Originally published in The Jakarta Post on March 7, 2011
The role of education is becoming crucial in this era of globalization, which demands more practical skills. This has led to the mushrooming of informal courses at higher education institutions that prepare students to reap benefits in their respective fields.
It should therefore come as no surprise that there are many courses offered to high school graduates or even university students and adults at renowned schools in Jakarta, ranging from graphic design and public relations to communication and language.
Binus Center, for example, provides a computer training center that offers short courses in graphic design and Web development.
Binus Center was established in 2002 was in response to the challenge of preparing students to face competition in the job market. Part of Bina Nusantara, Binus Center is an off-campus training center that provides access informal higher education with various courses and trainings in IT, design and animation, business and language for the wider public.
Mandarin, Japanese and English programs at Binus Center have also attracted those seeking to hone their language proficiency.
“I’m currently taking a 43-hour Mandarin course at Binus Center and find the program crucial for my future career,” Andi, who is in his first year at Binus University, said.
Taking the marketing program at Binus University, Andi is convinced that the Mandarin course will benefit his goal of becoming an entrepreneur. “China is growing and the use of this language is increasingly important, especially in the world of business.”
With globalization, nevertheless, the role of English as an international language has become a must. This has led to the appearance of more English language course programs in many renowned schools nationwide.
Aside from offering formal under graduate and postgraduate higher education programs, the London School of Public Relations (LSPR) offers a range of English courses through its English division.
With fewer than 20 students per class, LSPR Center for Excellence in English caters to the need for language proficiency in a comfortable learning environment.
LSPR Center for Excellence in English has successfully imbibed in its students’ language skills ranging from foundation to advanced levels in both General and Business English. In addition, the center also offers an 80-hour Internet-based TOEFL course.
Students taking courses at this center can join workshops where students work together on various projects using English as a medium of communication. Students are also given the opportunity to compete in individual and team activities at the center’s English club.
LSPR has for years been popular for those seeking to enhance their career in public relations and communication.
“The opportunities in the fields of public relations and communication are tremendous. So, we teach our students to become more self confident and independent in the pursuit of their career,” Prita Kemal Gani, director of LSPR, asserted.
In line with Prita’s statement, Risti Brophy, an area governor of Toastmasters International, shares her views in regard to the importance of communication in one’s career.
Risti believes that communication requires skills and experience, and this can be learned through a supportive learning environment.
She cites the example of Toastmasters International as a not-for-profit organization that offers an effective way for anyone over the age of 18 to develop their communication and leadership skills with English as a means of communication.
The presence of more than 40 Toastmasters clubs in Indonesia promotes educational values with members sharing their knowledge and experience in enlightening sessions. “It’s an excellent alternative activity for youth as a tool toward confidence building, career preparation and language development,” she said.
Although Toastmasters does not provide certification, each member’s achievement is properly recognized through various educational awards which are standardized worldwide.