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Chusna Arifah:
Let Your Students Understand the Good and Negative Impacts of Information Technology
by: AD.Kusumaningtyas

Dra. Hj. Chusna Arifah, SPd.I. MPd.I, was born in Yogyakarta 10 October 1968. A Doctoral candidate to General Education program of Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) Bandung. She earned Bachelor Degree in Islamic Religious Education at the State Islamic Institute (IAIN) Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta, and another degree in Accounting Education from University of Galuh. She is the 5TH Director of Health and Disciplinary Section at Pesantren Darussalam, a lecturer at Local Islamic Institute (IAID) Ciamis, a teacher at Islamic Junior High School Al Fadliliyah Darussalam, and High School Plus Darussalam Ciamis. She is a mother of 4 daughters; Hammia Zanzabile, Haula Hasna Dalila, Nasya Edline Salamah, Nazila Apregia Reigane (deceased), and the spouse of Dr. H. Fadlil Yani Ainussyamsi, MBA. Mag. Following is our interview with the woman who loves travelling. 

What do you think of students’ life in pesantren in the era of technology advancement nowadays?

Students of pesantren today are more up-to-date with information, but still do not understand quite well about its advancement. So, the usage of IT for the purpose of science development is still inadequate.

As an educator, are you worried about the impact on their psychological development caused by the ease to access information through hi-tech tools? 

Honestly, I personally feel very worried, especially when I found fact from newspapers concerning the usage of information technology by junior/ high-school students. They use it mostly to access negative things like porn films, proven by accelerated rate of internet users in Indonesia and widespread porn films starred by public figures (A, LM and CT) which infuriated the public sometime ago

What are the efforts carried out by pesantren in educating their students to make use of technology for a sound, responsible and good purpose?

The efforts carried out by pesantren are by giving them explanation about the good and bad impacts. We also teach them how to be responsible for what they use appropriately. We also organize counseling sessions by collaborating with relevant parties in their specific fields.

What are the efforts carried out by pesantren in creating a sound atmosphere for the good use of IT, not only among their students but also teachers/ scholars who are appealed to understand life development of teenage students?

We apply rules and specific schedules for them on using it. If a student breaks these rules, he or she must accept the consequence. In our school, it is forbidden to use internet during reading Al Qur’an and praying times. We even restrict by implementing curfews. We also ask teachers to give examples, not to use internet during study hours, except there is a need to use it. We also develop more activities which require a face-to-face action in order to push the creativity of our students so they become more innovative. 

Do you think all these times, pesantren have provided enough access to information for their students (who are mostly teenagers) about reproductive health and sexuality? By what means those efforts have been done?

Yes, we have. We deliver information about this matter through related school subjects (such as Biology or Fiqh), as well as by giving them explanation from school doctor. We also collaborate with public health center to give counseling regularly to our students about those two things. 

Technology advancement also challenges students to benefit from their growth by doing positive things. What are the activities teenagers can do by using IT?

There are various ways to carry out positive things in using IT advancement. First thing is to use internet for expanding their knowledge, looking for teaching materials, knowing world by following its science progress, as well as participating in online competitions. We also accept online submission for students’ homework by asking them to find resources from blog and websites as the media of communication with alumni who have been successful

How does pesantren collaborate with parents in guiding and directing their children to benefit from IT?

By giving explanation to parents the first time they came to school with their children that we must be altogether responsible for not facilitating them in providing easy access. 

Do you think it is necessary to teach them how to access and benefit from IT which is facilitated by school? What are the impacts we should be worried? How to anticipate it?

It is surely necessary for their knowledge, so they won’t be easily influenced by what’s going on in their surroundings or the outside world. The anxiety could be reduced by giving them an explanation on the good and bad impact of this technology.

What are your suggestions to maximize role of school in delivering sound and responsible information on reproductive health and sexuality by using IT? 

The role of school in maximizing a sound and responsible information about reproductive health and sexuality is by protecting our students with spiritual approach so they won’t accept all the information received without filtering them. They still can get an access to whole information outside, but they can be more responsible with themselves and surrounding, also with their nation and country.   

What are your suggestions concerning the role of our government to guarantee sound and responsible information on reproductive health and sexuality by using IT?

We suggest the government to make a filter for every information they get, especially on pornography because teenagers are the most affected which could perturb their psychological development as well. Therefore the school curriculum should be oriented in good ethics too, not only emphasizing on school subjects which are exhaustive and tiresome psychologically, drowning them into negative things. They need practical things in life, not only a pile of theories. This is for the sake of humanizing and treating them as human beings. It is expected that someday words and attitudes are integrated, making harmonious balanced life here and hereafter. We need an education to build a great personality of a human being. [] AD.Kusumaningtyas 

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