Hasanain Juaini – Indonesia

Linked with our presentation of ashoka.

Hasanain Juaini is reforming Indonesia’s Muslim schools to encourage critical thinking, tolerance, democracy and civic participation. (Read more here).

Hasanain Juaini – Indonesia

He is a traditional religious teacher and leader who is reforming Indonesia’s Muslim boarding schools (pesantren) so they promote a practical understanding and implementation of pluralism, diversity, tolerance, and basic democratic values as they apply to daily life. He also encourages education for women, critical thinking, and participation in community development. Indonesia’s religious schools and their leaders wield much influence in their surrounding Muslim communities. Juaini is addressing some of the problems of the pesantren including the fact that: 1) many pesantrens ignore social problems in their area; 2) some pesantren have been co-opted by the state or political parties and have become tools to control and satisfy immediate needs; 3) many tend to have dogmatic, exclusive, and authoritarian teaching materials and methods; and 4) most pesantren give more attention to the education of boys than girls.

He encourages pesantren teachers and students to think critically, and to help create and plan their own curriculum so they have the courage and ability to introduce and support educational reforms and innovations. These reforms include: replacing ownership of pesantren by a single teacher or family with community ownership through a membership system; ensuring that teachers and classroom speakers come from diverse nationalities and ethnic, religious, economic, and social backgrounds; evaluating students’ performance in part on how well they work together as a group, not just as individuals; and giving more equal value to all subjects (pesantren usually give mathematics and religious studies greater value than literacy, language studies, and other subjects).

Hasanain Juanini has created an inclusive atmosphere in his own pesantren by opening its facilities to all members of the community. Some serve as teachers and mothers of young students can receive an informal education to help them play a richer role in the ongoing education of their children. Students and staff get involved in tackling important community issues like water rights and improving health practices and environmental quality. Along the way, Juaini is cultivating a cadre of young teachers and students who show potential for leadership. He manages to do all this without threatening pesantren leaders. A pesantren leader himself, he works from the inside. This position also allows him to play leadership roles in both provincial and national Muslim school organizations. In recognition of his managerial capabilities, he has been entrusted with directing the consolidation of three pesantren and eight kindergartens.

He has formed coalitions to support these reforms that include people from universities, citizen sector organizations, the business sector, government officials, and teachers and students from other pesantren. His Coalition of Pesantren Against Corruption is an influential alliance of representatives from 130 pesantren that is the first network in Indonesia to use the power of the pesantren to lobby for government reform. For example, at a recent provincial government hearing, it presented a critical study of the province budget that uncovered budget inconsistencies, manipulation, and nepotism.

He works for ashoka Indonesia. See on this web page a short description: Hasanain Juaini, Education – Hasanaen is a “tuan guru” (traditional religious teacher and leader) who has created innovation in the pesantren (religious boarding schools) through a system of education emphasizing pluralism, tolerance and democracy and promoting education for women. To help prevent potential horizontal conflicts within the community, he is also implementing these concepts in concrete practices with various groups throughout society. He was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2003. Organization: Pondok Pesantren Nural Haramain Putri, Location: Narmada, Lombok NTB.

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