Jumat, 01 Juni 2012

The Ungaran Farm School

  • School Name           :    The Ungaran Farm School
  • Institution type         :    Secondary Vocational School – Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Academic Program :    Agricultural Education
  • Length of Study :    3 years
For many decades, it has been known that Indonesia is one of agrarian country with 70% from 186 million hectares used to the agricultural sector (Widiarta, 2009). It means that agriculture cannot be neglected and its big potency becomes Indonesian people livelihoods. The Indonesian Statistic Central Committee claimed that in 2007 around 42.5% from 95.5 million people work in agricultural sector which doubled than work trade sector at 20.13% and is much higher than industrial and service sector, at 12.46% and 11.90%, respectively (Widiarta, 2009). It can be clearly seen that the agriculture become core sector to support Indonesian living.

It is believed that the proportion of people work in the agricultural sector will yield potencies and be beneficial to support national demands on food. In fact, over a period of ten years, statistics shows that the national food security cannot fulfill its demands within the nation. Government has imported rice and other natural products from Thailand to foster household food consumption. Of course, it will bring drawbacks rather than the positive effects.

As an educational practitioner, I offer a solution to overcome the problems. I have an idea to develop Vocational Educational and Training (VET) school in agricultural sector. I believe that education has its right to educate people how to cultivate their farming land which can produce agricultural and bring back our role as an international leader in food supplier.

Semarang Regency, as well, which administratively borders to Kendal and Temanggung in the west, Salatiga in the south and Semarang city in the north, has one forth around 24.417ha for farm area from the total of Semarang Regency area of 95.02ha (wikipedia). The natural conditions such as air temperature which is relatively cold, fertile ground indicator then positively support my idea to build a vocational school namely, ‘The Ungaran Farm School’.

The Ungaran Farm School is an independent and private educational institution to serve Semarang people and the surrounding with good quality of education. Major educational programs include Agricultural Science, Agribusiness, Horticulture & Crop Science, and Agricultural Engineering. The School prepares its graduates for prominent roles in community life and in the agriculture and food sectors by teaching farming and business practices that are economically viable, ecologically sound and socially responsible.

To become a prominent and leader farm school for preparing intellectual, skillful, professional, competitive and religious manpower by implementing programs locally relevant and culturally appropriate.

1. Educate students to gain high intelligence and knowledge.
2. Unlock students’ potential and train them with life skills.
3. Foster students to be professional and success practitioners.
4. Develop strategic, adaptable and competitive students and have entrepreneurship traits.
5. Engage students with religion education to be moral and religious people.
6. Accommodate students with content, context, global issues and local priorities.

The ideas to develop and evolve The Ungaran Farm School have been underlain by the basic principles. These foundations, of course, have met the concise and clear the aforementioned vision and mission. Thus, the fundamental bases comprising philosophy basis, education basis, religion basis, law basis, economy bases, psychology basis, and social culture basis will be elaborated and detailed as follows.    

The present education has demanded practitioners to determine an accurate formula of educational basis. As an educator and the founder of this school, I prefer to consider these three theories, namely Behaviorism, Cognitive, and Constructivism, which base on my future institutions.

Behaviorism is the preferred learning theory on which to base my vocational school. It is because the primary goal of my institution to prepare people for world of work. Some instructional activities align with this theory are active responding, required practice, and shaping as well as task analysis such as behavioral objectives, modular instruction based upon linear programming, criterion-referenced evaluation (MacFarland, 1985). Thus, vocational educators will base their instructional program on the principles of behaviorism.

Cognitive assumes that learning is an internal mental process comprising insight, information processing, memory, and perception where learners need to think, synthesize, and analyze them. The theory will be beneficial as a foundation to build instructional design to develop student’s capacity and skills in the form of real practice.

Constructivism sees that learning is a process how people make sense of their experience (Merriam and Caffarella 1999, 260). This is a combination effect of using a person’s cognitive abilities and insight to understand their environment. In say so, this concept is easily translated into a self-directed learning style, where the individual has the ability to take in all the information and the environment of a problem and learn.

The philosophy of development of The Ungaran Farm School as agricultural vocational school begins with an inspiration of great thinkers, namely Aristotle and R.F. Johnstone.

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher who lived in the era of 384BC – 322BC. He suggests in his book Nicomachean Ethics that the aim of Aristotle’s ethic is to be practical knowledge, but not theoretical. His phenomenal sayings look education as a reason, education as a habit. It is obvious that anything that we have to learn, we need to actual do and experience. In this principle, he has argued a strong principle that education enables learners to experience the knowledge through experiential learning. Then, this idea becomes the basic principle for vocational school which tends to have more practice than theory.

