January 10, 2019
Opening Remarks by Minister for Education Mr Ong Ye Kung at Kendal Industrial Park
Bapak Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Industry (MOI)
Ibupati Mirna Annisa, Regent of Kendal
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Thank you for inviting me to join you here this morning, to witness the official opening of the new building for Kendal Polytechnic. I would like to congratulate the Polytechnic for admitting its first intake of 99 students in October 2018 and that all of them will have jobs when they graduate. I look forward to the interactions with the trainers and students and have also interacted with some of them earlier with Bapak Airlangga.
2. This is actually my second visit to the Kendal Industrial Park (KIP). My first visit was in November 2016, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Joko Widodo officiated its opening. I am glad to see that there has been encouraging progress since, with more investment commitments, and more workers employed in the park.
3. Singapore and Indonesia enjoy warm ties at all levels – between our Governments, institutions, and people. With a broad-based co-operation, I believe strongly that together, we can create opportunities that are mutually beneficial, in many areas.
4. One area of collaboration is education. At the 2017 Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat, my Ministry signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (MORTHE), Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC), and MOI to cooperate more closely in staff capacity building, student exchange programmes, sharing of best practices in education, and exchanges between teachers and staff on pedagogy.
5. Let me cite a couple of concrete outcomes. Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and MORTHE have been working together to develop and implement the Digital Economy Skills Programme. The Programme aims to upgrade the skills of technical and vocational trainers, so that they can in turn develop the talents to fulfil the needs of the IT industry. Thus far, 65 trainers from Indonesian state polytechnics have participated in the programme.
6. A more recent example is the collaboration between Ngee Ann Polytechnic and MORTHE on Financial Technology training for research assistants. About 100 staff from six institutions in Jakarta and Bandung have participated in this programme since 2018 and we look forward to more trainers from Central Java.
Increased Cooperation: Kendal Polytechnic
7. Of course, there is also the Kendal Polytechnic. The Polytechnic supports the development of the KIP by providing training opportunities to Indonesians for jobs brought in by the businesses within, and investments in KIP. We are glad to support the polytechnic’s potential curriculum development in the future, by fostering collaborations between institutes of learning of both countries.
8. ITE Education Services, together with MOI, co-developed the Technical Skills Upgrading Programmes to develop and produce technical and vocational education trainers and leaders of Indonesia’s polytechnics. They have trained about 100 leaders and trainers so far. Phase two of the effort will commence soon, and is expected to be completed by end 2019. By training the leaders and trainers, we can ensure that the Polytechnic is sustainable and impactful for the long term.
9. We will deepen and broaden our collaboration further in the years to come. Every country, every industry in the world is grappling with the impact of Industry 4.0. We want our workers to have the right skills to participate and contribute to Industry 4.0. Today, Singapore Polytechnic and MOI will be signing an MOU to deepen cooperation in human resource education and training related to Industry 4.0.
Student Experiences: Overseas Programmes
10. Beyond training and development, another area with significant opportunities for collaboration is people-to-people exchanges. Indonesia and Singapore are part of the ASEAN family, which is growing closer year by year. Investors see ASEAN as a single market of 600 million people, and one of the fastest growing in the world.
11. I believe there is scope for us to do more to ensure that our people, especially our young, know the people, culture, history, and business environment of our neighbouring countries better. For students, we can achieve that through more active academic exchanges or internships. I believe many of our students will be keen to embark on such meaningful exchanges.
12. I thank Pak Airlangga for having me here today. It has been an honour. We will continue to explore opportunities to further cooperation in economic projects and technical and vocational training, for the mutual benefit of our people. For a project like that to be successful, it requires many hands – investors, the local government, government of Jakarta, every single worker, every single businessman. Together, we can make this a great success and something we can all be proud of.
13. Thank you.