Religious Education Plants Culture of Peace

Media Indonesia, page 12

The results of a study on Islamic education recommended the importance of reform in the teaching of Islam in schools that are not designed only to strengthen the faith through the practice of religious rites. More essentially is to instill the values of a culture of peace as an instrument for character building and budi pekerti, which is expected to neutralize and counteract radical understanding/thinking.

In a joint seminar Education Sector Analytical and Capacity Development Partnership (ACDP) in the Office of Religious Affairs Ministry, in Jakarta, yesterday, the Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin explained how religious life today and the religion of Islam is able to be present to integrate the community/society as a nation with the reality of pluralism and diversity that exists in the country. Capacity development and education sector analysis (ACDP) was carried out in cooperation with the Religious Affairs Ministry (Kemenag), Kemendikbud, the Government of Australia (Aus Aid), the European Union and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

According to Lukman, capitalizing on the various advantages and great potential owned, the vision of future Islamic education in Indonesia is the realization of Islamic education that is superior, moderate, and become a world reference in the integration of the science of religion, science, and technology. To ensure the good quality of human resources, Islamic education needs to focus on at least three aspects, namely the quality of education, the good character formation of students and noble character, as well as developing their skills in high-level thinking.

In following up the results of the study, Head of Research and development (Kabalitbang) of Kemendikbud Totok Suprayitno said his party would make it a reference of Islamic education in public schools.  He was referring to the strength and reach of madrasas that provide public education services that is distinctively Islam to about 20% of school-age children. He supports Kemenag on the importance of the quality of character, literacy skills, and competencies as necessary skills of Indonesian children.

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