R.F. Johnstone, An American thinker, has conceptual his ideas beneath the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture in 1780. He has promoted agricultural education and attributed many early assumptions in the US about agricultural practices and agricultural education to the British. One of the first efforts made to arouse the minds of farmers of this country was that of the men who organized the New York State Agricultural Society in 1835. Those men had observed the good effects of the Royal Agricultural Society of England and resolved to awaken in their own State and country a spirit of inquiry similar to that which had been aroused by their English prototype.

Those both thinkers’ ideas are then developed in legal rules by the Smith-Hughes Act in 1917. This Act brings passage that the purposes of this act are (1) to provide for the promotion of vocational education, (2) to provide for cooperation with the states in the promotion of vocational education in agriculture and industry, (3) to provide for cooperation with the states in the preparation of teachers of vocational subjects, (4) to appropriate money and regulate its expenditure.

Thus, the aforementioned ideas have conceptualized my views on developing an agricultural vocational school.

The Ungaran Farm School has put religious basis as crucial role in education process. It is attested that the core function of religion as a shaper and controller students’ morality. The fundamental basis of religion is from Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. This preference was influenced by the principles of Bhinekka Tunggal Ika which means diversity in unity.

Pancasila, the five basic principles of the Republic Indonesia has reflected religion in the very first principles of Believe in the One and Only God. With this idea, the proposed Ungaran Farm School provides to the establishment to the 5 religions namely Islam, Christians, Protestant, Hindus, and Buddha.

The 1945 Constitution, Chapter XI Article 29 has explained that (1) The State shall be based upon the belief in the One and Only God, (2) The State guarantees all persons the freedom of worship, each according to his/her own religion or belief.

To implement these latitudinarian or liberty of conscience, the establishment of education relies and bases on their belief.

Indonesian Governments has shown their commitments at the World Education for achieving basic education for all since its independent day.

  1. The 1945 Constitution of Indonesia, Article 31, Section (1), of which states that each and every citizen shall have the fundamental right to education. It opens access to education at all levels and all forms-formal, non-formal, as well as informal, for all the citizens of Indonesia. 
  2. National Education System Number 20 Article 1 Section (11) in which states that Formal education means an education stream, which is structured and has levels, encompassing basic education, secondary education, and higher education.
  3. National Education System Number 20 Chapter V Article 12 Section (1b) of which states that Every learner in an educational unit is entitled to obtain education services in accordance with his/her talent, interest, and ability.
  4. National Education System Number 20 Chapter VI Article 15 part 1 in which states that Types of education include general education, vocational education, academic education, professional education, vocational and technical education, religious education, and special education.
  5. National Education System Number 20 Chapter VI Article 15 part 1 in which states that Types of education include general education, vocational education, academic education, professional education, vocational and technical education, religious education, and special education.
  6. National Education System Number 20 Chapter VI Article 18 part 3 in which states that (2) Secondary education comprises general secondary education and vocational secondary education; (3) Secondary education takes the form of senior general secondary schools, that is, Sekolah Menengah Atas (SMA) as well as Madrasah Aliyah (MA), and senior vocational secondary schools, that is, Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan (SMK), as well as Madrasah Aliyah Kejuruan (MAK), or other schools of the same level.

The Ungaran Farm School, which is broadly known as independent and private vocational school, puts the economy as a crucial factor. With the minimum government financial aid, The Ungaran Farm School is established with private sector supported, students’ annual tuition fee, and contribution from the society. Economic framework sees that vocational training expense more cost than other school types (Tsang, 1997). It is because the budget is utilized for prepare students for specific types of job an career which is used direct and indirect costs personal cost such as cost for instructional materials and utilities, building, equipment, furniture and land.

The Ungaran Farm School sees psychology basis as important factors. It is because psychology aspect defines students’ personality according to their role in the society. Students who ages of 15 to 18 tend to have personality model namely pedagogy – psychology (Leonardo Project, 2002). This personality traits model emphasizes the factors of successful professional orientation in considerations of interests and abilities:

  1. Interest is an emotional expression of the personality. Students can own both a spontaneous interest, and an intentional focusing of attention. It might be affected by curiosity and desire. Their interest becomes permanent if they can benefit from it in the form of material intellectual, or emotional advantages.
  2. Ability is a measure of being able to perform well. Students’ quality and level are partly defined by inborn inclinations, partly by conscious improvement (learning and practicing) and at the same time by environmental effects. Each ability can be measured and improved during the theoretical and practical learning process. Functioning of the interests and abilities is important as it forms the bases for success in their career choices and the success at work if the person is able to combine personal characteristics with professional requirements (studies and examinations) concerning the development of abilities during the training.

The establishment of this school is closely related to the social-culture. They can explore concept of social interaction when they interact with class members and discover culturally-based likenesses and differences. Students begin to identify the cultural basis for ways on life in their community. They also learn to analyze the specific aspects of culture, such as language and beliefs, and the influence of culture on human behavior.

