Monday, August 9, 2010
Di sinilah tempat berlangsungnya pendidikan sejati, yakni pendidikan yang mencerdaskan orang yang belum cerdas, mendewasakan orang-orang yang belum dewasa, memandirikan orang-orang yang sering bergantung pada orang lain, dan menawakalkan orang yang sering keluh kesah, membangkitkan potensi kreatif untuk melawan kejumudan, membentuk solidaritas terhadap sesama di atas kepentingkan pribadi, dan membangun kepercayaan diri pada orang yang sedang mengenal dirinya. Yang dididik tiada lain adalah siswa/siswi MAN Insan Cendikia Gorontalo yang datang dari beragam latar belakang kehidupan, yang tengah mengukir nasib, menyongsong kesuksesan hidup pada masa yang akan datang.
Saat berbincang-bincang dengan Kepala MAN Insan Cendikia Gorontalo, Pak Suwardi, M.Pd, ihwal relung dan rona mengelola madrasah unggul ini, saya tak banyak bicara mendengar betapa hebatnya mewujudkan pendidikan sejati yang mampu membekali siswa dengan berbagai potensi fitrah insaniah yang melebihi apa yang dilakukan oleh lembaga pendidikan sejenis lainnya. Peranan kepala madrasah, guru, dan ustadz betapa tidak ringan dan tidak gampang karena mereka harus benar-benar berperan menggantikan peran orangtua.
Dulu saya pernah mengkaji tentang teori loco parentis, yakni teori yang menjelaskan pentingnya peran guru untuk menggantikan peran orang tua dalam dunia pendidikan. Teori yang dicetuskan oleh seorang ahli moral, Emile Durkheim, ini ternyata sudah diterapkan di MAN Insan Cendikia Gorontalo. Bahkan diyakini apa yang ada di MAN Insan Cendikia Gorontalo melampaui idealisme isi teori tersebut. Dulu saya juga pernah mempelajari pentingnya kurikulum tersembunyi (hidden curriculum), yakni kurikulum tidak tertulis secara formal yang berpengaruh terhadap pembentukan akhlak peserta didik, dan ternyata teori ini pun sudah teraplikasikan di MAN Insan Cendikia Gorontalo. Begitu juga, gagasan pendidikan integratif yang mengintegrasikan imtaq dengan iptek, memadukan sistem pembelajaran boarding dengan schooling, menyeimbangkan kekuatan intelektual dengan moral, itu semua ternyata sudah ada di MAN Insan Cendikia Gorontalo.
Itu sebabnya saat Pak Suwardi menjelaskan semuanya, pikiranku hanya meng-iya-kan saja. Bedanya, sementara aku berpikir hal itu sebagai teori, Pak Wardi berbicara sudah dalam lingkup tindakan mendidik yang memperkaya pengalaman hidupnya sebagai pemimpin di madrasah itu. Pun demikian, guru-guru juga tampaknya menjadi lebih cerdas, bijak, sabar, tahan banting, dan ikhlas karena tempaan hidup sebagai pendidik yang sejak awal dibagun dalam sebuah komitmen esprit de corps untuk mewujudkan generasi ulul albab. Atas penjelasan itulah, saya makin yakin bahwa pendidikan itu hakikatnya harus diwujudkan dalam bentuk tindakan dengan perangai humanistik dan jiwa theistik. Madrasah ternyata dapat menjadi persemaian semua itu. Inilah barangkali yang disebut pendidikan sejati yang mampu “membulatkan” semua potensi anak didik agar mereka memiliki sejarah hidup yang cemerlang.
Semoga apa yang telah dirintis dan dibuktikan sebagai keunggulan di MAN Insan Cendikia Gorontalo dapat menjadi virus endemik yang menyebarkan semangat peningkatan kualitas madrasah pada madrasah-madrasah lainnya di Gorontalo. Amin
Gorontalo, 04 Agustus 2010
Dr. H. Rohmat Mulyana, M.Pd
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Rohmat Mulyana & Muhibbin Syah
The Crash Training Program (CTP) was organized by a committee of Madrasah Development Center (MDC) of West Java. It was aimed at improving teaching learning process at Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs) and targeted to the teachers of mathematics, natural science, and English languge (the teachers of MNE). During three months period of time, the CTP was completed by four important parallel stages i.e. participant recruitment, intensive lecture, distance learning, and intensive workshop. Using a number of indicators for measuring the attainment of this training, it was clear that most of the efforts for improving teachers' ability in mastering teaching materials, methods of teaching, and evaluation techniques was obviously achieved. For this reason, the CTP now has been regarded as an effective training model for increasing the quality of teaching learning process in madrasah, particularly at Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs) in the West Java Province.
The enactment of the National Educational Act Number 20/2003 asserted that Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs) is a general junior high school run by the Ministry Religious Affairs (MORA) of the Republic of Indonesia. Therefore, the curriculum and qualification for teachers at Madrasah Tsanawiyah are the same as those of the junior high school called Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) run by the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Indonesia.
However, almost all teachers who teach mathematics, natural science, and English (MNE) at Madrasah Tsanawiyahs in West Java Province are believed to have been incompetent. Most of them are not thought to be as professional as the MNE teachers at SMP. Therefore, it is essential that Madrasah Development Center (MDC) conduct a crash training program on the teaching-learning process for the MNE teachers at Madrasah Tsanawiyah available in every district of West Java Province.
B. Objectives and Targeted Participants
The general objective of the crash program is to increase the MNE teachers’ professionalism of MTs chiefly in implementing innovative teaching-learning process.
After the completion of the crash program, the MNE teachers are expected to:
1) master teaching materials in accordance with the characteristic of their subject matter;
2) develop teaching models in certain phases of the MNE teaching-learning process through collaborative work with related experts;
3) write an academic report concerning the implemented teaching-learning process through cyclical and reflective analysis.
Related to this, the MNE teachers of the Madrasah Tsanawiyah who have completed the crash training program will have sound professionalism that enable them to be promoted as tutors and advocators for the similar training programs for Madrasah teachers in the future.
2. Targeted Participants
The participants are the mathematics, natural science, and English teachers of state and private Madrasah Tsanawiyah available in West Java Province who pass the selection conducted by an independent team that consists of LAPIS/AusAID staff, the committee of West Java Madrasah Development Center (MDC), and the expert from institute for teacher training (LPTK).
C. Implementation Strategy
There are two stages of preparation, i.e. administrative preparation and academic one. Activities concerning administrative preparation are: developing a proposal, discussing the proposal with some relevant experts, finishing and sending the proposal to LAPIS/AusAID institution. Meanwhile, activities related to the academic preparation are conducting meetings with the experts and senior educational officials to discuss the followings:
1) criteria of participant selection;
2) guideline for realizing the crash training program; and
3) guideline for both in-classroom training and field work;
4) various techniques of evaluation during and after attending the program.
2. Criteria for Selection
The participants will be the mathematics, natural science, and English teachers of state and private Madrasah Tsanawiyahs. The number of the participants of each field of study is 30 teachers. So that, the participants are 90 teachers all together. The criteria set-up for the participant is that he or she:
1) has been teaching at Madrasah Tsanawiyah at least 2 years;
2) is given a recommendation by Madrasah Tsanawiyah principal;
3) is not older than 45 years;
4) has at least a Diploma degree on his or her field of study.
In addition to those criteria, it is considered that the gender equality for taking training opportunity be another important aspect of participants selection.
a. Administrative Selection
In collaboration with LAPIS/AusAID staff and university experts, the committee carries out activities as follows:
1) prospective participants recruitment;
2) prospective participants verification;
3) assessing prospective participants’ files and sending letters of appointment to those who
are eligible to attend an academic-subject matter related test.
b. Academic Selection
The selection will be conducted by an independent and collaborative team legalized by the head of West Java Office of Ministry of Religious Affairs. As for activities within the academic selection are as follows:
1) developing test materials (i.e. content of each subject matters, teaching models and
2) verifying and multiplying the test materials;
3) implementing the test at the closest places or districts to the prospective participants;
4) evaluating the test result and stipulating participants proportion for each project region
5) handing in the list of participants to the chief of LAPIS/AusAID institution, to the principal
of West Java office of MORA, and to the Director of Directorate of Madrasah.
The academic selection is directed to two targets. They are: 1) to rank prospective participants according to their academic performance order (the best, better, and good); 2) to identify concepts available in subjects that are not mastered by the prospective participants, so that the crash training program may be carried out properly.
There are six components available in the curriculum, i.e:
1) Fields of study (mathematics, Natural science, and English language) in accordance with the curriculum
of Madrasah Tsanawiyah (45%);
2) Broadening perspective of fields of study through some teaching models (10%);
3) Teaching models simulation including innovating students learning activity (10%);
4) Constructing lesson plan for subsequent term (15%);
5) Constructing test materials and mastering evaluation techniques (10% );
6) Classroom administration and report (10%).
b. Course Contents
The course contents are compiled in the module of: 1) mathematics; 2) natural science; 3) English. These modules consist of: syllabus, core materials, individual assignment, the way to learn, and the system of measurement for each course.
Furthermore, the participants are given study guidance book and quality control card to make a determined effort to succeed their participation in the crash training program. The quality control card is utilized to monitor academic activities done by the participants; for examples: their attendance, their individual and group tasks, and so on.
c. Teaching-learning Process
1) Intensive Lecture
The first phase of the crash training concerning the teaching-learning covered in the program is intensive lecture. During this lecture, the participants are oriented or directed towards the understanding of the aims of the crash training program and other interests related to the teaching-learning process carried out in the program. And, to anticipate the variety of raw input (different background of participants), it is essential that a specific matriculation is intended to attain an academic standard required for attending the specific courses (i.e. mathematics, natural science, and English) which are taught in the training program. Elaborating the six curriculum components as mentioned above are also conducted through various teaching learning activities including its academic test (mid-term evaluation). All the processes of intensive lecture are taken in the terms of 5 days in-class training.
