The Covid-19 pandemic has given some challenges to the postgraduate education programs implementation. Based on the Indonesian National Qualifications Framework (KKNI), the Postgraduate level requires the fulfillment of 8th level competencies. The priority from these competencies covers the mastery of techniques related to study programs to apply and analyze scientific concepts in technical conditions. This condition becomes a dilemma as the fulfillment competencies because there are activity restrictions on campus, laboratory, and hospital practicums due to the pandemic.
To reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the learning process of higher education, primarily in the postgraduate program, the UGM FKKMK organized the "2020 Post Graduate Symposium: New Normal - The New Game: Reflections on 2020 Postgraduate Learning Towards Innovation and Solutions 2021". UGM FKKMK UGM organized this forum based on several goals.
First, to be having an effort to evaluate learning and follow-up actions in which stakeholders and educational institutions must carry out in the postgraduate learning process in 2021. Secondly, to develop new ideas and innovations to react to the pandemic and the implementation of the learning process in the future.
132 students from various universities in Indonesia attended online forums held on 17-18 December 2020. This event had various sequence performances in this forum including public lectures, symposiums (open forums), live podcasts, and interactive media creation competitions for postgraduate students.
At the forum's opening on Thursday (17/12), Prof. dr. Ova Emilia, M.MedEd., SpOG (K), Ph.D., as the Dean of the UGM FKKMK and as the keynote speaker, mentioned that this pandemic is a challenge as well as an opportunity for her to hold academic activities. Although there were limitations in some activities such as online learning, implementing work from home policy, and implementing health protocols, many innovations developed due to this condition.
So far, Prof. Ova stated that she had come up with various innovative ideas for accustoming learning formats, from large classes, tutorials, practicum, and skills education. Although the format for large classes and tutorials manages to run smoothly, she admitted that there were still several practicum and skills education barriers because the students cannot practice those activities directly at home.
She also revealed that she had also made some updates, both related to infrastructure and human resources. For infrastructure, there will be laboratory repairment and a studio facility for presenting learning materials. Then, for HR, there will be training for lecturers and staff related to online technology. "We also prepare students so that they can be well-participated in lecture activities," she added.
In addition to innovations, Prof. Ova said that student activities did not necessarily become unfrequented despite pandemic conditions. She revealed that various activities, such as competitions, clinical updates, and workshops, are still running. This condition has proven that even in a new normal situation due to a pandemic, it does not mean that academic activities become inactive.
"We also revised our vision and mission. We apprehend that we cannot reverse what happened this year, but there will be something dynamic that continues to change in the future. We have to create a new standard according to this new normal system because we can no longer use the previous standard. Accordingly, we keep proceeding to come up with innovative ideas as an adaptive step. This fact is based on the principle of Merdeka Belajar, which was announced by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture," he explained.
Prof. drh. Aris Junaidi, Ph.D., as Director of Belmawa Dikti, who was also present as the keynote speaker, also affirmed the previous statement. According to him, the IT-based education process, which is currently being developed in many universities, is based on the goals Principle of Merdeka Belajar episode 2, known as the Merdeka Campus.
According to Prof. Aris, Dikti also has made several additional policies to stimulate remote education in response to the pandemic conditions. Some various resources are attempted to support this effort, such as platforms, collaboration with providers, international MOOC users, and training related to the making of online learning materials on an ongoing basis.
"At least until the end of 2020, the learning process in higher education will be carried out online, except for those that require field practice. However, for those who have field-practice, they still must comply with the health protocol," he said.
Meanwhile, according to the Circular of the Director-General of Higher Education No.6 / 2020, Prof. Aris said that there is a possibility of mixed, face-to-face, and online learning implementation for the next even semester. "Still, it should be based on the requirements that universities must still prioritize the health and safety of the campus community and their surroundings," he explained.
Finally, Prof. Aris explained that the Ministry of Education and Culture also holds its strategies or policies associated with medical and health education. There are several things in which Medical and health education are necessary to do.
"First, strengthening the joint committee with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Health. Second, the improvement of an Academic Health System integrates with RSP-RSPTN, multi-sector collaboration, and focusing on regional needs. Third, the transformation of educational standards, competencies, and curricula adjust to the times, strengthening soft skills of humanism and nationalism, and value-based interprofessional education. Fourth, the quality assurance based on data or academic studies," he concluded.
Translator: Natasa A