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Executive Director Leimena Institute Matius Ho, Moderator Ranie Kasmir, Executive Director Maarif Institute Abd Rohim Ghazali, Senior Research Fellow University of Washington Chris Seiple, and Director of Muhammadiyah Modern Boarding School in Paciran Lamongan, East Java, M. Rifqi Rosyidi.


IL News 005/2022

Jakarta, March 22, 2022 – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) highlighted the importance of global solidarity in its vision of world education in the year 2050. It is cognizant of the fact that education must be able to transform itself in keeping with the increasingly complex challenges of humanity as shown by the Covid-19 pandemic.

UNESCO issued a document of its education vision 2050, Reimagining our Futures Together, which was launched on November 10, 2021. The document used the plural form ‘futures’ because each society has the right to define its future according to its respective culture and background.

“UNESCO has placed education as a key in the progress of a nation, in addition to health. Both health and education are like two sides of a coin that mutually support each other,” Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Muhadjir Effendy, said in a webinar with the theme “UNESCO’s Education Vision and the Role of Madrasah in Strengthening Human Solidarity”, Thursday (10/3/2022) night.

The webinar was conducted by Maarif Institute and Leimena Institute, supported by Muhammadiyah Central Board’s Council of Primary and Secondary Education, Muhammadiyah Central Board’s Pesantren Development Institute, RBC Institute of A. Malik Fadjar, and Templeton Religion Trust.

Coordinating Minister Muhadjir stated that the UN through UNESCO has been promulgating its four pillars of education, namely learning to be, learning to know, learning to do, and learning to live together. He explained that education in Indonesia started even before its independence in the form of religious traditional institutions of education. Islamic boarding schools emerged as Islamic education situated in the areas of armed struggle and it also became the center of resistance against the colonizers.

“Indonesia with its varied realities of life, including religion, is a feature or character of the nation. This then requires willingness to show tolerance, mutual respect, and sensitivity to other people’s feelings. Therefore, educative contents relating to the zeal for inclusivity, which was initiated by religious educational institutions including madrasas, become very important,” Muhadjir said to more than 1,100 webinar participants.

Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Indonesia to UNESCO, Ismunandar, said education vision 2050 underscores the need for global solidarity. Ismunandar cited as an example the threat to earth due to its exploitation, caused by human needs and lifestyles.

“Currently 1.6 earths or almost 2 earths are needed to cover for the carbon footprints of humans. Meanwhile, we only have 1 earth,” he remarked.

Other problems include the decline of democracy and the rise of supremacism and chauvinism as seen in a number of world leaders. Besides that, the digital divide has impeded access to education, especially during this pandemic, coupled with the emergence of digital intelligence which is predicted to eliminate many jobs in the world.

“The key to all of these is global solidarity. We are already aware that there are many problems in human life which require solutions in cooperation with the entire population of the earth,” said Ismunandar.

Ismunandar stated that education vision 2050 encourages all parties to draw up a new social contract consisting of fundamental values, learning designs, as well as activities and actors. This is the third document after Learning to be: the world of education today and tomorrow” (1972) and Learning: the treasure within (1966). The formulation of Reimagining Our Futures Together (2021) as a document involved around 1 million people, mainly through online consultations, and it was compiled before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Prof. Dr. Muhadjir Effendy, M.A.P., Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Indonesia to UNESCO Prof. Dr. Ismunandar, Philanthropy and Development Consultant, Islamic Museum of New York City Randa Kuziez, and Professor of Philosophy, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University Prof. Dr. M. Amin Abdullah.

Madrasah as a Model of Solidarity

Philanthropy and Development Consultant of the Islamic Museum of New York City, United States (US), Randa Kuziez, asserted that madrasas can become an important model of global solidarity. As an example, Islamic schools in the United States made it possible for children to advance in their academics and in their knowledge of Islamic traditions. The presence of Islamic schools has heightened human solidarity that is drawn from the Qur’an.

“The Qur’an states that God made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Lita’arafu. It is very crucial for society to understand this verse, that it is our responsibility to build solidarity with everyone,” said Kuziez, who is a US citizen of Syrian descent.

According to him, the concept of ummah also shows solidarity between humans and the global community. “I am very happy that I was able to raise funds to build an Islamic museum in the heart of New York City. This can be an opportunity for people to learn about the rich history of Islam and how we can build human solidarity,” Kuziez stated.

Professor of Philosophy at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Amin Abdullah, said the UNESCO document per its education vision 2050 has further emphasized the importance of empathy and sympathy with anyone who is different in order to build collaboration. However, he realizes that not all religious people are ready to face new social realities or fundamental shifts in social, cultural and religious relations.

Senior Research Fellow at University of Washington, Chris Seiple, is aiming to develop UNESCO’s education vision 2050 through a Cross Cultural Religious Literacy approach that involves three competencies for collaboration to face various problems and challenges.

Director of Muhammadiyah Modern Boarding School in Paciran Lamongan, East Java, M. Rifqi Rosyidi, reminded that the madrasah’s efforts to improve human quality through the strengthening of faith should not solely be associated with radicalism and terrorism movements. “A strong and correct theological foundation is able to produce individuals who are very inclusive. Umar bin Khattab is known as an uncompromising figure in matters of faith, but his actions are very inclusive,” he said.

Executive Director of the Maarif Institute, Abd Rohim Ghazali, advised that madrasah education should be designed with the principles of professionalism, depth, interconnectedness, cooperation and inclusion.

“A madrasah is not only assigned to equip students with a set of knowledge, but more importantly to build their character so that they can live successfully in support of their surrounding environment, and become a determining factor in establishing human solidarity in the life of the wider community,” Rohim expressed.

In line with that, Executive Director of Leimena Institute, Matius Ho, added that one of the keys to face the global challenges ahead as described by UNESCO is strong human solidarity, mutual understanding and respect, as well as working in cooperation with people who are different from you.

“Thus the preparedness of our nation to face global challenges is also determined by the ability of our religion-based education to strengthen human solidarity,” stated Matthew. (IL/Chr)

You can watch the webinar titled “UNESCO’s Education Vision and the Role of Madrasah in Strengthening Human Solidarity” via the following link: