Prof. Fasli Jalal, Ph.D, INOVASI’s Senior Strategic Adviser, earlier this week shared valuable advice and experience for 53 madrasah teachers in East Java. Held from 22-23 July, the activity was organized by the Regional Office of the Ministry of Religion in East Java and titled ‘Gerakan Ayo Membangun Madrasah’ (Let’s Build a Madrasah Movement). This movement aims to strengthen the quality of madrasah by increasing the competency of madrasah principals and engaging them in a literacy movement.
As the event’s main speaker, Prof. Fasli shared current literacy performance data in Indonesia, emphasising the impact of low literacy levels in early grade students. He explained that often, issues like fake news or media hoaxes can be due to a lack of understanding, and traced back to a lack of literacy learning and comprehension in the early grades.
“Nowadays the trend is, the teacher only teaches literacy and numeracy to the early grade students just to be able to read and count only with the memorization method. But the teacher does not emphasize understanding. This shapes the character of Indonesian children who are not very good at digesting information obtained without understanding and confirming the validity of the information, and easily sharing false information,” he said.
According to Prof. Fasli, the INOVASI program is already providing support to selected madrasah in East Java, in 5 partner districts and cities including Pasuruan, Sidoarjo, Sumenep, Probolinggo, and Batu City. One pilot program being tested is a literacy short course.
He encouraged other madrasah teachers to start improving the potential of their schools. “INOVASI has now supported 90 madrasah in East Java. Madrasah who have received assistance from INOVASI can be used as a reference for other madrasah,” he explained.
Akhmad Sruji Bahtiar, Head of Madrasah Education, said that the conditions of madrasah in East Java still needs improvement. Through this literacy and quality improvement movement, all areas of madrasah education can be enhanced, especially principal competency.
“For that, we welcome the support from INOVASI as a step to improve the quality of madrasahs in East Java,” said Akhmad.
In support of scaling out and replicating the INOVASI program approach, Akhmad has already issued a circular note to all Heads of Office at the Ministry of Religion in 38 districts/cities encouraging the replication of INOVASI pilots. To date, INOVASI has worked with 137 madrasah in East Java. Akhmad hopes that those districts/cities that have not yet received INOVASI support can visit the program’s partner districts in East Java to learn more.