2) Distance Learning
The second phase of the crash training is distance learning. It is carried out by the participants after attending intensive lecturer. With respect to this, the participants are assigned to study the modules and to apply the knowledge in teaching process at their respective Madrasah Tsanawiyah. Besides, it is strongly suggested that they do their various individual assignments like answering course question, trying out a models, making resume of the course, and so forth. During the phase, three times tutorials are conducted in a nearest place from the participants’ homes and they discuss the progress of their teaching activity with invited academic advisor.
3) Intensive Workshop
The last step is intensive workshop which is held on after completing distance learning. The lecture is administered in Bandung. This workshop especially is aimed at performing teaching activity progress which has been conducted by participants in their respective Madrasah Tsanawiyahs. There are some techniques and methods utilized in each intensive workshop, i.e.: a) face to face tutorial/enrichment; b) teaching learning report and its discussion; (c) teaching simulation and its discussion; and c) final evaluation. A two days intensive workshop will be administered for this step.
4. Criteria for Evaluation
The success of the program attended by the participants is stipulated by the grades of: a) attendance in all training sessions, b) individual assignment; c) mid-term evaluation; d) final evaluation; and e) teacher’s scientific essay accompanied by his/her classroom practice report.
Hence, to get a certificate a participant must reach an achievement with a minimum grade of 60 (maximum grade is 100). The details of grade related to the achievement predicate are as follows:
a. From 60 to 67 (fair);
b. From 68 to 74 (good);
c. From 75 to 100 (very good/ excellent).
As for the components assessed and their percentages are designed as follows:
a. Full attendance in all training sessions (20%);
b. Accomplishment of the tasks related to the tutorials (15%);
c. Cumulative performance of every stage of evaluation (15%);
d. Middle test of training (20%);
e. Final exam of training (30%).
With respect to the guidance previously mentioned, a lecturer of LPTK or an instructor who works for the sake of the lecturer guides and gives an academic advice to a group of participants. In this regard, the academic advisor gives the committee a report concerning academic performance or achievement of the participants.
D. Facilities for Participants
The participants of the training program are given various kinds of facilities as follows:
1. Participant identity card;
2. Module relevant to the participant;
3. Material and tool for practice;
4. Quality control card;
5. Academic handbook;
6. Study guidance book;
7. Transportation fare for attending participant selection, intensive lecture, and workshop
8. Individual assignment expenses;
9. Pocket money for attending crash training.
E. Monitoring and Evaluation
Both internal and external monitoring and evaluation are necessarily conducted three times at the most, i.e. at the initial, during, and at the end of the crash program. In line with this, monitoring is particularly done by:
1. An independent team from LAPIS/AusAID staff;
2. A team from West Java MORA/MDC provincial office;
3. The committee and the Institute for Teacher Training (LPTK).
F. Training Outputs
This part explains the attainment of Crash Training Program (CTP) indicators that have been achieved after the training. Therefore, the explanation reflects the result of training quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitative data is presented in percentage, and mean average, meanwhile qualitative one is described in general tendency of participant in doing their works. To make analysis easier to understand, quantitative data are placed as primary data, meanwhile quantitative one are used for secondary data that verify the quantitative analysis.
1. The Attainment of Output 1
The Statement of Output 1
The participants have ability to master teaching materials in accordance with the characteristic of their subject matter.
At least 80% of participants are expected to increasing ability in mastering teaching material. It is proved by improving score test from pre-test to post-test.
Based on the comparison of pre-test and post-test score, it can be explained that 92% participant have increased their ability in mastering teaching materials after CTP training. The percentage is showed by mean score of each group that 87% English teachers, 93% natural science teachers, and 97% mathematics teachers have got some improvement of their knowledge on teaching materials of their field. It means that the output 1 that asserts at least 80% of participant are expected to increasing ability in mastering teaching material can be achieved.
Participants are able to implement their ability in mastering teaching material to students during the distance learning.
According to the result of analysis on distance learning, it can be exposed that generally the participants have a good ability to implement their knowledge on teaching learning process. The positive inclination of participants’ ability was supported by some progressive development of them during the implementation of the distance learning that was organized for two months. Of the analysis, it was clear that mean scores of each group were more than passing grade score (mean = 60). In more detail information, it could be explained that of all participants the mean score was showed by M = 69,5. This score consisted of M = 70 for English teachers, M = 70 for natural science teachers, and M = 69 for mathematics teachers. Based on the result, it might be said that the indicator 2 that asserted the participant ability in implementing their knowledge of teaching materials into teaching learning process during distance learning could be achieved.
2. The attainment of Output 2
The Statement of Output 2
The participants have ability to develop teaching models in certain phases of the MNE teaching-learning process through collaborative work with related experts
Participants are able to plan innovative student learning activity in classroom based on their subjects (match, science, English) by using interactive methodology.
This indicator is relatively difficult to identify because it concerned with many things that can be regarded as new idea in learning innovation. Otherwise, one of the characteristics of the attainment is able to be explained by two data categories, namely: (1) the data of mean score of participant creativity and innovation in preparing their teaching task, and (2) the data of mean score of participants’ ability in creating conducive classroom interaction.
According to final analysis of participants’ creativity and innovation in teaching preparation, it can be said that most of the participants have good creativity and innovation for supporting their teaching. English language group attained mean score (M) = 71, natural science group got M = 72, and mathematics group achieved M = 72. Meanwhile their ability in creating conducive classroom interaction could be identified through mean score of the aspect during the phase of distance learning (DL) that revealed by M = 68,33 in DL-1, M = 68,67 in DL-2, M= 77,33 in DL-3, and M = 68,67 in DL-4. Based on the score, it was clear that the effort of improving the participants’ ability to plan and to implement innovative learning activity was able to be achieved.
Participants are able to make lesson plan and can implement at classroom
One of important aspects that continuously observed in this crash training is the participants’ ability in preparing lesson plan. The participants were guided by expert when they arranged teaching preparation. This process actually has been applied since the initial stage of training in which each participant created some model of lesson plan when they followed intensive lecture session. Based on the final assessment of participants’ ability in preparing lesson plan, their score showed an expected attainment. The mean score (M) of this aspect is 70,4. It means that most of the participants performed good ability in preparing their teaching job through lesson plan paper. The tendency also was verified by qualitative data obtained from principals that mentioned good ability in preparing lesson plan. As the previous indicators, this indicator was relatively achieved.
Participants are able to make test material for students based on their subjects (mathematics, natural science, and English) and can be implemented to students.
To measure this indicator, the average score of evaluation development of the participants can be put as our consideration. The average score was computed from the assessment result made by monitoring team during distance learning. Based on the result of assessment, the ability of participant in developing learning evaluation was able to be stated that most of them were having the ability. Their ability was reflected by means score (M) = 69. The score included M = 73 for English Language group, M = 67 for natural science group, and M = 67 for mathematics group. In another word, the highest score was achieved by majority of participants of English group, meanwhile the participants of natural science and mathematics group gained the same average score. It could also be concluded that the participants’ ability in constructing test materials was able to be achieved.
3. The Attainment of Output 3
The Statement of Output 3
The participants have ability to write academic report concerning the implemented teaching-learning process through cyclical and reflective analysis
At least 80 % participants are able to present academic report in portfolio model related to teaching and learning process
The ability of participant in performing academic report through portfolio model has significantly increased. Although many participants regarded the portfolio as model that made them quite busy, 89% of them performed good work on it. This percentage actually made up the average of participant performance as long as they worked in distance learning session. The way to compute it was done by determining a passing grade for their score in which 60 in the lowest score and 100 in the highest one. For the participants who got lower score than 60, they were not included in the computation. Based on the percentage, it could be said that the ability of participants in writing academic report by using portfolio model are able to be attained. But, looking from their ability in performing cyclical analysis, it was obvious that most of them still needed more improvement. It also meant that the tradition of applying classroom action research was not popular among the teachers of Madrasah Tsanawiyah. ***
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
1. Culture and Values
Culture is a set of rules, expectation, and beliefs that a group of people live by (LaMachia, 2000). A culture influences the people appearance, language, values, traditions, customs, food, clothing, and music. A culture also may be based around a religion. As Curry (2005) noted religion played important role in society. Therefore, the advocator of religious culture believes that religion is one of important elements of culture formation and uniqueness.
In a culture there is community spirit that is called by Dean (2003) as spiritual culture. He remarked that the spiritual culture provides the vision for the country, just as a spiritual faith provides the vision for person. Often this spirit occurs in a grouping of society that consists of people who share a common culture, obey the same political authority, and occupy given territory. Therefore, Kluckhohn (1961) has noted that human behavior is dominated by culture in the sense that the greater part, perhaps all, of the variation between societies is based on differences in cultural experience.
Cultures perform in various kinds their characteristics according to their identities. When many kinds of culture are expressed in a country, it can make the nation of the country become more multicultural. In this case, what Curry says about culture relativism, will be occurred in the country. As noted by Curry (2005) cultural relativism is the belief that each culture is unique and must be analyzed and judge on its own term. That actually occurred in the so-called multicultural society where people appear different language, values, traditions, customs, food, clothing, and music, artifacts, etc.
Cunningham (2003) regards the multicultural as the most disturbing trends today. He said that the major issues must be addressed in; first, race and ethnicity are only two of the many identity factors that contribute to our world view. Some others are gender, socioeconomic status, level of acculturation to majority norms, geographic region of origin, level of mobility (both physical and geographic), sexual orientation, educational achievement, speech patterns, family structure, religious beliefs, age cohort, health status, and various types of life experience. Second, recognized ethnic groups in the United States are rarely -- if ever -- homogenous, and in-group distinctiveness may be as prominent as differences between groups. Third, ethnic identity is not restricted to minority groups; majority-group members also have ethnicity.
