Education experts highlight reforms needed as Indonesia gears up for ASEAN integration

International competitiveness will shape education reforms according to Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. Ministry of Education and Culture eyes Bahasa as language for entire region

Jakarta, Indonesia; – The Indonesian education sector needs to undertake major reforms to be competitive under the recently implemented ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), according to experts behind the forthcoming GESS Indonesia, a leading education exhibition and conference in Southeast Asia.

With a private education sector that is expected to quadruple its growth by 2030, valued at $40 billion, and with student population in private schools anticipated to reach 27 million, Indonesia will have one of the biggest education markets in the ASEAN region; and must adequately prepare for the challenges and opportunities in a common market that is in its earliest stages of implementation.

“In its second edition, GESS Indonesia squarely puts the spotlight on Shaping the Future of Education, not just for the country but for the entire region. By 2050, the ASEAN Economic Community is expected to be the fourth largest economic block in the world, with education playing a key role in its growth. We anticipate major reforms being undertaken in each member country, but especially so in Indonesia which could be at the forefront of the education sector in the region in the coming years,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F&E Group, organisers of GESS Indonesia that will take place on September 14-16, 2016 at the Jakarta Convention Center.

With the development and growth of the education sector taking the spotlight in GESS Indonesia, this year’s edition of the leading education show in the ASEAN region has received the backing and support of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kementerian Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan), the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (RISTEKDIKTI) and the Jakarta Education Board (Dinas Pendidikan Pemprov DKI Jakarta).

“Indonesia has entered the era of the AEC and competition between states is inevitable. At the very least, Indonesia must have skilled workers and experts given new levels of competition. While skilled labor can be produced from vocational education, experts can be obtained either from graduates with masters, or doctoral degree. There is still much to be improved, but we always strive to make universities in Indonesia world-class,” said Sutrisna Wibawa, Kemristekdikti’s, Secretary of the Directorate General for Education and Student Affairs, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (Ristekdikti), Indonesia.

In addition, Indonesia has set its sights on ambitious goal of having Bahasa Indonesia as the language that intertwines the AEC. According to Prof Dr Mahsun MS, Head of the Language Agency of the Ministry of Education and Culture(Kemdikbud), this is an achievable goal since the language has become a unifying tool in a country as diverse as Indonesia.

Google Certified Educator and GESS Indonesia speaker Gusman Adi strongly believes that education is key to boosting Indonesia’s competitiveness and sees the AEC as an opportunity for the country to “reconfigure the role of education to shaping students’ characters and sense of global citizenship. The education curriculum also needs to shift from student centered curriculum to work preparation skills.”

With competitiveness a looming issue for Indonesia, experts will discuss how to adequately prepare Indonesia’s teachers and students to be at par with their peers in the region and the rest of the world.

Dr Gatot Hari Priowirjanto, Director, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Secretariat (SEAMES) heads the list of important personalities speaking on opening day of GESS Indonesia and will be speaking on the growing significance of distance learning in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, understanding the challenges and careers patterns of Indonesia’s youth sector will be the subject of a presentation by Mrs. Lestari Nurhajati, Lecturer & Head of Research Centre, The London School of Public Relations, which will look at the results of an extensive research study delving into career issues and prospects for a growing youth population in Indonesia that already numbers 80million.

Alongside the conference, GESS Indonesia will feature leading education suppliers from around the world featuring the very latest products and solutions aimed at meeting growing demand from a rapidly developing education sectors in Indonesia. For information on how to be a part of the show as an exhibitor, speaker or delegate, interested parties may visit


About F&E

F&E is one of the most influential and long-standing names in the Middle East’s events sector, delivering international trade shows across a variety of markets since 1958. F&E has developed a particular focus on producing events in strategic markets all over the world and take pride not only in our depth knowledge of the market but also the relationships we have developed in the region. Our portfolio includes industry leading events such as the Dubai Airshow, Gulf Print & Pack, MEBA (Middle East Business Aviation) and GESS (Global Educational Supplies & Solutions), which is now a global brand with country editions taking place in the UAE, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. We are dedicated to delivering events of the highest quality that connect buyers and sellers from all over the world and enable our clients to maximise the return on their investment. F&E became a member of the Tarsus Group plc, the international business-to-business media group in 2007. For more information about F&E, please visit

About PT Infrastructure Asia (IA)

PT Infrastructure Asia, a Tarsus Group Company, is a conference and exhibition organizer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It works with the government of Indonesia to develop the annual Indonesia Infrastructure Week (IIW), the largest gathering of infrastructure events in Indonesia. IIW includes Indonesia construction, Airports and Aviation Indonesia, Connect Expo Comm Indonesia, and the Indonesia International Infrastructure Conference and Exhibition. IA launched IIICE in early 2009, alongside the biennial meeting of the Finance Ministers of the country members of UNESCAP, where main topic of the dialogue is developing infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. For more information, visit

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