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Indonesia intensifies efforts to enhance quality of education

Jakarta, Indonesia; 27 September – Jakarta hosted local and regional education experts on the opening day of this year’s edition of GESS Indonesia, the largest education conference and exhibition in Southeast Asia.

Attended by key representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Jakarta Education Board; as well as local and regional education experts, GESS Indonesia welcomed hundreds of education professionals from all over the country at the Jakarta Convention Centre where the event is taking place.

Addressing the delegates during the morning session, Ananto Kusuma Seta, Expert Staff of Innovation & Competitiveness, Ministry of Education and Culture RI, pointed out that Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian nation to be a part of the elite Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a prestigious international organisation that seeks to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. “We are intensifying our efforts to improve education standards in Indonesia to a level that is consistent with international standards. Our focus is on developing our human resources through quality education and improving our science and technology capabilities. We are delighted that we have GESS Indonesia to help us and hope that this will be a long-term initiative from our partners in the private sector to make sure we achieve our goals.”

Javier Luque, Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank lauded the Indonesian government’s education initiatives, including its 20% budget allotment on education that will help support the state’s commitment to enhancing the quality of education. “Indonesia’s current focus on quality enhancement will yield positive results over the long-term as it seeks to be on par with education standards internationally,” he added.

Meanwhile, Professor Ali Gufron Mukti, Msc, PhD, Director General, Human Resources, Science and Technology and Dikti, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education in his speech urged lecturers in Indonesia’s universities and higher education institutions to engage in more research and innovation initiatives to help not only improve the quality of education, but also to enable the country to produce globally competitive professionals.

Indonesia’s lecturers have made tremendous strides in research in innovation, increasing its research output of 5,499 articles published in international journals in 2014 to 10,973 as of September 2017.

According to Mukti, “the government hopes to build on this success by offering scholarships to spur research and innovation initiatives among Indonesia’s lecturers at the tertiary level.”

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), represented by Guiling A. Mamondiong, Director of General, shared the Philippines’ success story in providing training programmes that develop vocational and technical skills among Filipinos, especially the youth and marginalised sectors.

GESS Indonesia has become an important platform for education professionals to gain insights from local and global education experts through more than 100 sessions, workshops and presentations aimed at improving the quality of the teaching and learning experience in Indonesian classrooms. “We also provide business stakeholders to engage important decision makers from schools and universities who are actively looking out for innovative tools, products and solutions to help teachers perform better and to assist students achieve greater results in their studies,” said Peter Massey, Managing Director of Southeast Asia, Tarsus Group - GESS Indonesia, organisers of the education show that is now in its third year.

Agustinus Daud of PT Lab Tech, which produces a wide range of cutting-edge equipment for vocational and polytechnic schools, said they are participating because of the growing importance of vocational education in Indonesia and are keen to connect with institutions offering vocational programmes to help them provide their students with much-needed hands-on skills and practical training.

Vocational and technical schools are gaining prominence in Indonesia because graduates usually obtain high-paying jobs in the local market, as well as in developed markets abroad that required highly-skilled technical workers.

Meanwhile, PT Ep-Tec Solutions Indonesia, a company that produces components that can be used to build robots, believes the event has enabled them to reach out to an important segment of the market. Dany Surya, Product Manager, said “We have been participating in GESS Indonesia for three years now since the event launched in 2015. Through the event, we have been able to show that robotics can help harness students’ creativity and their ability to solve problems and promote logical thinking. We are happy the government is also focusing on innovation because what we are doing can help students think outside the box and do things better with the help of robotics.”

GESS Indonesia is free to attend and is ongoing until 29 September 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Centre.

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Photo caption: Top-level education experts attended opening day of GESS Indonesia 2017 (L-R) Catur Luswanto, Assistant of Human Welfare, Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta; Javier Luque, Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank; M. Zein, Representative, Ministry of Religious Affairs RI; Ananto Kusuma Seta, Expert Staff of Innovation & Competitiveness, Ministry of Education and Culture RI; Sylviana Murni, Representative, Indonesian Lecture Association (ADI); Armain Arief, Representative, Indonesian Lecture Association (ADI); Ali Gufron, Director General, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education RI; Jumain Ape, Director General of Innovation Strengthening, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education RI; Guiling A. Mamondiong, Director General/ Secretary, Philippine Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Peter Massey, Managing Director Southeast Asia, Tarsus Group - GESS Indonesia.

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