Example: A partnership between PT Astra International, Astra Manufacturing Polytechnic and vocational secondary schools to improve quality outcomes

Friday, December 20, 2019

This case study outlines how a TVET institute with good industry connections is up-grading the skills and knowledge of teachers in vocational schools so that vocational school students can more easily find jobs and new students entering the Polytechnic have the basic skills and a good base level understanding of the industry sector before entering the Polytechnic. 

The Astra Manufacturing Polytechnic, also known as Polman Astra, started in 1999 under the sponsorship of PT Astra International Tbk, one of Indonesia’s largest companies. The Astra group has 190,988 employees in 179 affiliated companies and is the largest automotive distributor and manufacturer in Indonesia, the group of companies partner with Toyota, Daihatsu, Isuzu, Scania, Peugeot, BMW for automobiles, and Honda for motorcycles. Automotive manufacturing and distribution is the largest division in the company. Astra Manufacturing Polytechnic is a technical institute in the suburbs of Jakarta, Indonesia and based within the Astra vehicle manufacturing site.

In 2012, Polman Astra formed The Center for Vocational Education Development to assist Government vocational secondary schools (SMK) improve the quality and relevance of their student graduate outcomes by upgrading the skills of their teachers. Most of the teachers have never worked in the industry for which they are preparing their students and it is very difficult for graduates from vocational secondary schools to find jobs, this was partly due to the academic nature of the training and lack of equipment. Moreover, there is a wide gap between the basic knowledge, skills and abilities of students graduating in urban areas and those from rural and remote areas. 

One reason Astra Manufacturing Polytechnic decided to establish the Centre for Vocational Education Development is in an attempt to redress the gap that exists between students from different backgrounds and ensure that new students entering their training programmes have a good base of skills and knowledge to start their programmes. 

The programmes, conducted by the Centre, provides curriculum and learning resources, offers technical assistance and teacher training in soft and technical skills. They provide a range of courses and activities for vocational secondary high school teachers. The training is generally 1 week to 3 months in length depending on the programme content with some last one semester. Most training depends on what the teachers require. They are not set programmes and vary according to the teachers’ needs. Certain programmes require the vocational school teachers to attend training at the Polytechnic while others require Polytechnic staff to train the teachers in their work environment. 
Training is provided across a range of technical areas in areas such as automotive, manufacturing process, quality control facilitation, pedagogy and soft skills. They aim to improve the teaching and learning processes within vocational secondary schools. 

According to representatives from the Pembangunan State Vocational High School in Jakarta, PT Astra International provided teacher training and developed processes to use and recycle oil during their automotive training. These skills and the awareness of recycling oil are passed on to students through the training program.

Students from these vocational secondary schools are recruited into Astra Manufacturing Polytechnic courses and receive a full scholarship, which covers tuition and a small living allowance. Astra Manufacturing Polytechnic hopes that by improving the skills of students graduating from vocational schools and entering the Polytechnic, the overall standard of the Polytechnic’s graduates will also be higher.

Additionally, the PT Astra International Group as part of their CSR activities provides automotive technical manuals to the technical vocational high schools throughout Indonesia and offers assistance in the form of teaching and learning aids and equipment such as, automobiles and transmissions are also provided by the group

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