Radicalism in Schools

Kompas, page 11

The seeds of radicalism begin to enter schools.  Students’ ideas emerged to replace the state ideology of Pancasila with religious understanding.  This phenomenon becomes a concern in the midst of efforts to build the spirit of nationalism in the younger generation.  The survey results of SETARA Institute for Democracy and Peace (SIDP) conducted on state senior high school students in Bandung and Jakarta in 2015 show that about 8.5 percent of students agree the state foundation should be replaced by religion and 9.8 percent of students support the Islamic State movement in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Although still relatively small, this fact is alarming because state owned schools have been stressing nationalism.

Based on the information collected, SIDP found, there are 31 percent of religious education materials that are not in tune with the value of diversity. This is also backed by the research results from the Ministry of Religious Affairs which showed that the Islamic Education (PAI) textbooks in circulation contain many mistakes and errors. For example, the content of books inclining towards radical values and conflict resolution through violence.

In 2016, research was on examining 150 PAI textbooks conducted for schools and madrasah (Islamic schools) at all levels. The most errors are found in the application of transliteration and scripture writing. This may affect the meaning of verses and hadiths if not transliterated. Chairperson of the Teacher’s Light Foundation (Yayasan Cahaya Guru), Henny Supolo said that in education freedom of thought is very important. The goal is for educational materials to enter into the person’s cognizance/awareness not just as knowledge.

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