Kiprah (Progress) Edition 50

Students of Madrasah Tsanawiyah Discussed SWARA RAHIMA Magazine
by: Raudlatun Miftah, Rinaldi Ridwan

An-Najah Tsanawiyah is located in village of Matanair, sub district of Rubaru, district of Sumenep, managed by Pesantren An-Najah Foundation and having more place in Rubaru people’s heart. This is marked with quality and quantity improvement of students who pursue study in this institution. This school always improves its quality, administration and education management so it gains people’s trust and respect.

As the manager, we took initiative to create a forum where students can be motivated to read, it is named Lingkar Baca Swara Rahima (LBSR). It was founded in 2008 as an implementation of Follow Up Plan made during the Religious Leaders’ Enforcement Activity in Madura organized by Rahima. Up to now, LBSR’s main activity is Swara Rahima discussion group has been running for 8 years. The objective of this discussion group is to enrich the students’ knowledge, to grow the reading spirit, to boost students’ ability in public speaking, and to maintain good relationship among students and their teachers. 

This activity is organized regularly every three months since Swara Rahima magazine has been accepted by the school as one of the references for discussion. It is handled by the students’ organization of the MTS An-Najah, Education Division, which distribute the reading materials to 63 students, split in small groups. Students are expected to have read Swara Rahima magazine first and to discuss the content with their own group. They are assigned to prepare several questions, to compete with other groups in asking these questions to the speakers. The most active group will be rewarded by the school.

The speakers for this discussion group are the teachers of MTS An-Najah itself but changing their role one to another, the objective is to let them know the content of the magazine. Sometimes they also invite speakers from other institutions with the mission to spread the sermon to their surroundings. Several issues discussed are taken from Swara Rahima, such as Reproductive Health, Children Marriage, Violence in Dating, Reproductive Health Education in School, and so on. Thanks to this discussion, students acquire more knowledge and information, and become more aware of themselves and their environment. 

One of the activities carried out by LBSR is an analysis of the magazine by choosing the topic “Dating According to Religion, Psychology and Social”, held on Sunday, 19 May 2015, starting at 8 am. at Praying Room. The speaker, Mr. Didik Nurhadi, S.Pd., the mathematics teacher. Before the discussion began, he conveyed definition of dating according to several experts, various perspectives including from religious, psychological or social point of view. He also defined legality of dating in accordance with celestial religions, also issues of Violence in Dating.

Several students, Nurul Umamah (class 8), Siti Jamilatul Fitriyah (class 9), Uswatun Hasanah (class 8), HIsyamuddin Moh. Syah (class 8) and Lailatul Badriyah (class 8) were enthusiastic in soliciting questions about tips to avoid dating, how to help a friend having bad attitudes, how to break up a relationship with a threatening partner. Later, they became more spontaneous in expressing thoughts. To them, LBSR is the place where they can be more creative and expressive. [] Raudlatun Miftah.

Serving the Teenagers and Empowering Them to Become Agents of Change

Teenagers are often noticed as sources of problems. Drug abuse, early pregnancy during school period, gang fight or brawl, and so on. Basically, in order to solve the problems involving teenagers, the duty is in the hand of parents, education institutions, government and social organization altogether. Besides, blaming teenagers as sources of problems is no longer relevant. Now it is time to see them as agents of change and front leaders of the future.   

In between those challenges, the presence of technology is like a double-edged sword. Not only it brings advantages for its rapidity in spreading information and services to teenagers, but it may also create new problems such as bullying, violence, information abuse such as pornography addiction for under age children, and fraud.

Efforts of RutgersWPF

RutgersWPF as an organization runs in the field of reproductive health, sexuality and violence prevention, together with its partners, have been trying to make some efforts, including creating several innovations to tackle the challenges encountered by our teenagers. We believe the problems revealed are due to the least access obtained by teenagers to a credible and trusted information on reproduction health and sexuality. Today, the access to such information is still very few. The information on reproductive health and sex education is not yet available in schools. Parents are unwilling to talk about this. Meanwhile, the information about this matter outside is widely accessible, but not thoroughly accountable.

It has been more than one-decade RutgersWPF is working on to help and accompany teenagers to find out the answer to the questions which raise their curiosity. Together with them, we design several modules on sex education comprehensively for the purpose of empowering teenagers. 

Sex Education for Teenagers: Postponing the Sexual Activity

Unlike what most people say that sex education will trigger our teenagers to do sexual activity, on the contrary it will educate them to love and appreciate their body, to respect others, and to protect themselves from violence or to avoid being the actor of violence. Some researches show that sex education will make teenagers to postpone their first sexual intercourse, to avoid unwanted pregnancy and contagious sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.

Sex education should be delivered and adjusted in a way that is suitable for the teenagers and children’s need itself. At the level of elementary school or early age students, we have the module You and I, which consists of introductory lesson on body parts and how to avoid violence. At the level of junior high school students, the SETARA (Spirit of Teenagers’ World), DAKU! (My Teenage World is Cool!) modules are developed, while at the level of high school students, and especially for students in Papua, we design the DAKU! Papua module. As to the disabled students, we have the Definite Steps module for visually impaired and Go Forward for auditory impaired. As for the children in penitentiaries, we develop the SERU module. Not only these modules, we also develop a method which is adjusted to the teenager’s hobbies through dance, music and popular culture which is named dance4life.

As technology rapidly evolves, we respond to this need by developing a series of digital media through the website which contains  e-course and android application so that it is also accessible through our cellphones. Everything is in your hands!

Result from Our Various Interventions

The research we carried out during 2014 altogether with the Center of Health Research University of Indonesia shows that teenagers with adequate sex education have experienced positive changes as follows: 

  1. Awareness on HIV is improving from 2,75 score in 2011 becomes 3,5 in 2013 from 0 to 5 scales. 
  2. 85,1% of teenagers in 2013 think that having a forced sexual intercourse is bad, compared to the result in 2011 with only 44,6%.
  3. 68,1 % teenagers in 2013 know they can refuse a sexual intercourse when they are asked to do so, compared to the result in 2011 with only 12,8%.

Based on this fact, we are getting more certain that sex education needs to be delivered to children and teenagers as early as possible. We are sure that being comfortable with our own body, appreciating others, and avoiding violence is a gift from God which we must be grateful with and preserve carefully. Are you interested in adopting our approach? Don’t hesitate to contact us at [] Rinaldi Ridwan

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