In the view of Prof. Dr. H. M. Solehuddin, M.Pd., M.A., the Rector of UPI (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia), vocational teachers in secondary vocational education are the backbone of skill development for the industry, and their pivotal role necessitates continuous upgrading and upskilling to meet the demands of the workforce and the ever-evolving industrial landscape. UPI, as a provider of technical and vocational teacher education, is committed to preparing these educators, both through undergraduate programs and teacher professional development initiatives.
To strengthen the role of technical and vocational teachers in addressing the challenges posed by the digital transformation in the era of self-directed learning, the Center of Excellence for Technical and Vocational Education Training Research (PUI TVET-RC) at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia organized the National Seminar on Vocational Education (SENAVOK). The seminar served as a research-based communication forum for vocational teachers, researchers, and education enthusiasts to discuss the future challenges for technical and vocational educators.
In this context, educators and stakeholders are encouraged to utilize technology as an enabler rather than merely being technology users or operators. Prof. Solehuddin emphasizes that graduates of technical and vocational education should not only be proficient in maintaining technology but should also aspire to be developers and innovators. The ability of vocational teachers to be creative and innovative is key. They should adapt to changes and effectively use technology as a learning support tool.
SENAVOK featured prominent speakers, including Dr. Ir. Kiki Yuliati, M.Sc., Director-General of Vocational Education at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology; Putra Asga Elevri, S.Si., M.Si., Director of Secondary and Special Education and Training Teachers at the Directorate-General of Teachers and Educational Personnel; Drs. Wahyu Mijaya, S.H., M.Si., Head of the West Java Provincial Education Office; Ir. Hadi S. Cokrodimejo, Ph.D., representing the West Java Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN); and Dr. Eng. Agus Setiawan, Executive Board member of RAVTE (Regional Association for Vocational and Technical Education) in Asia, along with other experts who comprehensively addressed various issues related to vocational education in Indonesia.
Prof. Solehuddin firmly believes that despite the shift to the digital age, the irreplaceable role of teachers remains intact. The advent of digital innovation should enable teachers to facilitate and enhance the quality of student learning. Technology-based innovation is not a form of competition, but rather an instrument that educators can utilize and maximize to aid student learning.
The Rector expressed his appreciation for the participation of all the speakers, underscoring the importance of sharing knowledge and information with vocational teachers, future vocational educators, and all attendees. He further highlighted the crucial role of UPI, particularly through PUI TVET-RC, in collaborating with the government, vocational committees, vocational trade, and industrial stakeholders to implement policies, especially those related to strengthening teacher competencies.
Vocational education in Indonesia has been the focus of attention, as evidenced by Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 68 of 2022 on the Revitalization of Vocational Education and Vocational Training. This regulation aims to accelerate the improvement of vocational education and training.
Prof. Solehuddin emphasized that Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia has a longstanding responsibility in providing teachers across various educational domains, ranging from early childhood education to high school, including the preparation of technical and vocational teachers. He called for a shift in the mindset that currently favors academic education over vocational education.
Through constructive discussions and exchanges of ideas, it is hoped that practical strategies and solutions can be found to enhance the quality of technical and vocational education in Indonesia, especially in addressing the challenges posed by digital transformation. UPI, as a partner of the government, schools, and industry, is dedicated to ceaselessly innovating and advancing the nation, particularly in vocational education.
The SENAVOK event and the Vocational Excellence Center Exhibition were initiated by the Center of Excellence for Technical and Vocational Education Training Research (PUI TVET-RC) at UPI, in collaboration with the West Java Provincial Education Office, the West Java Vocational Committee, and the West Java Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).