The Institute for Research, Publication and Community Service (LP3M) of Univeristas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta symbolically sent as many as 1571 students to take the Regular Public Service (KKN) Program on Wednesday (29/7) in the hall of the UMY Library Building. The theme of the current Community Service Program is the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (UMKM) as an effort to revive the Indonesian economy due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister of Cooperatives and MSME Drs. Teten Masduki, who gave a video conference (Webinar) and live broadcaste through UMYogya’s Instagram channel and Youtube, said that he welcomed the idea of UMY fielding KKN students to help the MSME sector.
“We, the Ministry of Cooperatives and UMKM, welcomed the concept of UMY Regular KKN with the theme of empowering MSMEs. We need to observe and overcome the problems that occur in the MSME-based business sector especially now that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected it. Students can help MSMEs in terms of their target market, packaging, production of goods, and marketing that are more creative, especially since students who are millennials are expected to be able to use technology in a better and more creative way,” Teten said.
This year’s Regular Community Service Program will take place in the new normal era and will be IT-based, so all forms of activities will largely be done online. However, Dr. Ir. Gatot Supangkat, M.P., IPM revealed that he did not rule out the possibility that some activities will have to be carried out offline. This depends on the conditions where the KKN is conducted. “Student interaction with the community will not be too frequent, depending on the status of the area where students perform their Community Service Program. The locations that we have determined are those that have good internet accessibility. The KKN group might need to visit the MSME site at least once,” said the head of LP3M UMY.
This year, there will be 250 MSMEs who became UMY partners for the implementation of the Regular KKN, and as many as 220 student groups had been divided in 33 Provinces throughout Indonesia by LP3M UMY. Each group is filled by eight to ten students who will need to foster two MSMEs at a designated place. Gatot emphasized that communication will be important in implementing the IT-based Regular KKN. “Because of the current condition, communication has become necessary, both between Field Supervisor Lecturers and Students, or Students and the MSME,” he concluded.
The release of the students also included the launching of the LP3M UMY Podcast channel, which will specialize in MSME-based topics. (Hbb).