إن تطورالعصور يقتضى تغير مطلبات المسلمين للتربية لذلك يجب على المفكرين و المربين من المسلمين القيام بتجديد إدارة التربية الإسلامية بما يتماشى مع هذه الإقتضاء. و إن تهتم تجديد التربية الإسلامية من الأهمية بمكان حيث إصبح المسلمون حاليا متشددين فى اختيار مؤسسة لتربية أولادهم فيها اعتبارا من مستوى الحضانة الى الجامعة، فبناء على هذا يجب على المسلمين المنهمكين فى التربية القيام من جديد بتقيم إدارة التربية الإسلامية القائمة الحالية من أجل تقرير مصير الأمة الإسلامية فى المستقبل الأفضل.
Kata Kunci: Islamic education, modernization, Islamic school for excellence, curriculum development
Discussing Islamic education in the context of modernization constitutes such a wide study that it needs a variety of analyses of other disciplines, such as sociology, anthropology, economics, politics, etc. Here, Islamic education is placed in the major context, that is Islamic education as a process of culture. That is why, it is to realize that Islamic education may not isolate itself from the development and transformation, either culturally, socially or structurally.
From functional perspective—a theory maintaining that community serves as a unity of system which is mutual-interdependent —Islamic education needs to conduct the ongoing adjustment to the development of community. It is here Islamic education must posses projective competence in understanding the tendencies that will occur in the future. However, in the theoretical study, it is often discussed whether the change or the dynamization taking place in the community serves as a cultural change or a social one. The former relates to the ideas and values to which community adheres , while the latter relates to the change in the side of relationship patterns in community and development of its institution. Thus, both of the changes have reciprocal relationship (Sudarto in Karim, n.d:9)
Even in the definition made by (Soemarjan, 1974:32) there is something unclear between cultural change and social change. He made the definition for social change as the changes in the institutions of community which influence its social system, including values, attitudes and behavior patterns among the groups of communities.
The crucial thing related to the first point is how to identify the changes that will occur in the future and its implication on Islamic education. In other words, how should Islamic education respond to the present changes and the future ones ?
Nowadays, the community undergoes the so-called shifting paradigm in responding to education in line with the social demand which grows in larger scale. As a result, the community sees education not only as the fulfillment of knowledge and of skill in the present context but also as the human and capital investment to assist to increase skills and knowledge as well as productive abilities in the future measured from the level of income achieved.
Based on that fact, in facing the great changes influential to human-collective life, as the agent of modernization, the field of education is extremely supposed to reevaluate its existence in conducting its charge for the future of human beings. Therefore, as one of institutions, the world of education should be reformed in order to develop its insight and technical competence.
It is in this context, in entering the post-industrial era, Indonesia should develop its human resources, as stated by Harbison, “Human resources are the ultimate basis of wealth of nations. From this perspective, the goals of development are the maximum utilization of human beings in productive activity and the fullest possible development of skills, knowledge, and capabilities of labor force.” Observing Harbison’s idea above, in developing human resources, we have no choice but to modernize education, including Islamic education. The idea of modernization of Islamic education, according to Azra (1999:31) has its root from the idea of modernization of thought and Islamic institution as a whole. In other words, according to him, modernization of Islamic education cannot be separated from the awakening of the idea and of the program on Islamic modernization. The basic framework of Islamic modernization as a whole is that modernization of thought and of Islamic institution, which constitutes prerequisite for the awakening of the Muslims in modern era. Therefore, thought and Islamic institution—including Islamic education—have to be modernized in accordance with the framework of modernity because the thought of traditional-Islamic-oriented institution is nothing but to add the powerlessness of the Muslims in facing the advancement of the modern world (Azra, 1999:31).
The problem, however, is to what extent do modernization and education, especially Islamic education relate to each other ? Modernization—in Bahasa Indonesia—more popularly called “pembangunan” (development)—is a complicated-multi-dimensional process. In one side, education is viewed as a variable of modernization. In this context, education is considered an absolute prerequisite for the community in conducting the program of modernization or of development. Without sufficient education, it will be very difficult for any community to achieve advancement. Therefore, many educationist are of the opinion that “education is the key to the gate of modernization”. In other side, however, education is often deemed as an object of modernization. In this context, education in the countries conducting program of modernization are generally viewed as the left-behind ones in few matters, and thus it is difficult to be expected to meet and uphold the program of modernization. Accordingly, education should be modernized.
For the purpose of this article, the writer will use the second version that is education as the object of modernization. Based on this version, what aspects of Islamic education should be reformed will the central discussion in this paper.