According to the aspect above, it can be concluded that multicultural society means a community which involves several distinct racial or religious cultures. In the society, the people respect to the ways of all racial or religious culture, not just one's own.
In multicultural society, there are some social values that influence on life style, social conduct, community interaction, or even philosophy of life of each cultural member. These values are the preferences people share about what is good or bad, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable (Curry 2005). Like attitude and beliefs, values are learned from the group of culture in which individual is socialized. Banks (1991) noted that human beings are not born with a set of values and do not derive them independently.
Regarding the social values Posner (2005) listed at least 200 social values are commonly performed in social life. Among of them are tolerance, cooperation, diversity, justice, patriotism, respect, wisdom, harmony, courtesy, etc. Often these values are shared by member of community not in the same quality of property. For example, in a community of life the actualization of tolerance maybe better than justice, or patriotism are higher appreciated than respect to others. To clarify the position of values actualization in actual life, Mark (2005), therefore, noticed the importance of learning social science that can help to explain the value claimed or articulated by particular groups.
2. Need for Multicultural Education
As sub system of society and melting-pot of culture, education, in particularly school education, takes important role in transmitting living values. The role will be more significant when a school is located in a place where various people live in different culture like in US and in some others multicultural countries. One of the important efforts need to be taken place by school therefore is multicultural education for their children. But in matter of fact, as noted by Adams (1997) this cultural diversity is frequently ignored by educational institutions. It seems need to be deserved to open recognition in other enhancing student’s worldview on values, traditions, and practices that differ from their own culture.
According to Banks (1991) there are three major factors makes multicultural education become necessity of a school. First, ethnic pluralism is a growing societal reality that influences the lives of young people. Second, in one way or another, individuals acquire knowledge or beliefs, sometimes invalid, about ethnic and cultural groups; and third, beliefs and knowledge about ethnic and cultural groups limit the perspectives of many and make a difference, often a negative difference, in the opportunities and options available to members of ethnic and cultural groups. These major factors, in turn, can be a systematic variation in the realm of cultural phenomena.
Because of this, learning ethnicity, race, and class are important in the lives of many citizens of the United States. All members of society are expected to develop multicultural education based on understanding of racial, ethnic, and cultural groups and their significance in US society and throughout the world. Schools cannot afford to ignore their responsibility to contribute to the development of multicultural education. Only a well-conceived, sensitive, thorough, and continuous program of multicultural education can create the broadly based multicultural literacy for the future of the nation and world.
Applying multicultural education in school, students also can be led to close the gap between democratic ideals and societal practices. As granted by US constitution, every individual and group has freedom to speak, and to express culture and belief system. But, as pointed out by Banks (1991) such practices of democratic ideals are sometimes in discriminatory toward members of ethnic and cultural groups. This is actually emphasized again the important of articulating shared values (Esposito, 200; Kidder, 2006), universal values (Kidder, 2006), ultimate values (Rothman, 1977), and moral universality (Dean, 2003) of diversity of culture and stress the important of respect toward differences.
The effort of multicultural education can be well taken place within an educational setting that accepts, encourages, and respects the expression of ethnic and cultural diversity. To attain this kind of educational atmosphere, the total school environment -- not merely clasroom courses and lessons -- must be reformed. Schools' informal or "hidden" curricula (Kay, 1975) are as important as their formalized courses of study.
Adams, M. et all. (1997). Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice. New York: Routledge.
Banks, J. A. (1991). Curriculum Guidelines for Multicultural Education. Web Site. Available: http://www.socialstudies.org/positions/multicultural/
Cunningham, L. A. (2003). Multicultural awareness. Retrieved -insert today's date- from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web Site, Available: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Multi-cultural.htm
Curry, T., Jiobu, R., Schwirian, K. (2005). Sociology for the Twenty-First Century. Fourth Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Dean, W. (2003). The American Spiritual Culture. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.
Esposito, J. L. (2006). Muslim and the West: A Culture War? Web Site, Available: http://www.irfi. org/articles/articles_451_500/muslims_and_the_west.htm
Kay, W. (1975). Moral Education; A Sociological Study of the Influence of Society, Home, and School. London: George Allen & Unwin.
Kidder, R. M. (2006) Moral Courage. New York: Harper
LaMachia, J. (2000). A Student’s Guide to American Civics. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
Kluckhohn, F. R. (1961). Variation in Value Orientation. Connecticut: Greenwood Press Publishers
Marry, M. S. (2005). Should educators Accommodate Intolerance? Journal of Moral Education, Vol 34, No. 1 pp 19-36.
Posner, Roy. (2005). What are Society’s Values. Web Site, Available: http://www.gurusoft-ware.com/GuruNet/Social/Topics/Values.htm
Rothman, J. (1977). Issues in Race and Ethnic Relation; Theory, Research, and Action, The University of Michigan: F.E. Peacock Publishers, Inc.
Dr. Rohmat Mulyana
Madrasah is one of the important educational institutions in Indonesia. It is developed by Muslim community since the coming of Islam to Indonesia through traders from India and China land in 11 century. The appearance of madrasah was not so far after Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) initialized the traditional Islamic education institutions in some part of places in Indonesia.
Because Pesantren teaches the only Islamic field branches, many people of Muslim community try to take initiative to broaden the scope of Islamic education toward contemporary knowledge and science, like mathematic, natural science, international language, social science etc. The initiation basically was caused the unsupported educational system for santri (pupil who learn in Pesantren) to access public school. Learning in merely Islamic field branches was regarded by government as too minimum capability to have opportunity to learn in public schools. In that time, therefore there are many santri who could not continue their study to public school.
After Independence Day in 1945, much Muslim community with their particularity built private madrasah close to Pesantren. A rapid development was then anticipated by the Old Order government (Soekarno era) through reorganizing some potential madrasahs to become public madrasah. Meanwhile, other thousand madrasahs remain in their status as private madrasahs and since the time the quality of private madrasah becomes left behind on those are of the public one.
When New Order government (Soeharto era) take over the country in 1955, madrasah remained in their low academic quality. On the other hand the majority of madrasahs had lower quality than those of public secular schools that was formed in the line of thought of colonialism (Dutch and Javanese). And, when the government implemented a basic education program through the so-called “SD Inpres” (Building elementary school by president instruction policy), madrasah in particularly basic madrasah (Madrasah Ibtidaiyah) was also neglected. Madrasah, in turn, always face crucial problem in improving their quality day by day.
Something that makes madrasah always in their suitability is the community support for the existence of madrasah. Muslim, whether they were from the same Islamic schools community or not, take participation to build madrasah by self-finance regulation. Therefore day by day the number of private madrasah was going to increase and the enrollment has become larger. These phenomena then proved that madrasah was rooted from community support and initiated by each Islamic organization. For example, the organization of Nahdatul Ulama pioneered Al-Ma’arif madrasahs, Muhamadiyah built Muhamadiyah madrasahs, and also the other Islamic organizations took the same effort for building their madrasahs.
In 1974 there was such protest from madrasah community to respond the policy that limited madrasahs’ alumni to get chance to go to public university. The protest then was answered by government by forwarding a joint decision letter among three departments namely Ministry of Domestic Affairs, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Ministry of National Education. Since the joint decision, many madrasahs’ alumni then have a good access to go to public university. Other than this, the pesantren's alumni also have opportunity to get national examination for the equality of education as long as the pesantren teach general science.
In 1980s, madrasah were still in their position in which their quality was lower than public secular school. But the people of certain Islamic community schools remained put madrasah as second alternative for their children education if they failed to go to a public school. The consideration of most parents to put madrasah as second alternative, in turn, supports the existence of madrasah. Such condition occurs because the number of public schools has limited capacity to enroll all school-age children that their population increased year by year.
In the dynamic development of madrasah, many people send their children to madrasah according their organizational background. People who hold Nahdatul Ulama organization tend to send their children to Ma’arif Madrasah (a typical madrasah was built by NU community), and in the same time those who hold Muhamadiyah organization let their children to visit Muhamadiyah madrasah. It was very seldom to find a family who let their children to learn in Madrasah that out of his own organizational background, except for them who are able to involve rational consideration on choosing the more better quality of education for their children. So, for a long time madrasahs were blocked by the distinction of socio-religious organization, like Nahdatul Ulama (NU), Muhamadiyah, Persatuan Islam (Persis), Al-Irsyad, etc. These phenomena make madrasah face internal competition among different Muslim community.
In 1990s when New Order government has significantly involved to international loan, like IMF, World Bank, ADB, IDB etc, the quality improvement of madrasah got serious attention from government. Ministry of Religious Affairs, for instance, built some model madrasahs in 27 provinces and developed some other policies to increase madrasah quality in vocational education. Many public madrasah received block grant for building their capacity and completing their equipments. But again, private madrasah has no better financial aid from government.
Regarding the dynamic development of private madrasah, many rich people were interested in supporting the existence of madrasah. Under a certain NGO or institute, they participate to share their alms and wealthy for building madrasah. Among the people came from intellectual who know how to build a high quality madrasah. This movement of private madrasah then was able to succeed a number of favorite and competitive madrasah in some regions. Now, almost in every province a well-performed madrasah can be found. Among the best madrasah are Madrasah Ibtidaiyah Bumi Serpong in Banten Province, Madrasah Ibtidaiyah and Madrasah Tsanawiyah Malang in East Java Province.
In 2000s, madrasah are more prospective than some previous years. Government of Indonesia has given better support to operational need of madrasah. Many of madrasah receipt block grant through international grant and loan as well as from national budget. Today, for example, some madrasah are being supported to improve their quality through the program of Decentralized Basic Education (DBE) that is funded by USAID. Beside, Ministry of Religious Affairs has begun to create a number of New Madrasah in six provinces. This program is implemented by using international grant from AusAID. And, other program also was provided by government to recover the effect of economic crisis that occur since 1987. The program is called as Program Konpensasi Pengurangan Subsidi Bahan Bakar Minyak (Oil retrenchment subsidy compensation) through which all students of basic education, madrasah and schools as well as private and public education receipt this kind of block grant.
