Pesantren is Best Education Alternative

Media Indonesia, page 12

Education in Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) is the best alternative at this time. Although as a dakwah and educational institution, pesantren could likely deliver other skills competencies. This was expressed by Director General of Islamic Education Ministry of Religious Affairs Kamaruddin Amin.

Kamarudin said the students are very likely given additional competencies in the form of other skills or special skills because the education system in pesantren lasts 24 hours. Additional skills competencies are very important because not all pesantren graduates become scholars or preachers. Therefore, they can be equipped with various skills such as agribusiness, information technology (IT), and maritime affairs.

Kamarudin explained in an effort to realize such additional education, there are two things that must be done. First, pesantren must revitalize itself into education that matches with industry. Second, pesantren should be able to work together with financial institutions and the Investment Coordinating Board to be able to read the direction of investment so that it can prepare human resources in that direction. Meanwhile, on the policy side, Kemenag should cooperate with other ministries in developing the pesantren.

Currently the number of pesantren nationwide reached 28,961 with 322,328 educators and 4,028,660 learners (santri). Of that number, 15,057 (51,9%) only holds Qur’an reciting (traditional), while the rest, 13,904 (48.01 percent), in addition to organizing Qur’an recitation, provide other educational services (modern).

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