IDEOLOGY AND METHOD OF MODERNIZATION IN ISLAM
Before discussing modernization in Islamic education, the writer would like first of all to put forward the ideology and method of modernization in Islam in general context.
The ideology and method of Muslim modernists set above are explicit and are examplied in their thought about education, religion and politics in Islam.
MODERNIZATION OF ISLAMIC EDUCATION
Muslim modernists advocated reformism and modernism of Islamic education to overcome what they considered to be the intellectual and spiritual inertia of Islamic traditionalism in the face of western intellectual development. They were ambitious to produce a modernist type of Muslim intellectuals able to face the western intellectuals and to participate in the development of their counties and societies. In the field of education, Muslim modernists responded to the conflict and tension resulted from the existence of modern education promoted by Muslim traditionalists (Bakr, n.d.:21).
In Egypt, during the life of Muhammad Abduh, for example, the Christian missions, especially those of Jesuits and the Protestants, opened many schools in the Egyptian towns. Drawn by the educational work of the West, Egyptian Muslims sent their children to these missionary schools. This means that some other Egyptian Muslims sent their children to the traditional Muslim schools, i.e., traditional religious schools. Muslim modernists in Egypt thought that Muslims should reform and modernize their education in order to come face with modern education.
In India, some Muslim parents sent their children to English schools founded and administrated by the British Government of India and by Christian missions. Some other Muslims sent their children to traditional Muslim schools. However, the number of the Muslims children in the English schools was much lower that that of the Hindu children. Many Muslim parents in India were reluctant to send their children to the English schools for religious reason. First, the English schools did not include Islamic instruction; second, the English schools tended to produce disbelief and to corrupt morals and manners; and third, some Muslims in India even believed that Islam forbade Muslims from learning English and becoming students of non-Muslim teachers (Hussain, 1970:114-15).
Through various efforts and means, Muslim modernist such as Sayyid Ahmad, Afgani and Abduh, struggled to reform and modernize Muslim education in their perspective countries. In India, Sayyid Ahmad Khan promoted both Western and Islamic education. He defended the necessity of Muslim to study Western education and science. He argued that Western learning, and science in particular, was not inimical to Islam, but actually intrinsic to it; to study them was to study Islam itself.
In the context of Indonesia, the rise of Islamic-educational modernization is closely related to the growth of the idea on modernization in this country. The idea of Islamic modernization, which has achieved its moment since the early 20th century-- in the field of education—,is actualized with the establishment modern institution of education adopted from the educational system of Dutch Colonialist. The initiative of this modernization was firstly taken by modern organizations, such as Jami’at Khair, Al-Irsyad, Muhammadiyah , etc. (Azra, 1999:36).
In the early development of the idea of modernization on Islamic education, there were at least two chief tendencies of the Islamic organizations above. Firstly, adopted the system and modern institution of education almost as a whole. Here, the basis of modernization of Islamic education is the system and the modern institution of education(Dutch) rather than the system and the traditional-Islamic-educational institution (Azra, 1997:37).
This experiment can be seen from the establishment of the “Sekolah Adabiyah” founded by Abdullah Ahmad (1909). This school resembled an elementary school, which was similar to the “Hollands Inlandse School” (HIS). Despite this school applied modern system, it had the spirit to preach Islam because in its curriculum there were Islamic-religious subjects, such as al-Qur’an, tafsîr and hadîth. Four years later, Zainuddin Labai al-Junusi from West Sumatera who—for the first time—introduced the institution of Islamic education with modern system. Besides, founding “Sekolah Guru Diniyah” (School for Teachers of Islamic Religion) (1915), he introduced classical- educational- system with more regular curriculum containing subjects such as language, mathematics, history, geography, and religious subject (Noor, 1980:62). The two examples of the educational institutions managed by the groups of modernists in west Sumatera indicated their concerns on the atmosphere of Islamic education which was still very traditional and could not compete with modern schools.
In the mean time, in Java, before the rise of Mathla’ul Anwar (1961), there had been Islamic-educational institution, that was Jam’iat Khaer which was relatively modern, established by the Indonesian-Arab community in Jakarta in 1905.
Like other modern schools, Jam’iat Khaer taught both general subjects and religious ones. One of the founders of this school is the popular reformer in Indonesia, Ahmad Soerkati. However, because of the dispute among the founders of this school, Ahmad Soerkati founded a modern-Islamic-educational institution, Al-Irsyad, on August, 11, 1915.
