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close this bookSchool Enterprises: Combining Vocational Learning with Production (UNEVOC, 1998, 64 p.)
close this folder2. Case Studies
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.1 China
View the document2.2 India
View the document2.3 Indonesia
View the document2.4 Papua New Guinea
View the document2.5 Germany
View the document2.6 Botswana
View the document2.7 Kenya and Ghana
View the document2.8 Algeria
View the document2.9 Cuba and Costa Rica

2.3 Indonesia

Technical College of Wood Technology, Semarang

In 1956, the Jesuit Order set up a carpentry/joinery centre at a mission station in Central Java. By 1970 that enterprise had evolved into the ‘Technical College of Wood Technology’ (PIKA). Since 1963, it has been managed by the Swiss master carpenter, Paul Wiederkehr, although, at present, the school is run mainly by Indonesian experts.

The school offers a four-year training in learning workshops for about 120 apprentices, and a two-year training to 30 foreman trainees. Specialised teacher training is offered to five to seven teachers in three to twelve-month courses. Upgrading courses are offered in modern technologies for employees of local industries, e.g., in surface treatment, upholstering, machining and wood drying/ seasoning. The school enterprise has 65 workers and salaried employees in which the 4th-year apprentices take their practical experience.

The school specialises exclusively in the vocational field of wood technology. The PIKA curriculum is comprised of general and vocational subjects. The four-year course of vocational training is comprised of basic vocational training in the training workshop, specialised vocational training in the training workshop and school enterprise, and practical training in the production enterprise, and, finally, continuing vocational training for apprentices, which is voluntary and subject to competitive selection.

Basic training begins with a systematic three-month introductory course in the methods of wood processing. Two projects are conducted at the end of the course. Specialised training is project oriented; i.e., the trainees make marketable articles that correspond to their learning objectives and their relevant training levels. Forty percent of the products are standard items and 60 percent are job orders. Performance tests measure achievements against learning goals. In the second and third years of training, importance is attached to enhancing the trainees’ capacity for self-study, especially with regard to constructional ideas, design inputs and the composition of work groups, thus increasing independence in the execution of work. In the fourth year, the apprentices are integrated into the school enterprise in order to become familiar with the realities of the working world while applying their newly acquired skills toward helping to earn the school’s income. Upon successful completion of all four years, the students receive a diploma.

Learning is not directly related to production at the basic level. However, this does not mean that the school follows a rigid training-course programme. For example, the basic trainees make tools for their own use. The specialised level involves project work with the requisite theoretical preparations and follow up. Theoretical instruction takes place at several levels. In addition to drafting and technological subjects, which are organised out of the practical part, theory appears to be the focus during workshop practice. The students learn on products, which are produced for the domestic market. The school enterprise, with 65 specialists, produces high-quality furniture and interior furnishings. The profits serve to finance the school. In the school enterprise, the students undergo practical training.

Both basic and specialised training initially concentrate on the transmission of vocational skills at the individual level; gradually they introduce various forms of teamwork in accordance with the job order situation. There are permanent teams for standard work and teams of varying composition for interior finishing work.

The average age of the new trainee is 17. The minimum level of education is typically lower secondary school, i.e., six years of primary school and three years of secondary school. Each applicant is required to take an aptitude test comprising of a written examination (language and mathematics), interview and drawing test. The training and production institute is comprised of 71% Catholics, 17% Protestants, 10% Muslims and 3% Buddhists. Trainees are highly motivated, resulting from careful selection, high-quality training, and career development prospects. A key factor of trainee motivation is the teachers’ technical competence and commitment to the students and their problems. About 95% of the school’s full-time teachers are recruited from the PIKA alumni; their training therefore reflects the school’s standards and includes courses in didactics and methodology. As far as possible, each teacher is sent for upgrading at two-year intervals.

The school has a number of student, parent, teacher and union-like worker associations, which meet at regular intervals and discuss training matters and social affairs. The social element is especially important, since about one quarter of the trainees come from socially disadvantaged families.

PIKA has developed two focal points of production: the interior finishing of residential, office and administration buildings, and the construction of high-quality residential furniture. 65% are customer orders and 45% are market orders. The equipment in the training workshop consist of traditional Indonesian carpenters’ benches. These are used in the basic training phase to help the apprentices identify with their local experience. The school enterprise is geared to serial production. The essential work (machining and joining) is done by graduates from the institute. Semi-skilled workers are employed mainly for follow-up operations such as fine grinding, as well as for storekeeping, packaging and dispatching/transportation. The planning groups control the planning of products and work processes, while the training workshops and production units are responsible for the actual production. A special production-control group ensures that the products are of good marketable quality. Personal computers have been installed for use in the staffs’ planning work. In these planning groups, participatory methods are used. Design teams comprising of one teacher and two representatives from production and training are responsible for the purposes of innovating new products such as seats for physically handicapped children and for improving the work organisation.

PIKA maintains close ties with industry and the national market. This facilitates the acquisition of orders and a fairly accurate assessment of what the consumer wants and the market has to offer. The school’s close ties to trades and industry are its main avenues of sales development. Advertising and public relation are important elements of sales promotion. As an active member of the Indonesian Carpenters’ Association, PIKA maintains close ties with indigenous companies.

PIKA also offers consultancy services and training courses. Many companies consult the school for advice on planning the expansion and modernisation of their production facilities, particularly with regard to new machines. PIKA has been co-operating for a decade now with a Wikrama Putra orphanage in Ngalien, offering courses in woodworking, textile processing and typing. It also provides a home for doubly handicapped children. All wooden repair work required at the Java Save the Children (SOS) children’s village is performed free of charge by PIKA. Whenever a new school is being established, PIKA offers practical assistance.

PIKA runs courses in mechanised wood processing on behalf of the Ministry of Industry, and was commissioned by the Ministry of Education to draw up curricula for the relevant departments of Indonesia’s lower secondary technical schools. PIKA has published 16 textbooks for use in the subjects of wood technology, drafting, and furniture design, some of which are now in their third or fourth editions. PIKA is also dedicated to the advancement of small and medium-size handicraft enterprises via the technical and commercial upgrading of the sector’s future employees. The duration and breadth of training and guidance in theory-based working methods are specifically geared to those technical cadres.

As regards the employment benefits from the school enterprise, PIKA graduates seldom have problems finding jobs. In fact, many companies try to recruit future PIKA graduates even before they finish school. Teachers are often enticed by private firms through higher emoluments than those afforded by the school enterprise. About 95% of all PIKA graduates find employment in trades and industry, 15% become self-employed entrepreneurs, 15% teachers and instructors, 15% become sales representatives for wood-processing machines, paint-spraying apparatus and building materials. The drop-out rate is low (2%) over the entire four years of training.

One major problem is that the spread of such schools appears to be hampered by the small number of graduates and the long duration of training. The other problem is the foreign, mainly western, character of the designs and interior decorations. Also few girls tend to remain in the employment market after their training. The major teaching problem is that the students are not used to learning in a self-directed and active manner.

The school is independent of government funding. The teachers, the institution and the working costs of the enterprise are financed through production of goods and services. The school receives Dutch and Swiss personnel aid. In future, the only foreign aid will be confined to the continuing education of the teachers with regard to didactics and teaching methods specific to wood processing and design. The schools initial endowment was provided by the Mission of the Jesuit Order. Swiss development aid brought in additional funds in 1971-1973 for construction work and outfitting. Misereor and the Zurich based Franz Xavier Foundation supported further expansion of the school, the former with the help of substantial subsidies from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development.