Home Liputan Media Christian students study Islam amid teacher shortfall in Aceh Singkil

Christian students study Islam amid teacher shortfall in Aceh Singkil

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Christian students at state-run schools in Aceh Singkil regency, Aceh are reportedly studying Islam on account of a lack of Christianity studies teachers.
Boas Tumangger, a parent, said that the Aceh Singkil Education Agency failed to provide Christianity studies teachers despite the high number of Christian students in the regency.

Boas, who said he experienced the same situation as an elementary and junior high school student in Aceh Singkil, said that Christian students were not forced to study Islam.

“There is no Christianity teacher so Christian students joined the Islamic studies class to fulfill their religion course requirement,” Boas told The Jakarta Post, Monday.

He said that Christian students were taught Arabic culture and language during Islamic studies class.

There are no efforts to indoctrinate Christian students to convert to Islam, he said.

However, religion courses at schools should reflect the various faiths of the student body.

“We have been questioning this for a long time but no attention has been given by the regency administration,” said Boas, who is also chairman of the Aceh Singkil Peace Loving Forum.

Religion is an obligatory subject at state schools. Many parents have complained about the minimum grade needed to pass a religion course.

Education agency head Yusfik Helmi said that Christian students in the Muslim-majority regency had never been forced to study Islam.

Yusfik admitted that there was a lack of Christianity studies teachers at elementary, junior high and high schools in Aceh Singkil but said there were many Christian teachers that taught other subjects.

“We have more than 70 Christian teachers at elementary schools alone,” he told the Post.

He also said that the absence of Christianity studies teachers in Aceh Singkil had never been questioned by the schools, despite some schools being headed by Christian principals.

“We have many schools with Christian principals here, but they have never demanded Christianity studies teachers for their respective schools,” Yusfik said.

He added that although the schools did not provide Christianity studies teachers, Christian students learned about their faith from a pastor or a Christian teacher. Students are not discriminated in Aceh Singkil, he said.

Aceh Singkil Employment Agency head Dirhamsyah said that up until now, no Christianity studies teachers had been promoted to civil servants and assigned to teach at schools in the regency.

He said this was in line with the Aceh Administration Law, in which Islamic studies is given a priority because the majority of people living in Aceh are Muslim.

Aceh is the country’s only province that implements sharia. In October last year, Aceh Singkil was in the headlines after a group of Muslim youths burned down a church in protest of churches operating without permits in the regency. Thousands of people fled to neighboring regencies in North Sumatra after protestors died in a riot.

The regency recently threatened to destroy 13 churches if the Christian community was unable to secure the necessary building permits.

(Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post, Medan)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/03/29/christian-students-study-islam-amid-teacher-shortfall-aceh-singkil.html

Serikat Jurnalis untuk Keberagaman (SEJUK) adalah ruang bersama yang dibentuk kalangan jurnalis, aktivis dan penulis yang mendorong terciptanya masyarakat, dengan dukungan media massa, yang menghormati, melindungi dan mempertahankan keberagaman sebagai bagian dari pembelaan hak asasi manusia. Mei 2008 sekitar 30 jurnalis dari berbagai media dengan para aktivis HAM dan antar-iman, serta penulis isu kebebasan beragama, bertemu dan mendiskusikan tentang kekhawatiran meningkatnya konservatisme di kalangan jurnalis dan kecenderungan media massa yang menyudutkan kelompok minoritas bahkan korban diskriminasi dan kekerasan atas nama agama. Keyakinan pada peran strategis pers sebagai salah satu pilar demokrasi dan pengaruhnya yang luas terhadap publik meneguhkan kembali semangat kebersamaan di kalangan jurnalis dan masyarakat lainnya dalam pertemuan itu untuk mengkampanyekan pentingnya pemberitaan media dalam menghidupkan toleransi dan perdamaian, bukan sebaliknya. 1 Juni 2008, ketika massa yang terdiri dari FPI dan laskarnya menyerang Aliansi Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan (AKKBB) yang menggelar apel peringatan Hari Kelahiran Pancasila di Monas, merupakan titik tolak bagi kalangan jurnalis mengembangkan jaringan kerja untuk kampanye jurnalisme keberagaman. Sebab, berbagai pemberitaan terkait “tragedi Monas” saat itu cenderung memojokkan AKKBB. Memberitakan dengan sentimen keyakinan jurnalis menjadi penyebab dasarnya, selain minimnya perspektif pluralisme dan HAM serta ketidaksetiaan jurnalis dan media pada Kode Etik Jurnalistik dan Pedoman Perilaku Penyiaran dan Standar Program Siaran (P3SPS). Pembentukan SEJUK pun menjadi kebutuhan menghidupkan jurnalisme damai pada lingkup isu keberagaman (kebebasan beragama/berkeyakinan, etnis, keadilan gender dan orientasi seksual). Training jurnalis, in-house workshop, workshop untuk jurnalis kampus, media visit menghadirkan kelompok korban dan minoritas, diskusi media untuk memframing setiap isu keberagaman yang aktual atau mem-feeding-nya kepada jaringan jurnalis dan media, Diversity Award, Fellowship Liputan Keberagaman, monitoring media, dan penerbitan buku jurnalisme keberagaman merupakan kegiatan rutin SEJUK. Maraknya fake news dan fake information menjadi tantangan jurnalisme keberagaman untuk lebih menjangkau dan memanfaatkan media sosial agar menjadi ruang bersama yang mempromosikan dan menghargai kebinekaan. Strategic Planning SEJUK (Januari 2017) memfokuskan kerja-kerja jurnalisme keberagaman pada bagaimana media (mainstream dan media sosial) maupun korban atau penyintas dan kelompok minoritas secara efektif merespon hoax. Ini merupakan mandat forum diskusi terbatas bersama jaringan jurnalis senior dan beberapa pimpinan redaksi media nasional di Jakarta yang mengamanatkan SEJUK memanfaatkan media sosial. SEJUK kini mempunyai dua jaringan kerja yang aktif mempromosikan jurnalisme keberagaman di berbagai wilayah Indonesia. Pertama, jurnalis SEJUK yang menjangkau di banyak wilayah, salah satunya mendirikan SEJUK Kalbar. Kedua, pers mahasiswa yang di kampus menghadapi menguatnya gerakan radikalisme agama. Kedua jaringan kerja SEJUK bersama dengan kelompok korban, minoritas, akademisi, pejuang HAM kebebasan beragama dan berkeyakinan aktif memajukan jurnalisme yang menyuarakan hak-hak korban dan minoritas.

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