Another Islamic organization is the Muhammadiyah organization founded by K.H. Ahmad Dahlan in 1912. In the field of education, the Muhammadiyah organization adopted the system of Dutch-educational institutions by establishing Dutch-like schools, such as MULO, HIS etc. The Muhammadiyah schools differentiated themselves from Dutch schools by including Islamic subjects into their curriculum. Therefore, the Muhammadiyah schools can be basically categorized into “plus-Dutch-general schools”. The Muhammadiyah also founded “Madrasah Mu’allimin” and “Madarash Mu’allimat” with the system of modern-madrasah institution.
In the mean time, there is an experiment based on the system and the institutionality of the Islamic education itself. Here, the Islamic-educational institutions such as madrasah, surau, pondok pesantren which traditionally constitute indigenous-Islamic-educational institutions are modernized by-- for example—adopting certain aspects of modern-educational system, especially in the contents of curriculum, techniques and methods of teaching, etc.
It seems that this kind of experiment was—for the first time—conducted by Peasantry Manba’ul Ulum, Surakarta in 1906. Like other pesantrens, this pesantren emphasized on traditional-Islamic sciences such as al-Qur’ân, hadîth, fiqh, Arabic language, etc. In addition, such subjects as mantiq, aljabar and astronomy, reading on Latin letters and counting.
A more-popular experiment was conducted by H. Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah (Hamka) who made “Surau Jembatan Besi”—traditional-Islamic institution of Minang Kabau—as the basis for the development of modern madrasah which was later more popularly called “Sumatera Thawalib”.
The efforts of making the indigenous system and Islamic education –in this case—pesantren as the basis for developing the system and Islamic–educational institution in the next decades (1962) was made in Java by founding Pondok Modern Gontor Ponorogo. The idea behind the effort of establishing Pondok Modern is the consciousness on the necessity of modernizing the system of Islamic-education, not by adopting the system of the Dutch-modern-education, but by modernizing the indigenous system of Islamic-education. Why does the later become the alternative ? I think the reason is simple—though it has a deep-philosophical meaning – that is pesantren is deeply rooted to and hence it is also more acceptable to the majority of the Indonesian Muslims.
These two experiments have been conducted up to the present. These experiments have two mainstreams; first, the system of Islamic-education which constitutes “public education” with a little emphasis on the aspects of Islamic teachings. The educational system of madrasah is categorized into this kind of system after the issue of National Education Act (UUSPN) 1989 which explicitly states that madrasahs are “public schools” with religiosity characteristics; second, the system of pesantren education which—in many cases—has been modernized to respond the demand of development. Modernization of pesantrens has been done since the late 1970. As a result, some pesantrens have underwent changes in some certain aspects of their system of education.
In the last two decades, one of the most striking, contemporary developments in the sector of Islamic education is the rise of Islamic elite schools, which are known as “sekolah Islam” (Islamic school). In the initial state of their development, they are mostly known simply as “sekolah Islam” ; so it seems that they are not different from the earlier “Islamic schools” mentioned earlier. However, since early nineties, some of the schools began to declare themselves formally or otherwise are recognized by many Muslims as “Sekolah Unggul” or “Sekolah Islam Unggulan” (Islamic schools of excellence). Still another term used to describe these schools is “SMU Model”, or Model (Islamic) Senior High Schools” (Azra, 1999:67).
These “Sekolah Islam” or “Sekolah Islam Unggulan” or even “ Sekolah Model Islam” which are very distinctive, could be argued as “Islamic Elite Schools” for several reasons. First, reason is that the schools are elite in academic terms; in some cases, only the best students can be admitted to these schools through a highly competitive entrance test; second, the teachers who teach in these schools had also been selected competitively; only those who are qualified can be employed; and third, the schools have also much better and more complete educational facilities such as libraries, laboratories, workshops, computer rooms, mosques, and sport facilities. All of these make them much better academically in comparison not only with other Islamic schools but also with public schools owned by government (Azra, 1999:68).
Because of that, these Islamic elite schools in general are expensive. In addition to admittance fee, and monthly fee, parents have also to pay a large sum of money that could be variously called “contribution fee” or “development fee”. In addition, parents have also to pay fees for food and dormitory, if the schools are boarding ones. Therefore, not all Muslim parents could afford to send their children to these schools. As a result, students of these schools mostly come from better off or elite families or the so-called “Muslim middle-class” (Azra, 1999:68).
The predecessor of the contemporary elite schools is perhaps Azhar Islamic Schools situated within the complexes of the Azhar Grand Mosque of Azhar in Kobayoran Baru, an elite neighborhood in South Jakarta. The name of the school was a remembrance of al-Azhar University, Cairo, when Shaykh al-Azhar visited Jakarta. Founded in the early 60’s by the late Prof. Hamka, who was awarded a honorary Ph.D degree by the Azhar University in the late 1970’s became chairman of the National Council of Indonesian Ulama, the Azhar Islamic School towards the end of the 1980 were becoming a model of similar schools that were established in the early 60’s.
Nowadays, the Azhar Islamic Schools have branches not only in Jakarta, but also in a number of cities, such as Cirebon, Surabaya, Sukabumi, Serang, Semarang, etc. There is also a number of schools which are affiliated with the Azhar system of education. The Azhar schools in Jakarta generally consist of kindergarten, primary school and high school. The Azhar Islamic schools of Kebayoran remain the best and the most prestigious compared with other Azhar schools in other places.
The schools are both academically and socially very prestigious. The Azhar Islamic Schools seem to be much better academically compared with other great number of Islamic schools in Jakarta and throughout the country. The curriculum of the school is the one issued by the MOEC (Minister of Education and Culture). However, as one might expect, the schools put a special emphasis on the teaching of Islamic religious subjects. Since the Azhar schools do not adopt the boarding system, all teaching process is conducted in formal school hours that are longer compared with other schools.
Another important Islamic elite school is the SMU Madania located in Parung, a village between Jakarta and Bogor. This senior high school was established by the Madina Foundation, which was created by the Paramadina Foundation, an important Muslim Middle Class Study Group led by Nurcholis Madjid, a prominent contemporary Muslim intellectual. Founded on the spirit of Islamic new modernism, the SMU Madania is financially supported by several prominent and rich Muslims. Therefore, they are able to build school’s complexes and facilities in relatively short period.
Arguably the most competitive Islamic elite school is the Sekolah Menengah Umum (SMU}Insan Cendekia. The SMU Insan Cendekia puts special emphasis on producing future scientists who are also well versed in Islamic subjects. The founders of the SMU Insan Cendekia realize that Muslim in general, on the one hand, is still left-behind in the field of science and technology. On the other hand, Islamic schools, madrasahs and particularly pesantren tend to neglect subject of science and technology, and concentrate themselves on Islamic religious sciences instead. With this criticism, the SMU Cendekia aims at producing students who excel in both science and technology, and religion. Therefore, the SMU Insan Cendekia admits only the best students from Madrasah Tsanawiyah and pesantrens.
To achieve its goals, the SMU Insan Cendekia adopts the boarding system that has been long an integrated tradition of the pesantren education in general. Thus, like in the pesantrens, students are housed in the school’s six-hectare complex consisting of classrooms, two- story library; workshops, computer rooms, special building for teachers’ training, mosque, separated dormitories for male and female students and for male and female teachers; multi-purpose building, canteen, sporting ground, etc.
THE AGENDA OF ISLAMIC EDUCATION MODERNIZATION
The impact of science and technology on Muslim’s life has brought about changes in their way of thinking. It can be seen easily from their selectiveness in choosing educational institution. It is natural, of course, that they became selective because they seek for knowledge not only for being “learned” but also for achieving skills in order to be competitive in finding a job. For this reason, Islamic education should increase their competitiveness in responding to the demands on education. In other words, the aspects of Islamic education should be reformed to fulfill the demands. In this paper, the writer will bring forward some aspects of Islamic education to reform.
Objectives of Education
Today, Islamic education is facing much heavier challenges than those faced in the early preach of Islam. The challenges arise because of multi-interest and multi-complicated demands of life. Besides the psychological burden of the Muslims in facing the West .
The phenomena also caused Islamic education to be eschatology-oriented and defensive one. As Rahman (1984:86) said that:
Under these conditions of spiritual panic, the strategy universally evolved in the Muslim world is mechanical (Rahman, 1984:86). Consequently, the anti-West groups arise and even some of which banned the Muslims from learning western science and technology (Ma’arif, 1993:145). This way of thinking, of course, will bring about the decline of the Muslims. Therefore, according to Rahman (1992:68), there are several things to conduct. First, eschatology-oriented- Islamic education should be changed. The objectives of Islamic education should cover both eschatological objectives and secular ones; second, psychological burden of the Muslims in facing the West must be abolished by studying Islamic sciences historically and systematically in the field of theology, law, ethics, Prophet tradition on social sciences and philosophy where the Koran became the main source of them; third, negative attitude of the Muslims towards science should also be changed because science is neutral.
System of Education
A Classical discourse but still an actual one since it remains debated is that dichotomy of education. It has been developing in such a way that is considered as a modern system of education suitable to the current age. This, as a matter of fact, should have not occurred because western system of education is popularized by adding some religious subjects which are not modernized to the bottom, bringing about a different vision or even in some aspects a controversial one (Usa, 1991:3).