2. Current Shifting of Madrasah and Its Cause
There are significant differences between the phenomena of madrasah development in 1980s and 2000s. In the time period of 1980s madrasah were often neglected by elite community, but conversely public secular school has become predominant education for sending their children. This phenomenon actually goes on up to the year 1990s when there only a few madrasahs can prove their good quality. In the beginning of 2000s, madrasahs improve gradually their reputation through some learning innovation.
Unfortunately, the phenomenon just occurs in several madrasahs where a modern management is applied in organizing the institution. For other madrasahs, especially for those are located in remote area; they remain in a very traditional system. Their system is often copped by personal decision like by the leader of pesantren or kiyai whom his community often follow his decision. In this case madrasah similar to pesantren is frequently called as charismatic institution rather than democratic one.
Although such management system has become the weakness of madrasah organization, the sustainability of madrasah has never shaken. When a madrasah is being collapse, other twenties new madrasahs may be being built by Muslim community in different places. This is actually an interesting phenomenon which happens in the realm of education in Indonesia in which approximately 260 million people live in the country.
An actual progress report provided by Educational Management and Information System (EMIS) of Ministry of religious affairs proves that madrasah has got significant increase for their enrollment. It happens actually in certain level of education, particularly in Senior Secondary Madrasah (Madrasah Tsanawiyah). The data perform that participation index average of school-age students in this level reach 12% a year since 2002. Meanwhile in basic level madrasah (Madrasah Ibtidaiyah) the index is more stable in 9% and in senior secondary madrasah (Madrasah Aliyah) is 5%.
For some reasons, therefore, it is interesting to analyze the cause of enrollment increase in Madrasah. One of more possible cause is the program of Nine Years Basic Education Compulsory which has been proclaimed by government of Indonesia since 1987. This policy effect the importance of good attention on basic education in Indonesia. That is why; one of the most important programs to support the compulsory education is giving a block grant to schools and madrasah in that level. Through this program, the government of Indonesia gives Rp. 235.000 a year for a student of Elementary school and Rp. 324.500 a year for a student of Junior High School, including Madrasah student. And for student of Senior Secondary Schools, government allocates Rp. 65.000 a month per student. This fund can be used for operational necessities in schools and through it also is expected the school are able to minimize or to free the educational fee.
But in more critical analysis, we can ask whether the increase of enrollment of madrasah is really caused by this financial aid or not. To answer this question, we can not neglect some possible aspects involved in. We, of course, cannot put the economic reason as simply as the primary caused of the increase since we look madrasah as a unique educational institution.
For clear explanation, therefore, it is necessary to look the cause in the perspective of parents’ motivation to send their children to madrasah. A more comprehensive description may be concerned with the following issues.
First, looking from economic dimension, it is regarded that many people of Indonesia living in middle-lower earners. Pikiran Rakyat daily newspaper has ever released that approximately 40% of Indonesian live in poverty after national economic crisis 1998. This condition effects to the people of the group in willingness to send their children to school. The role of government and international funding to support basic education, therefore, is one of reasonable cause of the increasing enrollment of Madrasah. In fact, the ability to pay school cost is being more popular reason in spite of other reasons. But we have to be careful to understand reason because most of family is often easily to speak education in terms of instrumental aspect rather than intrinsic one.
Second, looking from accessibility, most of madrasah are located in remote area where many middle-lower family live in there. Here madrasah may become the first choice for remote people to send their children to learn. If they send their children to a city, they of course have to spend much money. Therefore, the accessibility and the feasibility of education are not mutually exclusive for the people who live in remote area. According to data provided by EMIS (2005), there are 93% of madrasah located in remote area and most of them are private madrasah.
Third, looking from community loyalty, many people of Muslim community perceive madrasah as incomparable education institution. Their notion to madrasah is basically affected by their community belief, loyalty, and commitment. It is actually more tend to intrinsic value rather than instrumental value of education. As cited above, their commitment, loyalty and belief are clung since their involvement in building madrasah in certain Islamic community schools like NU, Muhamadiyah, Persis, Al-Irsyad, and some others. This reason is very seldom to be conveyed by people, because they regard it as sensitive and exclusive reason that must be hold by their own Islamic community organization. It also means that there is an internal and closed competition between one Islamic school community and others. But the real competition, in turn, give positive impact to the participation index of education in general since the member of community feel better to send their children to madrasah in spite of public secular school.
Last, looking from family ideals, many people who have very simple idea of what their children would be. If we ask some people who send their children to madrasah, the first answer often refers to the need of good boy or good girl. Such answer is quite familiar be given by lower educated parents in remote area. Such ideals of parents in turn affect their willingness to send their children to Madrasah in which they convince madrasah as an appropriate institution to achieve their ideals. Family commitment to moral education also appears in city area. Different from that belief by people in remote area, the people in the city look significance of moral education for their children because of the social environmental threats. Many casual crimes like drug, sex, drinking, etc involve the students of public secular schools. Therefore, many families regard public secular schools have no intensive effort for religious moral education. Because of that, many people belief that that cause that make some student of public secular school involve in any social crime are sourced from the lack of intensive religious moral education in school. For this reason, it is easy to understand if some families feel more convenient to send their children to madrasah in spite of to public school.
From the explanation in part 1 and 2, the gist of ideal lays down two essential issues, they are: Firstly, madrasah historically has long experienced for inconvenient treatment of education policy up to 1980-s, but now madrasah are having a good treatment as what has been receiving by public schools in general. Secondly, Madrasah has certain uniqueness if it is looked from their academic culture. Although many innovations have been introduced toward madrasah, almost all of them are still in their old commitment, particularly to cling Islamic belief to student. Thirdly, madrasah has become a good alternative for several parents to send their children to learn in there. In this case, emotional tight on madrasah tend to be more importance in spite of rational judgment. Fourth, even though there is an inclination that enrollment of madrasah tend to improve, madrasah in general are still in their low quality. Many weaknesses of madrasah concerned with quality of human resources, facility, management, and funding. **
Madrasah is one of long established educational institutions in Indonesia. The sustainability of many madrasahs is strongly rooted from Muslim community who has high concern with education and religious moral character of young generation. Rising the significant number of every year, madrasahs gradually become more and more popular Islamic schools among the people of the country. There are more than 40 thousands madrasahs with at least 6 million Muslim children are educated in the institutions. Undoubtedly besides their impressive shifting on number, there are some interesting issues to discuss, particularly on the needs of their quality improvement. For the reason, this paper is presented to elaborate some attainments, problems, and expectations of madrasah in the latest and nearest year. Using SWOT analysis, this paper is also expected to share bountiful idea for improving the quality of madrasah in Indonesia.
1. A Glance at Madrasah History
The growth of educational system in Indonesia is not separated from the significant role of Islamic institutions. Even before independent of the country, Islamic educational institutions like pesantrens (Islamic boarding schools) have become pioneer of educational system of the country. They have been promoted earlier than the time of modern educational system introduced by Dutch colonialism. One of significant roles of pesantren appeared on the spirit of Muslim community of the country to modernized their educational system that influenced by the shifting of enlightenment in Asia and Africa (EMIS, 2001). Beside, the political will of colonialism in that time that rejected Islamic teaching in formal public education became another reason of why the role of pesantren became more and more popular in past decade of Indonesian education history (Mukhtar, 1999). In the same time, madrasas gradually grew and developed as the first formal and modern Islamic education in Indonesia in which both Islamic and secular curriculum was integrated.
In independence era, Indonesian government appreciated the important contribution of Islamic education toward character building of nation. Based on the appreciation, government made Islamic education as an integral curriculum in public school and put high concern on the quality of improvement of madrasah and pesantren. To support the Islamic institution, Government of Indonesia then found Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) to facilitate improvement of Islamic institutions like madrasah and Pesantren. Meanwhile, public schools remain to be administered by Ministry of National Education (MONE).
In New Order era, the policy of education was much more directed to the integration of Islamic education in national education system. Two of the importance policies in the time of New Era were to map madrasah structure and formalize them as public schools (Ma’arif, 1991). The policy was implemented after there was Joint Promissory Note in 1974 between three Ministries (ministry of National Education and Culture, Ministry of Domestic Affairs, and Ministry of Religious Affairs). Afterwards, the curriculum of madrasah in Indonesia was strongly different from what has been used in previous time. The curriculum had become double, Islamic as well as academic curriculum and the school has two employers namely MORA and MONE. In 1989, government of Indonesia then legitimated an Education Enactment that as juridical recognized madrasah as integrated part of national education. Since the time being, madrasah was so popular called as “the school by Islamic characteristics.”
The chance to improve quality for Islamic institution, including madrasah, was largely opened after reformation Era. The movement of political reformation in 1998 has successfully ended New Era regime after 32 years of its power. The movement then encourages people to make any changes in many aspect of life including in educational policy. Revitalization of madrasah came to be more significant after the issue of new Education Enactment Number 20, 2003. In this enactment madrasah is placed more explicit regarding its kind, stage, management, curriculum, teacher, and accessibility of students. Through the large opportunity for madrasah, Muslim community in Indonesia are expected to contribute skill and character building of the nation by creating more qualified Islamic education in the future.
2. Some Attainments of Madrasah
Today, madrasahs are fully administered by Directorate of Education for Madrasah, one of five directorates employed in MORA. In administering madrasah, the directorate classified madrasah into three categories i.e. Early Childhood Islamic Education, Basic Islamic Education, and High Islamic Education. Early Childhood Islamic Education (Raudatul and Bustanul Athfal) is recommended for children of 0-6 years old, Basic Islamic Education (Madrasah Ibtidaiyah, Madrasah Tsanawiyah) is for age of 7-15, and High Islamic Education (madrasah Aliyah) is for age of 16-18. The intervals of student age actually are the same as what are commonly deployed in public schools that are organized by Ministry of National Education.
