Synergizing to Prepare Quality Human Resources ahead of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 amidst the Challenges of the COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic, that has been plaguing the world since early 2020, has been significantly impacting the health, economic, financial, social, cultural, environmental, political and educational fields. The pandemic has disrupted the suitability, continuity and sustainability of models, practices, teaching and learning processes, as also the operating systems of educational institutions. PT Trakindo Utama (Trakindo), a provider of Cat® heavy equipment solutions that has committed to contribute in the advancement of Indonesia's education sector, invites various stakeholders to strengthen synergies and collaborations in preparing the nation’s next generation with higher quality and more resilience to face the challenges of change, including during the time of pandemic.

Speaking at the Bincang PERSpektif Trakindo event, Yulia Yasmina, Chief Administration Officer of PT Trakindo Utama explained that despite the disruptions of the educational process, the industrial world still has to respond to the challenges of the times, that requires qualified human resources, especially in the field of technology. “Strategies and changes in the field of higher education which then have an impact on secondary education, will determine the ability of human resources in Indonesia. We from the industrial world must be able to take advantage of this momentum to be more innovative, proactive, and adaptive in facing the challenges of the times that are happening now and in the future," said Yulia Yasmina.

Currently, technology is the backbone of Indonesia's development, especially since infrastructure development is being intensified in various regions in Indonesia. Furthermore, technology is also a major need in the midst of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 which has just begun and will present new challenges in the form of changing the way people work and achieve their goals.

"Along with technological developments in the era of the industrial revolution 4.0, progress in the heavy equipment industry currently requires human resources who are not only skilled in the mechanical field, but also in the electrical field. Trakindo has also tried to go further; namely by supporting development in technology-related departments, as well as increasing support and cooperation in the electrical field. In addition to meeting business needs, this is necessary to prepare trained personnel who are ready to work and able to face the demands of future technology, " said Yulia Yasmina.

Speaking at the same forum, the Rector of the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) Prof. Dr. Ir. Mochamad Ashari, M. Eng. invites the public to reflect on the positive and negative impacts of virtual learning wisely, both at the elementary and secondary school, as also higher education levels. “Despite the limitations it has caused, the pandemic has inspired new conversations and ideas about the best way to use the student learning system. Many educators are changing their teaching methods to encourage more active interaction and communication through virtual settings. In virtual learning, there is more emphasis on the ability of students to become their own teachers and this may have long term effects. So the task of educators in the future is not only to teach knowledge, not only to educate, but also to provide students with the basic skills of independence and communication as tools that will ultimately be needed for success at work and success in life. This is part of the changes we can see in technology education,” said Prof. Ashari.

As one of the leading campuses with an international reputation, ITS itself has actually been using this virtual learning for more than 10 years. However, so far the implementation has been limited. Then the pandemic forced them to run online education simultaneously and thoroughly. Online learning is not only a meeting of lecturers and students through gadgets, but also needed to develop digital education infrastructure, including smart classrooms and smart laboratories that can be accessed by students in a hybrid way--online and physically present on campus at the same time. It is also necessary to adjust digital technology culture and capacity for human resources, including teachers, lecturers and education staff.

The impact of virtual learning was also conveyed by Dr. H. Yaswardi, M.Si, Director of Teachers and Education Personnel for Secondary and Special Education at the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbudristek). "Despite our shared hope that this pandemic will end soon, COVID-19 has indeed encouraged university lecturers and teachers in schools and madrasas to have more flexibility and creativity with online digital interactive tools that support collaboration between student/college student, lecturers and teachers. The most interesting part of last year was seeing how innovative teachers were in terms of making the learning experience better for their students,” said Dr. Yaswardi.

"The discourse that is currently developing among educators is how we apply several components of online learning permanently post-pandemic into the teaching and learning process," said Dr. Yaswardi.

However, to fully implement virtual learning also has some obstacles. The pandemic has affected educators to better understand the individual needs of students, adding that while some students may thrive on distance learning or asynchronous discussion, others may not.

"This pandemic moment has taught us so much in formulating the 2020-2035 National Education Roadmap (Peta Jalan Pendidikan Nasional). This roadmap will focus on three main aspects of education; curriculum as planning, learning as doing, and the third is assessment. Therefore, a learning strategy that is adapted to the conditions of this pandemic period is needed, which is carried out based on the child's real ability to be developed according to the continuum of their development, "said Dr. Yaswardi.

“These various exposures certainly raise hope in the midst of various difficulties that have arisen during this COVID-19 pandemic. Trakindo believes that education is the responsibility of all parties and requires synergistic collaboration to create an excellent education ecosystem and quality learning,” concluded Yulia Yasmina.

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