Minggu, 24 Mei 2009


(An Understanding About Pesantrens As Alternative Educational Systems)

Issued By :
AHMAD FAUZI, S.Pd. - MA Negeri Pamekasan 1

To understand Islamic school totally is not as easy as giving definition of it. A comprehensive and total understanding will be obtained after studying many aspects concerning with its existence. Those aspects are including historical background of its establishment, philosophical values, soul, traditions and other characteristics. Islamic school has its own distinctive features, which make it different from other institutions.
Islamic schools lately become a serious topic in education world. They begin to have an impact on preparing qualified human resources of this nation. This reality should be a motivation for those who are actively working in pesantrens to increase their work quality. It is the time for Islamic schools to show their capacities among other institutions. It doesn’t mean to neglect educational system of governmental institutions -in this case high schools or universities- but to show that Islamic schools are capable of producing qualified and skillful generation.
If we try to comprehend Islamic school historically, we’ll find that it was born in exact time. At that time Islamic school was functionally able to give solution for challenges, not only in facing colonial and political affairs but also in social culture. Then, Islamic school began to grow as a valuable institution with a noble mission.
The question now is, what type of pesantren will become an alternative educational system? Let’s we think about point of views of Nurcholish Madjid concerning with the types of pesantren.
“The awareness of people about pesantren brought them to enough appreciative attitude. Some saw that pesantren system is something original from Indonesia, which is full of positive values. Therefore it must be kept and developed. This recognition put pesantren among other educational institutions, which play important role in national development.
But on another hand, we find statement that never recognize pesantren as a main part of national educational system. More than that, the role and contribution of pesantren are improper to be compared to another educational institutions.
How about the pesantren’s views about its own existence? We can divide pesantren in this case into four groups:
First, this is the biggest part-group of pesantrens those are not aware of their existences, whether they are valuable or invaluable. They passed off anything happened and did not consider it as a serious problem moreover to find out a solution.
Second, group of fanatic pesantrens that considered pesantren and its aspects must be positive and however should be kept.
Third, group of pesantrens those are pessimistic in developing themselves. Finally, they can’t keep identity of pesantren and let it broken entirely.
Forth, perhaps this is the smallest-group of pesantrens those realize the essence of pesantren with its positive and negative aspects at once. They fully realize what aspect to keep and develop and what aspect to leave. Their excess of introspection ability put them in a high capability of making adaptation with progressive era and community”. This is an indication that they have a motto “al-muhafadhatu ala al-qadimi as-shaleh wa al-akhdzu bi al-jadid al-ashlah”.
Furthermore, Nurcholis Madjid described about the role of pesantrens nowadays, namely the role to answer challenges that make them positioned in “road intersection” between to keep on establishing their role as they have now or to make adaptation with situation at all. To make adaptation means to participate totally in developing modern sciences and technology as main feature of modern life without exception.
We realize so far that pesantrens are playing their roles in morality aspects more. If knowledge development is given entirely to governmental institutions it will not give solution for all problems we have now. In this situation, pesantrens are facing two categories of problem, primary problem and secondary one.
Primary problem is related to how to represent their morality role among modern society and keep it relevant and appealing? Without relevance and power of attraction, we may not hope effectiveness and efficiency. The morality role of pesantrens should be wrapped up in better way to be accepted by modern people.
Secondary problem is related to how to take over something belongs to others, in this case mission of knowledge. When pesantrens just take their mission in morality aspects without taking part in knowledge development, they will be ignored and finally disappearing from the earth.
Therefore, the best choice of pesantrens is to take double missions at once, morality mission and knowledge development mission. The two missions should be carried out in reasonable way to make a balance. The main demand of these missions establishment is about time allocation, fund allocation and power allocation. If possible, these factors must be utilized twice more effective than before.
On another hand, pesantrens should make innovation to develop teaching method as well as to focus on developing personality aspects, creating religious atmosphere and selecting right knowledge to develop. Condition of society nowadays should give the ideal description of what pesantrens to do.
If pesantrens are able to do everything well, they really will be the most eligible institutions to be alternative educational systems in future. At that time, pesantrens will be able to play their role as mercy for the whole universe.


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