforce in industry, (3) The successful of vocational education is measured by tw o criteria i.e. students’ success in school and out school. The first criteria covers students’ success to meet curricular requirements whilst second criteria indicated by alumni performance in the workplace; (4) Vocational education has sensitivity/ responsiveness to the development of workplace. Therefore, vocational education has to be responsive and proactive to the development of science and knowledge and concern more on adaptation and flexibility attempts to face upcoming careers of students; (5) Work stations and Laboratories are the main investments in vocational education, to achieve perfect condition that imitate the real-life working stations; (6) Corporation between industry and vocational institution should inline with high demand in relevance among vocational education and industry.  INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR Reformulating the Paradigm of Technical and Vocational Education 107 In reality, SMK is still a second option after SMA; therefore students in SMK are those who can enter SMA. Nazar and Wicaksono (2008) suggested that student from SMP assumed that SMA is better in terms of flexibility in work and possibility to engage in higher education. SMK alumni are thought to go directly to work market and not to the high education institution. In 2007, young generation aged 15-24 was about 44 millions and half of them have already entered work market. But only 1 in 4 that enter that work market in unemployed. One of government attempt to reduce unemployment and low-quality employees is to produce alumni who can work through developing secondary education especially SMK. Regulation of National Education Department is to increase number of SMK though proportion programs in 2010 which targeted the ration of 50:50 (SMK :SMA) and further 67: 33 in 2014. Realization of these targets is to develop some strategies i.e. (1) students ratio, (2) numbers of SMK students (3) numbers of SMK (4) developments of SMK’s students (5) numbers of SMK’s teachers by 2010. Those steps were written in the roadmap of Direktorat Pembinaan SMK 2010-2014. One study conducted by Demography Department of FEUI (2009) had showed that SMK’s expansion was determined by the SMK themselves. The public interest in SMK is affected by SMK’s images, competency of SMK’s alumni, workplace acceptance of SMK’s alumni and capacity of SMK’s alumni to opening business and the relevancy of SMK’s graduated to use local  potencies. In another word, public interest would be improved if SMK manage to increase their quality. Strategies to develop SMK is to make better of the inputs such as facilities, improving number and quality of teachers and curriculums, collaborate with DUDI in terms of improving curriculums and acceptability of alumni in the workplaces, improve students qualification (not only those who cannot enter SMA), and advocating regulation to support SMK development. Five Strategies in Developing SMK First, to create better images for the SMK through brochures, pamphlets, TV, and directly go to SMP to offer scholarship. For the end- use of SMK’s alumni involving DUDI and competency grading, internships and developing curriculum. Second, improving quality of SMK through improving infrastructure, and supporting equipments in line with advancement in information technology used by DUDI and improvements in quality and numbers of SMK’s teachers. Third, relevancy of SMK with DUDI needs. Development of SMK with the national perfectives to meet competencies that support industry. For instance, the need of experts in computer and pharmacist that would further develop, therefore SMK should put their priority on them. Developments of SMK with local perspectives in which SMK is established base on local needs. According to local  potencies mapping, SMK’s alumni should need to accommodate the need of their local industries. Forms of collaboration with industries are to provide internships to SMK’s studen ts. Four, Coordinate with the government to accommodate SMK development. Persuade PEMDA (local government) to allocate 20% of APBD for education sector to improve SMK. Five, Entrepreneurship ability of the headmasters in establishing partnership with DUDI to accommodate internship programs (PSG) and to provide workplace for the alumni. This entrepreneurship is needed to sell SMK and its products. For example, every SMK’s products exhibitions should invite DUDI, government and DEPDIKNAS. Demand on vocational education should follow link and match policy i.e. continual changes from the old way education method to the new one focused on development of human resources.  New dimension integrated from link and match policy has to fit with SMK curriculum orientation (Dirjen Pendidikan Dasar dan menengah, Direktorat Pembinaan Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan 2005; 37-39) i.e. changes from supply driven to market demand. With this demand
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