Generally, there are many programs have been developed by Directorate of Education for Madrasah in the latest five years. The programs directly contribute to national education empowerment and to strengthen consciousness of learners. The directorate has improved all level and kind of Islamic education beginning from kindergarten to senior secondary school or high school education. Quantitatively, for instance, in period of 2004/2005, there are 5,654 (10%) of 52,658 Islamic Kindergarten (Raudatul/Bustanul Athfal) teachers have been appointed to be teachers of government worker. They are recruited from voluntary teachers who dedicated themselves in wide rage area of Indonesia. Beside, to support honorarium of madrasah teachers the directorate has allocate financial aids to 29,255 (62%) from 47,004 non-government teachers of madrasah in Indonesia. The aid is called as Teachers’ Honorarium Aid.
In religious landscape, the directorate also has take initiative to grow then values of religiosity, tolerance, respect others, and nation outlook among madrasah stakeholders. This role of directorate is much more tend to qualitative responsibility particularly to respond the challenge of today issue that religion often supposed become one of social triggers stimulating horizontal social conflict.
Another thing that has been supported by the directorate is accessibility of lower-middle economic family of students for attending education, particularly for basic education. The accessibility of education among students of madrasah can be described from the increase of school participation index every year. In 2004/2005, for example, the index increase 10.23% from the previous year (1003/2004). The faster growth of madrasah relates with the participation of Muslim community. It is found that of 39.309 madrasahs in 2003-2004, 91.6% of them are private madrasahs. One year later, the total of madrasah has significantly increased 2.4% (951 unit) so that the total number of them reach 40,260 unit. Meanwhile, the growth average of madrasahs in last five years (2000-2005) touch 3.1% per annual. The highest increase of madrasahs occurred in 2000-2001 that reached 1,730 madrasahs or 4.9% growth of total number of madrasahs in previous year
Based on demography data, it was identified that in 2005 the total number of the people in the age of 7-18 reaches 50,993,900 people. It includes 25,308,600 person of them are in the age of 7-12, 13,033,700 person are of 13-15 years old, and 12,651,600 person are of 16-18. Meanwhile, in the same time the total number of madrasah students of all kinds and grades of madrasah reach 6,027,239 students (madrasah ibtidaiyah = 3,152,939; madrasah tsanawiyah = 2,129,564, and madrasah aliyah = 744,736). About 81% (4,886,141) of them are students of private madrasah.
Relating to socio-economic of Indonesian people, madrasah held on important role in empowering poor and marginal people. The role at least can be identified from the existence of majority of madrasahs that located in village and suburb in which 80% of lower-middle economic people of Indonesia lives in the area. About 85% of students come from lower-middle economic family with the highest parents education is High School and their income $ 600 - $ 1,000 per annual. No wonder therefore if most of the students come from the family of farmer, factory labor, sailor, small retailer.
The attainments above related to the some policies of Directorate of Education for Madrasah. The directorate has attempted to synergize and accelerate quality of education in madrasah. Although the quality of madrasah has not yet achieved as expected, the directorate has often made some strategic program to encourage the stakeholders of madrasah to improve the quantity and quality. Some important programs that were initiated by the directorate included New Islamic School Development, One Roof Madrasah, Competence and Quality Improvement of Teachers, Madrasah Facility Aids, Private Madrasah Accreditation, Scholarship for Poor Madrasah Students, Life Skill Program, Vocational Program for Aliyah Students, Teachers Honorarium Aids, Operational Budget Aids for Madrasah, and some others programs. Those programs are expected to stimulate the improvement of quantity as well as quality of madrasahs.
3. Circumstance Analysis
Applying SWOT analysis, this part includes description of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of madrasahs. In broad line, the circumstance of madrasah is divided into two categories, internal and external. Internal aspect concerns with quality of madrasah that may include their input, process, and output. External aspect relate to some factors that supposed to influence directly or indirectly to the existence of madrasah. Strengths and weaknesses are categorized into internal aspect meanwhile opportunities and threats comes from external aspects.
a. Strengths (S)
The strengths of madrasah at least include two aspects namely their current faster growth than public schools and their orientation to help marginal community of people. Regarding the growth, in last two years, madrasahs have performed an interesting shift of their number from year to year. In 2004-2005, for example, the total of madrasahs in Indonesia reached 40,260 units. The number has increase 4,06% from the total of madrasah in previous year (EMIS, 2005). There some factors may cause the shifting such as better educational service, compulsory education program, community demand on Islamic education, and government support for Islamic education. The faster growth, in turn, effects the participation of education index in the institutions that is showed in gradual increase every year.
In another sides, the population of madrasah that spreads out in suburb, district, and village area make this educational institution are easy to access by remote people. Servicing educational need for lower income people, madrasahs are expected to contribute significant role for building nation and character of marginal community. Therefore, it is often said that madrasah is rooted from people initiative and sustained by community self-financing.
b. Weaknesses (W)
There are some weaknesses around the existence of madrasah. One of them is the weakness of students input. Relating to the quality of input of students, madrasah got new students in lower quality than those of public schools. For example, about 51% of madrasah ibtidaiyah have no pre-kindergarten or kindergarten background. It often then makes the pupil has lower capability in starting their learning for 3R (reading, writing, and arithmetic). In the same case, the majority of new students who entered madrasah tsanawiyah and madrasah aliyah also come from lower quality of education than who entered public schools. Nevertheless, for particular private madrasah in which the quality of it education is better than public school, they got better input of new students.
Another weakness is low qualification of teachers. Regarding the aspect, it is clear that majority of teachers of madrasah are not in good standard of qualification. It occurs especially for teachers of grade 7-12. Although the students-teachers ratio is almost reach the ideal comparison (15:1), this will not significantly influence of better educational service if there are many mismatch teachers and under living standard income. As cited in EMIS (2005), in 2005 there are about 30% teachers of madrasah who do not teach in his field (mismatch) and some of them are predicted lives on under living standard income. Most of under living income teachers are non official teachers like contracted teachers or part-time teachers. Besides, in madrasah still there are 4,444 (14.8%) unqualified teachers of madrasah ibtidaiyah, 1,090 (4.1%) teachers of madrasah tsanawiyah, and 451 (3.1%) teachers of madrasah aliyah.
The facility of madrasah also needs to be improved. Some of madrasah has no sufficient facility for conducting qualified teaching learning process. The facility can be a very elementary need like classroom. According to EMIS (2005), there 37% of all classroom used for teaching learning at madrasah in all grade are in bad condition. Besides, only 37% of madrasahs have school library and 19,6% of them (tsanawiyah and aliyah) have laboratory.
Almost all weaknesses are related with funding of madrasah that is not optimally support all kind of attempts. Madrasahs’ budget is lower than what public schools have. On the other hand, the ability and willingness of government to subside every necessities of madrasah is not as good as to public schools. The weakness of madrasahs’ budget in supporting their quality of education is also related to the status of madrasahs in which most of them are private madrasah. It means that madrasahs budget will be depending on the ability and the wiliness of Muslim community to donate their needs for teaching learning process.
c. Opportunities (O)
Noticing the external factors of madrasah, there are some opportunities that can be empowered for developing madrasah in five years later. First, after educational enactment number 20/2003 was legalized, the position of madrasah in national education system was revitalized. This juridical power has opened wider opportunity for madrasahs to improve their quality of education. The enactment also made good possibility of madrasah to get fairness in accepting subsidiary from national and local government. As noted in the enactment, madrasah is integrated educational system that is equal with public schools and administered by Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA).
Second opportunity concerns with the population of Indonesia which more than 80% citizen are Muslim. The proportion can be a good chance for madrasahs to sustain their existence as community based education. In fact therefore, most of madrasah are founded by certain community on which their characteristic depend on Islamic organization like Nahdatul Ulama, Muham-madiyah, Persatuan Islam, Al-Irsyad, and so on. The support of Islamic organizations toward madrasah, then, made Islamic education become touchable by larger area of Muslim community.
d. Threats (T)
The threats of madrasah may include external factors that effect negatively to the existence of madrasah. One of the factors is secularity. Although secularity has positive effect on some areas of academic relief, the idea seems to be influence factor on duality of educational system in Indonesia. As occurred, there are two kinds of educational system administered in the country. One is secular school and another is religious school. Government of Indonesia tends to give much better attention on secular school than to Islamic schools so that the quality secular schools are relatively better than the quality of madrasah. Unless madrasah has competitive advantages to face the social reality, they will gradually marginalized from their society.
Another threat comes from global impact that systematically changes the image of city people toward madrasah. Often madrasah is perceived as second class education by city people who have no sufficient knowledge of Islamic education or knowledge of Islam. Such people easily adopt strange culture and they have no concern with the existence of madrasah. Therefore, madrasah is not so popular in central cities of Indonesia except for the high quality of private or public madrasah like Insan Cendikia, Darul Hikam, Darul Arqom, and MTs Malang. This public perception and global impact can be regarded as potential factor that make madrasahs do not exist in central cities.
The last threat is corruption and nepotism. The two kinds of social disease often occur in bureaucracy of education and in the other system of public service and politic. Although today the government of Indonesia is doing effort to eliminate the disease, the improper way of using money by personal interest sometimes occurs in many systems and, in the same time, the favoring relatives because of family rather than because of their abilities also may happend. Those problems, in turn, may effect the existance of madrasah in which moral entities are taught to students. Contradiction between ideal values and what really occurs in social realm not only is able to make student confuse about social values but also it negativelly effects the quality of madrasah.
There are some internal and external factors that must be noticed for improving the quality of madrasah. Internal factors concern with input, process, and output of madrasah that may relate with students, teachers, management, curriculum, leadership, and school climate. Meanwhile external factor may relate to the condition of demography, socio-politic, competitiveness, and international dynamic. All of them have been covered in the explanation about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threts.
