Background and ObjectivesThe outbreak of COVID-19 has been posing a significant challenge on skills development. As movement of people and gathering are discouraged due to public health concerns, many training centres remain closed in Indonesia as is elsewhere. Polytechnics and vocational high schools implement home-learning but anecdotal evidence suggests they struggle with shifting classroom teaching to home-based education. A recent study by Harvard University points out that social distancing needs to be maintained up to 2022 in the absence of treatments and vaccines. Therefore, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) must urgently adapt its delivery modalities to the epoch of social distancing. Else, skills development will be halted for quite some time, affecting economic recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Today’s technologies may provide a viable answer to this challenge: distance-learning enables learning at home. Distance learning can help reduce human contact while assuring quality learning experiences. Even before the pandemic, promotion of distance learning was considered as a future direction of TVET policies given the geographic conditions of Indonesia and urban-rural divide in the access to skills development opportunities. It is time for policymakers and TVET practitioners to discuss and learn how to deliver TVET online.
Experiences in Australia appear helpful for Indonesia in shifting TVET to the cyber space. Prior to the pandemic, around 10% of Australian TVET was done fully online. Now all Australian TVET institutions are delivering online or transitioning to deliver online with the exception of some essential occupational roles with face-to-face practical components (e.g. allied health roles). According to a recent study in Australia, employment outcomes of fully-online TVET are comparable to those of graduates that have studied face-to-face, while the research also finds that students of online TVET are 10% more likely to withdraw. Vocational skills can be learned online if designed and delivered well.
Against this backdrop, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta collaborate and offer a series of webinar on “Design and Delivery of Online TVET”. The webinars intend to share know-hows and lessons learned in Australia with Indonesian policymakers and practitioners so that Indonesian TVET can successfully meet the challenges posed by the outbreak and contribute to eventual economic recovery. Access to education and skills development is a fundamental human rights and an indispensable prerequisite for Decent Work. The organizers hope that the webinars help the continuation of TVET in Indonesia despite the pandemic posed challenges.
List of topicsEach webinar takes up one of the following topics. The topics are suggestions only. The ILO will discuss with Australian online TVET experts and finalize the topics.
- Policies required for online TVET (18 June 2020)
- Introduction to online TVET (24 June 2020)
- Standards of distance learning: Guidelines and standards for online TVET providers (2 July 2020)
- Setting up online TVET system: Basic design of online TVET system (9 July 2020)
- Design of online TVET courses: Production of learning materials (16 July 2020)
- Utilizing new technologies for TVET course delivery in building and construction (23 July 2020)
- Development of virtual reality as a tool for online training delivery (30 July 2020).
- Pedagogy skills development for online TVET trainers (6 August 2020)
- Assessment of skills through online learning in tourism and hospitality (13 August 2020)
- Approaches to address digital literacy gaps and unequal accessibility to online learning opportunities (19 August 2020)