A Culture of Innovation Abounds In Indonesia’s SMK Classrooms

While two vocational schools in Solo are basking in the public spotlight for the sports utility vehicle their students have built, other vocational schools across the country are quietly churning out their own achievements.

Fasli Jalal, the former deputy education minister, said that over the past year, students from such vocational schools, known as SMKs, had shown many of their innovations to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other government officials.

 The success of students from SMK 2 and SMK 5 in creating what is now known as the Kiat Esemka vehicle should therefore not come as a surprise, he said.

In Bandung, for instance, students from SMKN 8state vocational school have created a buggy car called, appropriately enough, the Buggy ABCD.

“ABCD stands for Anak Bandung Cinta Damai [Bandung Kids Love Peace],” said Dedi Indrayana, the school’s principal.

He added that the idea for the car came from his own personal experience as an SMK graduate.

“SMK students need more practice instead of theory in class,” he said. “We’re looking at what students need, not what teachers want.”

He said the students learned how to build the buggy in just three months. Read more






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