For an integrated idea, let us see what madrasahs need to do in order to get better existence in the future.
First, to increase the quality of madrasahs, national and local government should rise the national budget for education sector, particularly for supporting quality improvement of madrasahs. The budget needs to rise at least twice of the present budget and should be allocated for supporting all kinds of madrasah necessities such as maintaining facilities, teaching-learning process, teachers and staffs salary, textbook provision, teachers training, curriculum and management development, student board activities, etc. The basic consideration of increasing national and local budget for education is the clausal of Education Enactment number 20/2003 that reveals 20% of national and local budget must be allocated for education sector. For this time being, the government of Indonesia has only shared 8% of the total national budget for education. It means that more than a half of claimed budget for education has not been fulfilled yet.
Second, to increase better input of basic Islamic aducation, Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) on behalf on Government of Indonesia needs set up an educational priority on early childhood education. It is necessary because one of the crucial problems in madrasahs is laid down on the input of basic Islamic education, particularly in madrasah ibtidaiyah. As previous description, most of new pupil of madrasah ibtidaiyah have no pre-K or Kindergarten experience. For this case, MORA needs to stimulate Muslim community to take role in early childhood education. A model of block-grant funding is likely more appropriate for implementation the idea. MORA may stimulate community by providing buildings or teaching and learning tools. In addition, the directorate of education for madrasah has to appoint gradually the teachers of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten level. Doing the attempts, the new pupils of elementary level are expected to have more better readiness to start their initial 3R (reading, writing, and arithmetic). It is suggested also that local governments are able to share their role in doing that.
Third, to overcome the low qualification of madrasah teachers, it is urgent to make a great effort of teacher certification. The certification can be concentrated first on low qualification teachers of basic education. The further effort can be gradually directed to the teachers of senior Islamic high school or madrasah aliyah. The way to do it can be organized by applying cluster certification based on each region of madrasah. The same as the other effort, in this attempt, local governments are strongly expected to take role in supporting financial need of the program. In addition, some qualified schools of teacher training may become the organizer of the program they have the authority for legalizing teachers’ certificate. It is hoped that by such attempt, the number of mismatch teachers of madrasah can be minimized.
Fourth, to encourage teachers in doing better job in or out classroom, there should be available of a long term in-service training for them. Old training models in which teachers were only engaged for 2-5 days in-house training seems not to be effective anymore. What teachers of madrasah really need now is the direct contribution on their teaching jobs, not just gave them some knowledge about teaching methods or about content of their field. It means that for each the 2-5 days in-house training should be continued by doing follow-up of the programs. Through this way, it is expected that quality of learning process in madrasah can be more integrated with long term programs of teachers training, not just a quick yielding programs like what frequently occurs today. It is important, therefore to implement some suggestions of learning quality improvement remarked by team of Madrasah Development Center (MDC)
Fifth, to increase multicultural and global perspective, Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) would be better to take initiative for designing a guideline of that perspective. That becomes one of important aspect of quality improvement of madrasah because today inclination of madrasah curriculum tend to lack of multicultural and global perspective. For this efforts, there are three possibility ways might be done; (1) incorporate multicultural and global perspective into some social studies lesson; (2) create formal curriculum of multicultural and global perspective in 2 hours separated lesson that is taught by certain teachers; (3) add formal extracurricular program that promote the diversity values of multicultural and global perspective. Involving such perspectives is important for making tolerance and broad minded students of madrasah, especially in appreciating diversity.
Last but not least, to open much more space for creative and innovative efforts of madrasah, it looks necessary to autonomize madrasah. As cited by Jalal & Supriadi (2001), the most crucial issues of madrasah related to its macro policy in which the institution of madrasah does not have the same wider mandate for doing its management as what public school has. Up to know, Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) administers madrasah through the macro policy models of centralization. Meanwhile, National Education Enactment and some macro policy of national education have often emphasized the important of school autonomy. Different macro policy on administering schools and madrasahs, then, effects on unexpected condition of madrasah when many of local governments do not pay better attention for madrasah in their area. The officials of local government frequently suppose madrasahs have been fully funded by national budget, yet, in fact, madrasahs have no sufficient subsidy from both sources.
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Friday, December 22, 2006
Jam 9 pagi aku sudah tiba di sekolah tersebut. Aku hubungi asisten kepala sekolah tersebut yang bernama Sister Bebi Rahman, yang kala itu tengah sibuk mempersiapkan acara tersebut dengan para guru. Jam 9.30 pagi acara dimulai. Anak-anak usia Pra-TK naik ke panggung untuk membaca beberapa do’a pendek yang kemudian mereka menerjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa Inggris. Setelah itu anak-anak TK menyanyikan lagu-lagu Islami dalam bahasa Inggris, atau kalau di Indonesia disebut lagu nasyid untuk anak-anak.
Acara terus berjalan dan aku pun sibuk untuk ambil foto setelah memperoleh izin dari kepala sekolah, Brother Rafeek Muhammad. Aku sangat beruntung karena diijinkan untuk ambil foto dalam acara tersebut sehingga beberapa bukti untuk lampiran penelitianku dapat semakin lengkap. Biasanya untuk ambil foto anak-anak di bawah umur di Amrik tidak mudah dan harus minta ijin dari orang tuanya. Tapi aku sangat beruntung karena mungkin kepala sekolah sudah cukup percaya sama aku. Akupun hanya akan menggunakan foto tersebut untuk keperluan penelitian bukan untuk yang lain-lain.
Pada jam 11 acara semakin semarak. Anak-anak dari tingkat yang lebih tinggi (grade 4-8) mulai memperlihatkan penampilannya. Mereka menggunakan beragam pakaian dari sejumlah negara di dunia dan membaca cerita tentang negara yang mereka wakili. Bendera setiap negara yang diwakili mereka pun dikibarkan dan beberapa atraksi budaya negara ditampilkan. Pakaian kimono, misalnya, yang biasa di pakai di Jepang ditampilkan oleh siswa tingkat 5 dengan latar musik dari negara Sakura.
Dalam pentas multikultural itu, aku sempat dibuat suprise oleh sebuah tampilan siswa kelas 8 yang menyajikan sejarah dan budaya Indonesia. Hebatnya lagi, penampilan mereka dilengkapi oleh sejumlah track film tentang Indonesia yang menceriterakan wilayah, kekayaan, budaya, bencana, dan prestasi Indonesia. Sungguh luar biasa! Aku memang tidak menyangka akan disuguhi penampilan anak-anak manis yang mempromosikan Indonesia di hadapan hadirin yang hadir di gedung tersebut.
Usai penampilan tersebut, aku diminta untuk berbicara 2 menit tentang diriku sekaligus memperkenalkan bahwa aku dari Indonesia. Asisten kepala sekolah yang kebetulan menjadi pengatur acara mempersilahkanku naik ke panggung dan aku pun akhirnya berbicara kepada mereka untuk mengucapkan terima kasih atas dipromosikannya negara tercinta Indonesia. Saat aku berbicara banyak yang ngak nyangka juga bahwa di ruangan tersebut ada orang Indonesia, karena mayoritas yang hadir adalah Muslim keturunan Guyana dan Timur Tengah.
Pesta multikultural itu pun akhirnya selesai sebelum shalat Jum’at. Siswa, guru, dan orang tua dipersilahkan untuk mencicipi makanan yang disajikan dalam menu multi-etnik. Aku coba saat itu mencicipi makanan ala Pakistan, Guyana, China, dan Spanyol. Luar biasa, makanannya wu....enak sekali, lagian waktu itu aku sedang agak lapar karena belum sarapan. Aku membaur dengan para siswa untuk bareng makan ala parasmanan.
Selesai makan, semua siswa secara tertib berpindah ruangan ke ruangan sebelah untuk melaksanakan shalat Jum’at. Adzan pun dikumandangkan pada jam 1.30 oleh salah seorang siswa. Khatib kemudian naik mimbar dan memberikan khutbah dengan topik tentang multikultural. Shalat Jum’at selesai jam 2.30 dan anak-anak kemudian masuk kelas. Suatu yang luar biasa dan jarang terjadi di Indonesia adalah setelah acara tersebut anak-anak masuk kelas dan ada beberapa kelas yang kemudian langsung belajar dengan gurunya. Padahal kalau acara tersebut terjadi di Indonesia, siswa dan guru biasanya langsung pulang.
Inilah sekilas pengalaman menyaksikan Multicultural Fair di Al-Ihsan Academy yang sangat menarik. Bagi saya, kegiatan tersebut sebenarnya menjadi jawaban atas kecenderungan hasil pengolahan data statistik yang menyimpulkan sekolah tersebut memiliki semangat toleransi yang cukup tinggi dibandingkan dengan sekolah Islam lainnya di bilangan New york City.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Islamic education includes large area of life where Muslim community experience and keep in touch with their environment. The broadness of Islamic education is concerned with the religion of Islam itself that come to earth with blessings for the universe (rahmatan lil alaimin). Many values of life are taught by Islam such as universal that contain of peace (salâm), justice (àdâlah), freedom (hurriyyah), moderation (tawassuth), tolerance (tasâmuh), balance (tawâzun), consultation (shûrâ) and equity (musâwah) as fundamental to Muslim way of life. Meanwhile, another values taught by Islam is particular values that relate to how Muslim community builds specific areas of culture differed from other culture.
Both universal and particular values are able to be main content of Islamic education that is potentially able to be transformed to all over generation. But there is the most importance value of all the so-called faith (iman) as a core value of Islamic teachings. This is a fundamental value that must be grounded over the other values and a Muslim is acclaimed to reflect all his or her virtue conduct based on this value. As remarked by Ahmad (1980), iman or religious belief is essentially related with the inner realm and metal state of person by which peace and happiness come to him, meanwhile iman is the external manifestation that is potentially able to create peace and harmony among human being. Through strengthening iman and broadening perspective of outer world, Islamic education was developed in many countries including in United States of America.
