Saturday, 16 September 2017

Pesantren - Pondok Madani - a religious school with a difference.



Image from : http://www.satumedia.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cinta-pesantren-gontor-indonesia.jpg


I have been neglecting this blog for quite a while it seems. it is easy to put the blame on a writer's block. I guess I have run out of memories to write here. Korea, done. Bandung, done. Plymouth, done. I should go travelling again. If only it is as easy (to pack your bag and go) as ABC....

So, I feel like writing about something completely different today. But still on the topic of education.

I am single. I don't have kids. But if I were married and have kids, what kind of education do I want them to go through?

Let say Child number 1. I would like him or her to go to SK and later to SBP to experience all that he can and also for him to develop his social skills. I might rethink the SBP option if it's a boy since he may not adapt well to a boarding school. Since I used to study at MRSM, I feel that a girl would be comfortable and adapt more easily to the culture and pressure of an SBP. I hope the child would further his or her studies locally, or overseas - like what I did eons ago. But realistically, with the economic downturn, a local university seems the best option. After the child has graduated, I hope he can secure a stable job that will sustain his life and future family.

Child number 2. I would like him or her to go to a Chinese school so that he will learn Mandarin and be fluent in it. Since it is hard to get a job now, the best option is to let him have a advantage over other job applicants - a third language. Government jobs may be limited and hard to get, so a job at any Mandarin-speaking company is the second best choice. Being multi-lingual in multi-racial Malaysia has its own advantages.

Child number 3. I would like him or her to go to a Religious or Tahfiz school that gives more attention to the child's spiritual development. Since the parent is not that knowledgeable in Islamic  and Quran studies, I hope that the child would be able to learn and grow under the guidance of a wise and qualified teacher. I hope the child will later become a good human being that gives back to the family and community in terms of Islamic or universal contributions. A mother would be happy to see her son leads the prayer or recite the Azan or even, say a prayer for his family.  I realize that his future is uncertain, by not having a proper or modern education like the other siblings but I believe that everyone has his own destiny and rezeki. Perhaps, he would work as a teacher in the future, or start his own business. Who knows. What is more important at present, is arming him with skills that he can work with. Being a Hafiz is also a worthwhile skill. They are called to aid in many stages of our life - birth, marriage, sickness, death, etc....

The image of a good Tahfiz  that I have in mind is like a fictional modern pesantren in Inodesia, which is the setting of a novel - Negeri Lima Menara by A. Fuadi.  Even though the pesantren, Pondok Madani, focuses on Islamic studies, other curricula are not neglected either. The students there play a lot of sports, learn a lot of English and Arabic through lessons and competitions and are still required to memorize the Al-Quran and understand the content thoroughly. I recommend you to read this book to see the advantages of a religious school if run and planned well... The writer of the book is actually the product of a pesantren but succeeded in furthering his studies in the field of Journalism in USA. You never know where your education can take you.




As I said, this is only my so-called dream.  A wishful thinking on my part. You may or may not agree with me. We all have different perspectives of life, based on our own experiences on this earth. So, instead of criticizing the kids or the parents that are involved in the latest tragedy, let's work together - you and I, the government, the NGOs, the Islamic departments - to ensure that their places of studies  will always be safe for them....

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