|Workforce Skills Development|
A major cause for high student drop out rates in Indonesia is the inability of schools to prepare students for work. The curriculum is seen as focused on exam preparation rather than on practical workforce skills development. As only elementary and junior high school is compulsory in Indonesia, it is critical that this nine years of basic education effectively prepares youth to enter the world of work at whatever stage they choose. IRD recognizes this reality and aims to integrate practical and soft employability skills into formal and non-formal education programs.
IRD works with education stakeholders including youth, school staff, education authorities, community members, and youth organizations, as well as local and international private sector partners, to improve the relevance of junior secondary curricular and extracurricular courses to work so that youth in target schools are well-prepared for entering the local workforce.
Learning Employability Skills through Non-Curricular Activities
IRD has trained 343 teachers from 40 schools to use toolkits that integrate vocational skills into non-curricular activities: Student Governance, which provides students with hands-on experience in the democratic process; Peer Mediation, which includes activities that prepare students to peacefully handle and negotiate conflict; English for Life, Learning, and Work, consisting of activities to develop students’ practical English language skills typically used in the workplace; ICT for Life, Learning, and Work, containing ideas for teachers in target schools to create learning projects that enable students to develop ICT and workplace skills; and Opportunities for Life, Learning, and Work, described on the following page.
IRD assists youth with career-decision making through activities in the IRD-developed Opportunities for Life, Learning, and Work toolkit. IRD has trained 15 trainers and 61 teachers to use the toolkit to introduce students to various occupations, educational pathways, and the world of work. Through job shadowing, hosting career fairs and guest speakers, and industry site visits, students are able to observe vocational and academic skills used in the workplace. Through visits to vocational and general high schools, guided tours from current students and interviews with faculty members, students are able to identify scholarships, work/study opportunities, and other ways to continue their education beyond junior high school in order to accomplish their personal career goals.
IRD district facilitators in Central Java have also conducted training for out-of-school youth to receive vocational training courses. IRD trained non-formal education partners in Karanganyar, Klaten, Boyolali, Jepara, Kudus, Demak, Grobogan, Blora, and Purworejo to develop non-cash grant proposals based on employability skills needed in local industries. In addition to the training on proposal development, IRD also trained them to establish partnerships with government, private sector, and communities to promote sustainability of the programs. IRD assisted non-formal schools with conducting a range of vocational activities as designed in their proposals including computer repair and sewing and embroidery.