Islamic education has appeared as long as Islam comes to the earth. Since the prophet of Muhammad (peace be upon him) at first time taught Islam to human being around Mecca and Medina, the process of Islamic education has been introduced to the community who willingly adhered Muhammad teachings. As the bedrock of Islam which put the first principle on believe the One God, the process of Islamic education at the time was emphasized on tawhid (the One of God) before inculcating other consciousnesses, like charity, truth, justice, tolerance, respecting others, etc. After holding the tawhid, the other Islamic teaching aspects such as prayers, fasting, alms, pilgrimage, and other social etiquette was introduced then.
What had happen in the life time of Muhammad (peace be upon him), of course, has any different cases from those happened in today situation. At the time of first coming of Islam, people lived in more simple social system rather than what has been experiencing by today people. After more than 1,400 years Islam spread out all over the world, many aspects of life and values orientation become a new challenge for Islamic education. When social life is changing and the world population gradually shifts anytime, Islamic education is claimed to have more flexible adaptation in its new situation. This adaptation does not concern with belief system of Muslim community but it is much concerned with social life and issue through which curriculum and learning process of Islamic education can be enriched.
For this reason, Islamic education may appear in colorful curriculum and teaching learning process accordance to its circumstance. Pluralistic society, for example, may take all efforts of Islamic education into more integrated curriculum and learning process rather than those in homogeneous society. In this kind of society, many social values should be accommodated by curriculum of Islamic education in order to make Muslim children being good social member and skillful problem solver. Other than this, our contemporary science and technology also can be one of more challenging issues for the development of Islamic education. It is suggested that Islamic education do not remain in its traditionalism meanwhile a huge number of innovations have been gradually created by people of the world. Ideally, the seeds of innovation, or at least the spirit of it, are beard from Islamic institution. So, it is important that actualization of the spirit of Islam in terms of invention of science and technology is bought into more colorful curriculum and teaching learning process.
Those claims then make Islamic education curriculum expand its scope on wide area of contemporary needs. The curriculum of education does not stand alone for Islamic studies only but also for academic one. One and another are integrated and incorporated in teaching learning process. In a modern Islamic school, therefore, the content of curriculum is often more loaded than in public schools. In this school, students learn Islamic curriculum as well as academic one. The Islamic curriculum consists of Qur'anic knowledge, 'aqedah, 'ibadah, Hadith, akhlaq and adab, and history of Islam, meanwhile academic curriculum consists of natural and social studies like mathematics, natural science, geography, history, etc.
To limit the terms of Islamic education for this research let us discuss this theoretical point of view in terms of formalized Islamic education. As many people know the terms of education include large area of practical effort to make young people to be well-educated and well-knowledgeable. This probably occurred in space of family life, social environment or formalized school. What we are going to concern in this theory is about Islamic education in formalized education like Islamic schools or Madrasah.
Islamic education in term of formalized school has long been developed in many countries, like in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, where Muslim live as majority and in some other countries where Muslim live as minority. The system of formalized Islamic education in all countries actually has some similarities rather than differences. All institutions wherever they are, teach the principles of Islam as a way of life, also teach the law of Islam, Qur’an, Hadits, Ethic of Islam, and the history of Islam. Those topics are being obligatory subject matters that students of Islamic school get such knowledge gradually according to their grade the school. No doubt that all subject matters above are being distinctions of Islamic School from other religious education.
Besides teaching Islamic knowledge, a modern Islamic school also introduces secular knowledge like, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, arts, etc. to their students. The curriculum of Islamic school, therefore, consists of two kind knowledge perspectives, i.e. Islamic and secular knowledge. Islamic knowledge is put to cling students belief and value on Islamic doctrine, meanwhile secular knowledge is introduced to students in order they have ability to adapt themselves in a new world. In another word, by deploying both curriculums, an Islamic school is expected to promote students for their identity as a true Muslim as well as a creative and a productive human being.
The two sides of curriculum above mean that Islamic education reflects the importance of both sides for its purposes. Beginning from very mystical to actual, the basic purposes of Islamic education can be described below:
The first and foremost purpose is to inculcate tawhid. This term refers to the bedrock of Islam belief that must be properties of someone who claim himself or herself as a Muslim. Tawhid is an inner religious belief of Islam that everything of what a Muslim does should be addressed to get submission to God only, not to the others. Believe in One God is the most essential religious value that must be introduced to students since they are in early age. This first purpose of Islamic education needs the process of learning process of Islamic schools which can facilitate students to a deeper religious consciousness through many ways. A teaching learning process should promote the importance of living in a community on the basis of inner religious faith to God. Because of this reason, it is easy to find a teaching learning process in some Islamic schools that include the lesson unit of creed of Islam for making students believe in one God, and always hold on their belief and attitude in a conscience of no gods other than God (Allah).
This first purpose of Islamic education particularly concerns with the relation between human being and God. In another word, this relation can be said as transcendental relation, in which human being as creature are able communicate his or her spiritual conscience directly to God. Doing prayer, experiencing fasting, sharing alms, and conducting pilgrim are the ritual and spiritual ways through which Muslims can directly transcend their personal and spiritual consciousness in the submission to God. The fruit of tawhid is called iman. For someone who gets completely this fruit of tawhid, he or she will get happiness and free from the all kind of doubt. As noted by Abdullah (1994) iman can completely make those who obtain it free from all anxiety and fear, and his mind and heart experience a bliss which can be felt but cannot be described in words. This is, what Ramadan (2004) called as the heart of education as well as the education of the heart in Islamic perspective.
The second purpose of Islamic education is to make Muslim students have good relation with their social environment. Islam remarked that making harmonious relation in social life is one of the important aspects of Muslim civil society. Respecting differences, like race, color, religion, gender, etc is expected in Islam. For that diversity, Islam has a message of peace, love, and harmony for the interim period as well. Islam provides us with two cardinal principles, on the basis of which the peoples of the world can be united in global harmony. Thus, the ayah 13 of Surah Al-Hujurat reads: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair of a) male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (one who is) the most righteous of you.” Here the Holy Qur’an mentions two points which can create a deep sense of unity among the diverse races and religion-cultural groups of the world, the unity of the Creator which leads us to the essential equality of humankind, and the common origin of the entire human race in the primordial pair of Adam and Eve, which leads us to the idea of universal brotherhood. This ayah then becomes reference for all of humanity and not just the Muslim community to make harmonious social relation each others.
The third purpose of Islamic education is to make a good relation with the nature. As Islam remarks that human being is created by God for being vicegerent of world (khalifah fil ard). This concept then imply to the importance of living in the world in harmony with the nature. On the other hand, applying Islamic guidelines to modernity also become a current issue that is expected to a trigger of Islamic society progress. Brockwell (2002) says that the application of Islamic guidelines in a modern context can help eliminate the notion that Islam is an historical relic that benefits only the antiquated university historian or the casual investigator. In fact, learning and acting upon the Qur'an and Sunnah facilitate the instruction and education of youth in a traditionally non-Islamic society. The discussion of Shariah (Islamic law) and its implications relevant to the current issues of cloning, genetic engineering, etc. will advocate an increased knowledge of Islam and its relation to ethical conduct.
What was said by Brockwell can be an internal criticism for today inclination of Muslim world which need to put Islamic view as guidelines to solve the problem of modern inventions by since and technology. Ideally, in creating harmonious relation between humankind and the nature is initiated from the world view of Islam as what have been done in the work of prominent Muslim scholars like Avicenna, Averous, and some other outstanding Muslim scholars. It is true that in some case regarded with the shift of contemporary knowledge that facilitates human life, Muslim community seem to be coped by outer overwhelming modern innovation. Frequently Muslim world has become the object of innovation rather than being the subject of it. Such tendency therefore emphasizes the importance of revitalization of Islamic principles related to the natural management and settlement. In another word, the summons for using intellectual (ta’qilum) and moral (tasykurun) declared in Qur'an and Hadits need to be put as the power for changing a new expected world. That is why, Ramadan (2004) remarks that Islamic education is expected to join the education of mind and heart to make it possible for all Muslims to enter into personal growth and consequently to become autonomous in their lives, their choice, and more generally, in the management of their freedom.
All purposes of Islamic education can not be separated each other. Belief in God and creating good relationship with social community as well as with the nature are like a chain of three essential life principles. A beautiful interaction of human being with circumstance, socially or naturally, will be meaningless if it is not supported by spiritual consciousness to God Almighty. According to Islam, therefore, what makes human efforts being more fruitful and valuable is its inner dynamic spiritual motivation through which the efforts can always be grounded from and attached to the theistic values. In modern life in which humankind commonly lives in good service of high technology facilities and more civilized society, the refill of human spirit by inner spiritual motivation comes to be urgent. Thereby, modern life, which often potentially separates the relation between creature and Creator, will exactly be a new challenge for Muslim, particularly for young Muslim generations, in sharpening religious consciousness.
Abdullah, A. et al. (1994). Pokok‑Pokok Keimanan. Penerjemah Tarmana Qosim.
Ahmad, A. (1980). Qur’an and World Peace. Internet: http://www.irfi.org/ articles/articles_451_500/quran_and_world_peace_by_dr.htm
Brockwell, J. A. (2000). Principle of an Islamic Education. Internet: http://www. soundvision.com/Info/umracontest/principles.asp
Ramadan, Tariq. (2004). Western Muslims and the Future of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.
