Kiprah (Progress) of Edition 27:
Being Critical and Equal with “AGPAII”

The Association of Indonesian Islamic Education Teachers (AGPAII) is an organization built by Islamic education teachers in four levels of education throughout Indonesia. This association is established to form an independent professional organization based on the Act no. 14 in 2005 on teachers and lecturers.
Although somewhat new, the AGPAII has provided much additional knowledge for Islamic education teachers in Indonesia. Various cooperations have been done. As an organization close to Directorate General of Islamic Education lead by Imam Tholhah, the AGPAII also collaborates with Rahima through a diversity building program. This program was built to provide diversity discourse to Islamic education teachers about current social issues. The first activity was the critical education training perspective on equity and justice.

The activity on January 29 to February 1, held at LPPM Building Jagakarsa, South Jakarta. The participants came from Jakarta, West Java, Banten, Central Java, Yogyakarta, and East Java. Each region sent 4 participants from 4 levels of education (elementary, junior high, high school, and vocational school).

Helmi Ali acted as a facilitator in this critical education, invited participants to reflect on the reality of the existing education system paradigm in today’s society. He also invited participants to read Paulo Freire’s thoughts about critical education in facing social reality. From here the participants could see, so far we placed students as objects, analogous as empty vessels to be filled by the teacher. Therefore building a humanizing education a la Paulo can be a good alternative for our education system. In Paulo’s education model, students are recognized as subjects who also have experience and knowledge. The teacher’s job is to guide students, explore their thoughts and experiences. So in practice later, teacher does not have to talk all the time while students listen and receive information, but there are dialogues between the two.
Farha Ciciek, who guided the materials on equal and fair relationship between men and women, starting the sesion by mapping out, who if we born again choose to be a male or female. From this question, none of male participants chose to be female, so the only 4 female participants did not receive additional members. This short question lead participants to discuss the relationships of men and women formed in the community all this time.

Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, a lecturer from UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, also helped guiding gender material in education. She also invited participants to see how gender system plays in our education and gets into the systems and teaching materials in schools. This was done by inviting participants to assess some teaching materials of religious subjects in high school, which loaded by gender bias issues.
Finally, KH. Husein Muhammad, the caretaker of Pondok Pesantren Darut Tauhid Cirebon who was also a commissioner at the National Commission for Women, gave the material on Islam and gender issues. Kyai Husein directed the participants to discuss women’s themes in Islamic perspectives. It is not easy to understand religious issues, especially regarding reality and new discourse about Islam and women. This was the first step in building diverse insights within Islamic education teachers. The participants agreed to formulate the follow-up plan and to evaluate all the processes they passed together in the next few days. Congratulations, keep fighting the AGPAII!!!.[]


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