The government should focus on improving the country’s human resources as a priority for development and shed its earlier focus on assets and natural resources development, Lippo Group CEO James Riady said on Thursday.
Riady, the head of the business group that includes the Pelita Harapan University and the Pelita Harapan School, said efforts to improve the quality of personnel in Indonesia were not yet optimal, and the quality of the country’s education was not yet supportive of the effort.
He cited the focus on rote learning in the country’s education system and the reliance on the results of state-held national examinations, which neglect most of the process leading to it.
“If our education is only oriented toward all of that, when will we be able to build a new generation that can think creatively, is free to think up new things that can be used to develop our state?” Riady said, addressing a national seminar to mark National Awakening.
Data published by a national working unit of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) shows that intellectual unemployment, or unemployment of those with a university degree, reached 1.2 million in 2009, up from 740,000 in 2007 and 473,000 in 2006. Human resource experts have said this was an indication of the mismatch between education and the needs of industry.
Riady said the country’s human resource quality and that of the education system was not yet optimal because of the neglect of the Education Science and Teaching Institutes (IKIP).
“Nowadays, these IKIP are increasingly disappearing, teachers are paid higher by the day but the orientation remains unclear,” he said.
Riady aired hope that more attention be given to educational institutions training teachers, so that better quality teachers can be produced who are not only good at teaching but are also better focusing their teaching.