Lessons On Religion Lack Interest

Media Indonesia, page 13

Students often find lessons on the subject of religion to lack interest. Islamic education, however, is designed as one of the ways to teach the value of tolerance, which is very important when living in the diversity that is Indonesia. This was revealed by Islamic education expert, Amin Haedari, in a discussion entitled Mengelola Perbedaan dan Memelihara Kerukunan melalui Pendidikan in Jakarta, Wednesday (14/9).

It is therefore necessary to improve the methodology of religious education commencing from primary school right up to higher education. Religious education should be presented in attractive ways without changing the curriculum and learning materials. One of strategies is by altering the approach by utilizing group discussions or dialogs.

On the same occasion, Head of the Department of Research, Development, Education and Training of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Abdul Rahman Masud, said that the environment provides a major influence in creating harmony for living among different religions. A study conducted by the Research Center of Religious Life in 2010 showed that the environment factor provided a major impact of 72% on the tolerance among people in regard to their religion. On the other hand, religious education had only a small impact at 1.2%.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Abdurrahman Wahid Center of Indonesia University, Ahmad Suaedy, pointed out the need of teaching local wisdom to students to enrich their understanding about diversity. To date, local knowledge is still considered as being unscientific and unimportant.

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