Peace Education in Indonesia

By Muhammad Syawal Djamil, Teacher at the Sukma Bangsa School in Pidie, Aceh

(Reposted from: Media Indonesia, March 25, 2019.  Read the original article in Indonesian.)

As a multicultural country with diverse sociocultural conditions and a wide geographical area, Indonesia cannot deny the reality of the threat of conflict or violence that can occur at any time.

As stated by Alwi Shihab in Islam Inclusive (1998: 40), Indonesia currently has as many as 1,300 large and small islands, with a population of more than 200 million people, consisting of 300 ethnic groups and using nearly 200 different languages, and adheres to religions and beliefs. different religions, such as Islam, Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and various faiths.

Judging from this fact, of course, Indonesia needs a wise strategy and ability to manage this diversity. Diversity is actually a gift that needs to be maintained and managed so that it doesn’t turn into a disaster of violent conflict. Efforts that lead to associative actions such as seeding peaceful values ​​through education are needs that must be actualized immediately.

If we look at the preamble to the 1945 Constitution, it is stated that the purpose of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is to educate the nation’s life and participate in carrying out world order based on freedom, eternal peace and social justice.

Seeing the huge burden, of course we agree, one of the goals can be met through peace education. Peace education is not the need of a plural country like Indonesia alone, but the needs of the people or nations around the world.

Achmad Nurcholish (2015) said that peace education is a vital need for mankind and nations around the world. This is because the world has not yet fully enjoyed a sense of security, peace and non-violence.

The Prophet’s Example

Peace education is an excellent strategy in building and maintaining the conduciveness of the life of the Indonesian people so that they remain united and intact in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia despite their differences.

In Islamic treasures, peace education has been actualized by the Prophet Muhammad, precisely when synergizing different elements or components of Medina society, both between the Muhajirin and the Ansar. Or a combination of the two groups (Emigrants and Ansar) with the people of Medina who are full of diversity.

Through the peaceful education taught by the Prophet Muhammad, an associative social interaction is established between all components of the Medina population so that they are not hostile to each other, do not commit violence, do not suspect each other, do not spread hatred to each other, and live under the symbol of Islam which is rahmatan lil ‘alamin. Peaceful education that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) pursued, became an inspiration for various groups in forming a civilized and just society.

Peace education, according to Achmad Nurcholish (2015), began to show its echo and became a worldwide movement since 1999. Precisely when thousands of people representing hundreds of organizations attended the International Peace Conference in The Hague, the Netherlands. It was at that event that the idea of ​​ending all wars was sparked and called for the spread of a culture of peace.

Peace education can be pursued (at least) through two community institutions, namely family institutions and educational institutions. The family has a role to provide a complete understanding of the concept, meaning, and application of peace in order to create a foundation of belief in the principle of peace in children and family members.

Peace education can be pursued (at least) through two community institutions, namely family institutions and educational institutions. The family has a role to provide a complete understanding of the concept, meaning, and application of peace in order to create a foundation of belief in the principle of peace in children and family members.

Not only that, parents in the family are required to be able to prioritize participatory communication strategies with children. In other words, communication methods that lead to repressive actions should be avoided.

In the family, parents are role models for children. Children not only adopt a value that is socialized by their parents verbally, but also imitate their parents’ daily activities. Therefore, the child will learn peaceful values ​​such as tolerance if he grows up in a family that prioritizes participatory communication strategies. On the other hand, children will learn to fight or act discriminatory (the antithesis of peace) if they grow up in a family that emphasizes repressive attitudes.

Furthermore, no less important, peace education can be actualized through educational institutions, namely schools or educational institutions. It is often found that the reality of school residents (teachers and students) occurs misunderstandings that lead to conflicts both on a small and large scale.

Among teachers, for example, there are disputes that are motivated by dissatisfaction with school management, whether it is related to the allocation of teaching hours, differences in evaluation methods, or assessment of children’s competencies or other things.

Then, among students, conflicts or violence often occur based on minor problems, be it because of differences of opinion, and others. Therefore, it is not surprising that in 2018 the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) released data on 84% of students in Indonesia who had experienced violence in schools, (Tempo, 2/5/2018).

As an institution that is a gateway for a child to enter and build society, of course, schools must be able to instill and sow peaceful values, such as empathy, tolerance in friendship, and nationalism. In addition, schools must be able to produce a positive environment that narrates a peaceful life, where there is a harmonious interaction between school members.

From the school, it is hoped that conducive community conditions will emerge for efforts to develop peaceful values.

Ahmad Baedowi in his writing in Media Indonesia entitled Violence in Education provides an interesting review, how to create a positive environment in schools, which ensures the continuity of a safe, peaceful learning process, and supports students’ academic achievement, and improves students’ social skills.

One alternative that he offers is optimizing the decision-making mechanism about whatever happens in schools, through a joint decision channel that is institutionalized into the school-based conflict management mechanism (MKBS).

If MKBS is able to be maximized perfectly, it is certain that acts of physical violence such as what happened to a private elementary school student in Bojonggede, Bogor Regency, West Java, will not be found, (Media Indonesia, 29/1/2019)

With the existence of peace education that can be sown through family institutions and educational institutions, we hope that there will be some kind of awareness to the community both individually and collectively about the importance of peace and always trying to solve various problems because peace education can build a civilized and just society.

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