Nadiem Makarim amazed by the world of pesantren

Rab, 3 November 2021 | 14:19 WIB

Nadiem Makarim amazed by the world of pesantren

Minister Nadiem Makarim.(Photo: NU Online)

Jakarta, NU Online

The Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Mendikbudristek) Nadiem Anwar Makarim, some time ago, visited three long standing Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) in East Java, namely Lirboyo, Ploso, and Tebuireng.


He had a distinct impression when he talked with the kiai (clerics) who are very open and have a great sense of humor. In fact, Nadiem appreciated the pesantren culture or the kiai's way of criticizing government policies and the various weaknesses of the education system in Indonesia.


“My first impression was that I couldn't stop myself, I kept giggling while talking to the kiai there. Because the discussion is very intellectual but very funny. So the ways to criticize government policies are very transparent and acknowledge the various weaknesses of our education system," Nadiem said during a visit to the PBNU headquarters, Wednesday (3/11/2021).


He was very impressed and liked the very open world like the kiai in the pesantren. Even an open culture such as the pesantren would be created within the ministry's environment.


“It is a NU culture that is very close to me. A (sense of) humorous culture but honest. (They) say honestly. I am happy and appreciate it," he said.


Another thing that made Nadiem feel surprised and amazed by the world of pesantren was when he saw the enthusiasm of the students (santri) who were never found when he visited various non-pesantren schools.


"I saw the faces of the students (santri) who smiled cheerfully. Because when I go to other places, their face is sometimes still stressed because of adaptation. Then I realized that students had never had PJJ (distance learning). So they go through this pandemic, they don't experience any learning loss, they just continue," he explained.


According to Nadiem, the pesantren model has very high resilience or mental and emotional abilities to overcome crises. Pesantren have their own advantages during this pandemic.


“Because they did not experience trauma from learning loss from PJJ. That is one of the strengths of the pesantren model,” he said.


Meanwhile, Chairman of PBNU KH Said Aqil Siroj (Kiai Said) asked Nadiem Makarim to be able to bridge the gap or intellectual distance between the scientific standards of pesantren and universities or public schools.


The scientific standard in pesantren, Kiai Said gave an example, must memorize 1,000 verses of Alfiyah, the Qur'an, and complete the Book of Fathul Muin or Fathul Wahab. However, this scientific standard is underestimated by universities.


Because universities have their own scientific standards. For example, said Kiai Said, one must have studied up to a doctoral level in a specific field. However, this kind of achievement is also not seen by the kiai of the pesantren.


“Well, this is (the important thing) how to bridge these two intellectual standards? Otherwise, it will always be like this (having a very wide intellectual gap),” he said.


Reporter: Aru Lego Triono

Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq