Schools as Agents Cultivating the Culture of Peace in Students (Indonesia)

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Schools as Agents Cultivating the Culture of Peace in Students (Indonesia)

(Original article: ACDP Indonesia.  June 23, 2016)

As a diverse and heterogeneous country, building peace throughout the country is not easy. Even differences between individuals often trigger conflict. In this case, education in school contributes to educating students to live in harmony in the midst of existing differences.

Director General of Education Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud), Hilmar Farid disclosed the Indonesian population has mixed from time to time leading to plurality. Therefore, a strong identity is required to face challenges in the present. According to Hilmar, it is difficult to say people still keep authenticity in culture. Because in reality we are diverse. This was conveyed in an ACDP expert discussion and exchange of opinions/brainstorming in Kemdikbud, Jakarta, on Wednesday (22/6/2016).

Related to this, in modern education, the mission of education always equips students not only with knowledge and skills, but also values, attitude, and behavior. Whereas the value of the culture of peace itself is based on the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, and solidarity.

Head of Research and Development Agency (Balitbang) Kemdikbud, Totok Suprayitno said, education is not to educate a child to be smart, but also to cultivate character. Basically, the character of diversity already exists in each child and needs only to be nurtured. In school, added Totok, the role of teachers is the key; because teachers do not merely teach knowledge. Their actions/ gestures and behavior would also become the model for the students.

He added teachers contribute to cultivating the values of noble character. It could also be done by starting to be open in discussing matters which had been considered taboo.  But of course the cases are tailored to the age of the students. The manner is by asking children’s opinions, and there are no wrong answers from them. What is important is children are capable of expressing their thoughts accompanied by their reasons.

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