Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
All gratitude and praise is due to Allah the Almighty. Peace, blessings and mercy be upon to our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW, his family, companions, and all those who have followed his way till the Day of Judgment.
During my appointment as the head of Abdul Djalil Sibaweh Foundation I have received a huge number of inquiries questioning what an “international madrasa” is. What does it mean by “international curricula”? Why do we need to commit to “going international”? What is the relevance for Afkaaruna Kindergarten?
To answer these questions, let me propose two premises:
First, “international” is a neutral term that refers to a mutual relationship between two or more countries. The “international curriculum” refers to a curriculum that includes an international perspective, recognizes that relationships among countries are increasingly interdependent and encourages students to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds by which they can build mutual understanding and respect (Hill, 2000)
Second, referring to the Afkaaruna’s three pillars; Islam, local culture and international-mindedness, we put Islam and local culture before the international-mindedness. This means that we are committed to developing the classical heritage and practices of Islamic education by way of transplanting those aspects into our learning process. At the same time, we also constantly find local values manifested in cultures relevant to character building for the students.
Departing from these two premises, I would like to emphasize that “international madrasa” here means a madrasa that strongly holds Islamic and local values. Instead of tempting to become “westernized”, our madrasa leans deeply on Islamic and local values that should be presented to the global community. We hope that this kind of Indonesian-rooted Islamic education contributes in enriching the existing Islamic education and, in the long term, can spread the beauty of Islam (rahmatan li al-alamiin) to people around the world.
In July 2016, as the first step to bring our big dream into reality, we launched Afkaaruna Kindergarten (Raudhatul Athfal) and we plan to open Afkaaruna Primary (Madrasah Ibtidaiyyah) in July 2017. In the next five to ten years, we plan to open Afkaaruna Secondary (Madrasah Tsanawiyyah) and Afkaaruna High School (Madrasah Aliyah).
Last but not least, we know that to achieve these big goals, we cannot do this alone. We need your support, the support of madrasa stakeholders including parents as well as the support of all others with the same dream with us, to make this a reality. We all know that educational success is not only created by a school, but also through family and the broader community.
Wallahul muwaafiq ilaa aqwaamith-thariiq
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
Samsul Ma’arif Mujiharto
Head of Abdul Djalil Sibaweh Foundation