The unacceptability of this dichotomy because history has proved that the western system of education often “destructs” Islam. In other words, it often blocks Islam from achieving complete life (kaffah) (Rahman, 1984:33-35).
Traditional system of education in Islam is based on a set of values deriving from the Koran which states that the real objectives of education is to create human beings obedient to God, while modern system of education does not involve God in explaining the origin of the universe or phenomena to which human beings relate in their daily life. As a result, in one side, this condition will cause human beings to be greatly obedient to God, but in other side, it will cause them fatalistic. This uncondusive condition invites the Muslim intellectuals all over the world to find the solution to this problem. This can be seen from the international meetings, which often attempt to produce new thoughts to solve this problem by, among others, integrating Islamic sciences and general ones. Owing to that fact, curriculum of Islamic education should contain both Islamic sciences and general sciences because principally, all sciences derive from God, and it is human beings who should manage and improve them for their life.
From this point of view, Islamic education must be able to produce as many human resources as possible to keep the universe prosperous.
Despite the curriculum serves as one of very important components of education, its existence is not like “fiqh book” which is difficult to change. The actuality, and the future-oriented curriculum must be taken into account in applying and developing curriculum. Since the curriculum is prepared only for certain time and certain place, the aspect of its elasticity, integrity and affectivity become very important to include into curriculum. The past-oriented curriculum tends to create self-image which is exclusive and anti-change. The spirit of establishment serves as special characteristic of condition of education where its curriculum is oriented to conservatism paradigm. From perspective of the national development, conservatism paradigm is not suitable with the demand of modern community with dynamic and rational ways of thinking. For this reason, the contents and the development of curriculum must be adjusted to the modern community who often undergo changes in every aspect of life. It means that the curriculum development must be able to respond to the demand of learning community in the context of change in order to be able to play main role in their life.
To achieve the objectives above, in the process of modernization, Islamic education will undergo the so-called functional and inter-system change (Adams, 1970:23). The changes –in the level of concept—can be formulated by using system approach which has relevant variables to transformation of education. The variables can also be used in modernizing Islamic education in the context of Indonesia as a whole. So, inputs from community to system of education can be put forward as follows:
· Ideological-normative: orientations of certain ideology expressed in national norms (Pancasila, for example) demands system of education to expand and strengthen national insight of students. In this context, education is deemed as an important instrument for “nation building”.
· Political mobilization: the need of modernization and development demands the system of education to educate, to prepare and to produce modernity leadership that can keep and support the program of development. For this reason, Islamic educational institution such as IAIN (State Institute for Islamic Studies) should design a more modernity-oriented curriculum.
· Economic mobilization: the need for handling manpower demands educational institution to prepare excellent human resources who can participate in the process of development. In other words, diversification taking place in sector of economy obliges system of education to produce professional human resources in every field of work. In this context, curriculum designed in not only for transferring and transmitting Islamic sciences, but also for giving skills and abilities.
· Social mobilization: the increasing of expectation for social mobilization in modernization demands education to give access to achieve that purpose. Therefore, Islamic education is not sufficient anymore to merely fulfill the obligation to seek for knowledge; but also must give investment to pupils to enable them to increase their social expectations.
· Cultural mobilization: modernization, which raises cultural changes, demands the design of curriculum able to maintain stability and to develop conducive-cultural heritage for development. In the context of Islamic education, particularly, pesantren, which has its own unique sub culture, this means “reevaluation” to its cultural milieu (Azra, 1999:33).
Modernization of Islamic education has been the central agenda of Muslim thinkers in responding to social changes. Therefore, in accordance with social changes in society, Islamic education should be modernized for if not, it will not be able compete in increasing the quality of human resources. As a result of social changes, the people today become more selective in finding educational institution. Their tendencies in choosing educational institution greatly lay on how the educational institution can give them resources for their future life. Nowadays, the people seek for knowledge not only for conducting religious doctrines; the obligation for seeking for knowledge; but also for finding a proper job. This shifting paradigm, of course, needs response from educationists. In other words, educationists have to be able to identify the tendencies of society on education. The steps that can be made to modernize Islamic education can be reformation of the objectives; that is from defensive objectives to future oriented ones. In this case, the emphasis on eschatology-oriented objectives should be in balance with the secular-oriented ones.
Concerning the system of education, the bad image on dichotomy of science should be abolished from Muslim’s mind in order that they can be more freely in developing their skills and abilities in taking a part in increasing the quality of human resources.
Last but not least, as an important element of education, curriculum must be often redeveloped and reevaluated in the basis of demands of community on education. In other words, as far as the writer is concerned, curriculum must be designed not for present purpose only but for future time as well.