They need to understand and use complex cultural concepts such as adaptation, assimilation acculturation, diffusion and dissonance (NSCC). Besides that, the purposive education aims at (1) preserving the culture heritage of the extended family, the clan and the tribe, (2) adapting students to their physical environment, (3) teaching students how to control the culture and use it, (4) explaining to students their future and community, depend on the understanding and perpetuation of the institution, laws, language and values inherited from the past (Mazonde).

The Ungaran Farm School offers courses which are specifically designed to professionals in agricultural. These courses include normative, adaptive, and productive studies are intensive and constantly engaging, challenging students to solve complex designed problems. We also offer students study programs which are intensive, in-depth, and hands on opportunities for deepening students understanding. Students are expected to spend between 40 hours per week engage in the learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures, assigned readings, group research / discussion, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations).

The Ungaran Farm School covers detailed course outline in the form of weekly lesson timetable ruled by Minister of Education no 22 dated 23 March 2006, as follows:

Agricultural Education program is underpinned by the learning and education principles:

  1. Experiential Learning: Teachers use a learner-centered approach that focuses on applying concepts by solving real-life problems or performing authentic tasks.  Agriculture, consumer and environmental sciences provide a context to make learning relevant, to solve real-life problems, to make pertinent decisions, and to connect individuals with viable career options.
  2. Inquiry-Based Learning: Teachers use a learner-centered approach that requires learners to discover through questions and collaboration instead of direct instruction. Teachers take the role of facilitators of learning instead of the primary source of knowledge. This approach will help students develop experimental and analytical skills that will be important in any field of science.
  3. Science-Based Content: Curriculum will be developed that teaches the application of knowledge of one or more fields of science in order to solve practical problems. Topics can range from the applied sciences (e.g. life, physical, chemical, earth, and environmental sciences) to the social sciences (e.g. communication, economics, marketing, management, and sociology).
  4. Personal and Organizational Development: Teachers will assist individuals and teams with acquiring the cognitive, social and emotional skills and abilities needed to be competent and productive. The Learner will reflect on past experiences, analyze the impact of those experiences on various aspects of one’s life, develop a plan of action for growth, and implement that plan.
  5. Community-Based Education: Educational programs will be developed based on the values of the local community that utilize available assets to build human, social, cultural, and natural capital for that community. Learners will be taught pragmatic ways to produce food and energy from plants, animals and natural resources and create innovative uses of science and technology for the good of the community.
  6. Outreach Education: Strategies and educational materials will be developed to increase awareness of and about the agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences. In a variety of educational settings, individuals of all ages learn and apply scientific and practical knowledge through integrated, experiential and service learning activities.

The Ungaran Farm School provides facilities for support the teaching and learning process.

The Ungaran Farm School offers students to participate in extracurricular activities in order to increase their odds of being more engaged in school, make better grades, and succeed in college, regardless of their social or economic background. Common extracurricular activities include:
(1) boy scout
(2) sports
(3) music (gamelan)
(4) research club
(5) debate

The Ungaran Farm School attempts to design a semiannual field project which focuses on the community-based activities in particular agricultural and environment education for youth and training. These activities include:
(1) Agricultural Seminar
(2) Horticulture Seminar and Training
(3) Entrepreneurship and Agribusiness Excursion
(4) Gathering Vocational School, Yes! We Can

The Ungaran Farm School is a vocational school which creates skillful manpower in agricultural education. With the abovementioned vision and mission which are elaborated in the curriculum, this school serves students with the good quality of education. It is believed that students choose the right place to study and train themselves, where needs meet solutions.

Georgia Agriculture Education. January 2000. Georgia Agriculture Education Facility Plans. Available online at: http://www.gadoe.org/

Leonardo Project Transnational Vocational Counseling. 2002. Vocational Guidance in Hungary Available online at: www.programkontoret.se

MacFarland, T.W. 1985. A Rationale for the Use of Behaviorism in Vocational Education. Available online at: www.eric.ed.gov.

Mazonde, I.N. Culture and Education in the Development of Africa. Available online at: http://unpan1.un.org

Merriam, S. B., & Caffarella, R. S. 1999. Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Tsang, MC. 1997. The Cost of Vocational Training. Available online at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/faculty/tsang/Files/11.pdf

Widiarta, Aero, et al. 2009. Peasant Empowerment through Social Capital Reinforcement: Road to Sustainable OrganicAgriculture Development (Case Study:Indonesian Peasant Union, Cibereum Situleutik Village, Dramaga Bogor, West Java Indonesia). Asian Journal of Food and Agro-Industry, S297-S306. Available online at: www.ajofai.info



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