Setelah tiga setengah bulan tinggal di New York City, aku mulai terbiasa dengan kehidupan di kota The Big Apple ini. Kalau saat awal kedatangan sempat kurang nyaman lantaran masih belum terbiasa meninggalkan keluarga, sekarang tampaknya mulai menyukai kota ini. Memang benar apa yang dikatakan banyak orang, bagi siapa saja yang baru mengunjungi kota ini awalnya “hate New York”. Keadaan itu hampir dialami setiap orang dalam rentang waktu dua bulan awal. Setelah itu, katanya, “like New York,” dan kemudian “love New York”. Benar juga, apa yang dialami dua bulan awal merupakan saat-saat yang paling berat bagiku karena belum terbiasa, tapi kemudian semuanya menjadi biasa setelah tinggal lebih dari dua bulan.
Selama tiga bulan setengah ini aku mencoba menggunakan waktu sebaik mungkin agar tinggal di kota ini benar-benar menjadi pengalaman yang berarti. Penelitian yang tengah aku garap hampir selesai saat tulisan ini dibuat. Aku akan menyajikan temuan penelitian itu pada pertengahan bulan Januari di Teacher College, Columbia University. Sisa waktu selama dua bulan akan aku gunakan untuk menulis buku yang belum rampung semenjak aku mempersiapkan program ini. Aku memang masih punya utang untuk menerbitkan beberapa buku yang sempat mandek karena waktu penulisannya tersita oleh garapan pekerjaan lain saat aku masih di Indonesia.
Sebagai visiting scholar yang tengah melakukan penelitian, kedatanganganku ke Columbia University memang sangat berbeda dengan rekan-rekan yang mengambil program master atau doktor. Mereka sangat sibuk dan banyak mengatur waktunya sesuai dengan jadwal perkuliahan. Setiap minggu mereka harus mengerjakan tugas dari profesornya. Maklum mereka datang ke Amrik untuk memperoleh gelar. Tetapi bagi aku dan juga rekan-rekan yang mengikuti Senior Research Program, waktu lebih mudah diatur sesuai dengan work plan yang sudah disiapkan masing-masing. Meski kegiatan kami cukup padat, waktu kegiatannya relatif dapat disesuaikan dan tidak banyak terikat oleh sistem di host institution. Ya, namanya juga visiting scholar, kami diperlakukan sebagai profesor yang sedang bertamu di perguruan tinggi.
Soal risetku, aku menyelesaikan tugas pengumpulan data lapangan pada pertengahan bulan Desember 2006 dan insya Allah merampungkan laporannya dua minggu kemudian. Pokoknya akhir Desember semua pekerjaan risetku diharapkan sudah beres. Aku memang sudah buat appointment dengan Prof. Cristillo untuk mempresentasikan temuan penelitian ini pada pertengahan Januari dihadapan civitas TC. Setelah itu aku diminta pula untuk masuk kelas bersama beliau dalam beberapa tatap muka.
Berbicara tentang pengalaman di Teachers College (TC), suatu ketika aku merasa sangat tersanjung. Saat itu semua visiting scholar yang tengah berkunjung di Columbia University diundang Presiden TC, Furhman, pada acara Lucheon in Celebration of International Education Week 2006. Kami berkumpul sekalian makan siang di Zankel Building. Setiap visiting scholar datang dengan didampingi Profesornya yang menjadi fasilitator masing-masing. Saat itu, Prof. Cristillo memperkenalkan saya kepada President Furhman dan hadirin yang hadir di ruangan itu. Begitu juga, aku diminta untuk bicara memperkuat apa yang disampaikan Prof. Cristillo terutama tentang rencana riset yang akan aku lakukan di perguruan tinggi terkenal ini. Selesai aku bicara, hadirin memberikan tepuk tangan tanda appreciate atas rencana risetku.
Ada hal yang memang aku rasakan berbeda saat aku berbicara tentang topik risetku dihadapan mereka. Mereka sangat antusias mendengarkannya terutama ketika beberapa kali aku sebut Islamic Education. Kata “Islam” yang sementara ini telah membuat alergi banyak orang Amerika non-Muslim selepas peristiwa 9/11, aku sampaikan sebagai suatu topik kajian risetku di hadapan mereka. Mereka begitu terdorong untuk tahu tentang risetku. Salah seorang profesor yang mengaku sempat membimbing mahasiswa dari Fakistan, akhirnya mendekatiku dan bertanya ihwal risetku dan keadaan Muslim Indonesia.
Memang menjadi visting scholar terasa sangat istimewa. Di New York City aku dapat bertemu banyak orang terkenal yang yang tak pernah terbayangkan sebelumnya. Lagi pula perguruan tinggi yang menjadi host institution dalam kunjungan saya, Columbia University merupakan perguruan tinggi swasta yang paling terkenal di kota The Big Apple ini. Saat aku berbicara kepada orang tentang penelitianku di CU, mereka pada umumnya sangat appreciate dan menyatakan “Oh, that’s the best university!” Bahkan hampir setiap petinggi Indonesia yang berkunjung ke New York selalu menyempatkan diri untuk mampir ke CU. President Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono (SBY), misalnya sempat memberikan orasi dihadapan civitas CU beberapa waktu lalu.
Perguruan tinggi ini memang sangat berkaliber. Dunia ilmu dijunjung tinggi dengan budaya akademik dan pelayanan publik yang sangat luar biasa. Semua keperluan yang berkenaan dengan pengembangan ilmu pengetahuan rasa-rasanya tersedia di sini. Koleksi perpustakaannya sangat lengkap dan mudah diakses. Selain itu ruang untuk baca dan ruang untuk mengerjakan tugas-tugas akademik juga tersedia dengan leluasa bagi mahasiswa yang ingin bekerja sampai perpustakaan itu tutup pada malam hari sekitar jam 10. Yang lebih hebatnya lagi, perpustakaan itu selalu padat pengunjung dan mereka rata-rata bekerja sampai sore bahkan larut malam untuk menyelesaikan tugas-tugas kuliahnya. Ini baru aku berbicara soal keadaan perpustakaan Gottesman Library atau perpustakaan milik Teachers College yang hanya bagian kecil dari Columbia University. Belum lagi ada perpustakaan umum yang lebih besar yang disebut The Library of Columbia University.
Berbicara tentang perpustakaan ada satu hal yang mengejutkan aku. Suatu ketika aku coba cari buku yang berkenaan dengan pendidikan nilai sebagai bidang kajian yang aku tekuni selama ini. Aku coba searching di web site Gottesman Library untuk menemukan buku tersebut dan ternyata buku-buku yang sering dikutip oleh para penulis pendidikan nilai tersedia di perpustakaan tersebut. Di satu sudut bagian perpustakaan itu, tepatnya di lantai 3, buku tentang nilai semuanya ada. Aku coba hitung waktu itu, kayaknya sekitar 50 buku tersimpan di sebuah rak. Aku sempat berpikir tentang bagaimana cara membawa buku ini ke Indonesia. Meski buku tersebut pada umumnya sudah berumur lama, tapi aku perlu untuk memperkuat basis pendidikan nilai di Indonesia. Sampai tulisan ini di buat aku belum punya keputusan tentang bagaimana cara membawa buku tersebut. Yang jelas semua buku itu sudah di kamarku karena jumlah peminjaman buku di TC tak terbatas dan berlaku untuk satu semester.
Hal lain yang menarik dari jejak kunjunganku di New York City adalah pertemuanku dengan orang-orang terkenal. Saat di Indonesia aku tak pernah membayangkan dapat ketemu orang-orang tersebut. Sebagai misal, suatu ketika aku sempat bertemu dengan K.H. Hasyim Muzadi di Konsulat Jenderal RI, bertemu Duta Besar Indonesia untuk Amerika, pejabat Perwakilan Tetap Republik Indonesia (PTRI) di PBB, pejabat Konsulat Jenderal Republik Indonesia (KJRI) di New York, para pejuang kemerdekaan RI yang hijrah ke US, eks-president Kamboja yang ditunjuk PBB, pejabat perbankan (BI, BNI dan BRI), dan bahkan sempat ketemu dengan vokalis group musik Dewa yang lagi ngetop di Indonesia. Ya.. alhamdulillah, banyak yang dapat aku alami selama di sini.
Untuk mengisi kegiatan di kala luang aku bergabung dengan rekan-rekan dari sejumlah negara yang sedang belajar bahasa Inggris. Meski aku sempat belajar bahasa itu, rasanya masih perlu juga menambah wawasan tentang bahasa tersebut. Yang lebih penting lagi, aku ingin lebih sering menggunakan bahasa Inggris selama aku di New York dan memperoleh banyak teman from all over the world. Makanya, bersama club ini kami bertemu dua minggu sekali di Astoria untuk berbicara berbagai hal sekaligus melenturkan lidah. Teman-temanku sekitar 30 orang dan mereka pada umumnya muslim dari Maroko, Mesir, Bonia, Albania, Brazil, Serbia, Sudan, Turki, Palestina, dll. Mereka sangat baik dan penuh persaudaraan.
Waktu luang juga aku gunakan untuk jalan-jalan menelusuri New York City. Biasanya hal itu aku lakukan pada saat weekend. Beberapa tempat pernah aku kunjungi seperti Toko Buku Strand di 42 Street yang menyediakan banyak buku tua dan baru, Coney Island dan Far Rockaway yang memiliki pemandangan pantai yang indah, dan China Town dengan pernik-pernik ala asia dan tempat lainnya. Saat luang itulah aku sering menyempatkan bertemu dengan rekan-rekan yang sedang mampir di New York. Aku misalnya sempat ketemu lagi dengan mas Zuhdi Dosen UIN Syahida yang baru P.hD dari McGill university saat ia berkunjung ke New York untuk seminar dengan tim Sesame Street Indonesia. Juga aku ketemu mas Salahudin Kafrawi, P.hD, kolega di UIN Bandung, selepas ia menyampaikan khotbah di mesjid al-Hikmah.
Pokoknya kalau aku tuliskan semuanya pasti rekan-rekan pingin sekali berkunjung ke New York City. Sueeeer …deh! Sekian dulu yah nanti di sambung lagi.