British Council Indonesia country director Paul Smith. (Photo courtesy of British Council)

British Council to Train Teachers to Make Indonesia's Youth More Competitive

BY : RATRI M. SINIWI

JANUARY 12, 2017

Jakarta. The British Council Indonesia and lender HSBC launched a capacity-building program for vocational school and high school students, teachers and principals on Thursday (12/01) aimed at raising the bar for the country's workforce.

The program titled "Global Education: Building an Intelligent Young Generation With Character" will be launched on Saturday and is set to run until November. It is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture and involves the collaboration of six schools in Jakarta and six in Bandung, West Java.

"[The program] is absolutely critical for this country, which is about enabling young people with professional and international aspirations to learn the skills and get the knowledge they need to navigate and start their careers," said Paul Smith, Indonesia director of the British Council.

Smith believes this will make Indonesia's young workforce more competitive in the Asean Economic Community and also prepare them for competition on a global level by equipping them with 21st century skills.

This includes skills such as digital literacy, critical thinking, social responsibility and leadership – intended for both educators and students – with a target to train 1,800 teachers by the end of the program.

"For us, it is more important to teach a teacher, because if you train one, you end up teaching a thousand students – the knowledge passes on," Smith said.

The ministry strongly favors the program as it is in line with the national educational development strategy, which includes strengthening education actors, improving access to and quality of skills, and raising public participation to improve the educational ecosystem.

"This is not a hit-and-run project because, based on the end results, the good practices will be implemented in a module that will then be pushed to other schools [in Indonesia]," said Ananto Kusuma Seta, a senior advisor for innovation and competitiveness at the ministry.

He said learning new languages is important as it will teach young people to respect other cultures and help them become more open-minded.

He also believes that it is important for students to hone as many skills as they can as it would allow them to prepare for changing job trends.

"[The current] jobs might be gone after 10 years, so don't prepare [students] for existing jobs. Allow them to become multi-skilled and flexible in the future," Ananto said.

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