The Jakarta Post
The Australian government, through Australian Aid (AusAID), has handed over aid totaling A$500 million for 1,500 Islamic schools to attain national accreditation.
'We understand that around 20 percent of students in Indonesia attend Islamic schools, locally known as 'Madrasahs', which makes them an important part of Indonesian education. There are things in 'Madrasahs' that need to be supported to get national accreditation,' Deputy Australian Ambassador to Indonesia David Engel said in Jakarta on Tuesday night, as quoted by Antara news agency.
According to Engel, getting national accreditation for "Madrasahs" is part of an effort to significantly improve the quality of Islamic education.
'After getting national accreditation, certificates from 'Madrasahs' will be recognized nationally,' Engel went on.
AusAID director for education Hannah Birdsey said the funds would be used to provide training for "Madrasah" teachers, to adjust "Madrasah" curriculum to the national standard, to improve learning activities at schools and to build facilities and infrastructure.
'Besides considering data from the Religious Affairs Ministry, we will also selectively choose the schools that will receive the funds,' Birdsey said.
Through the program, Hannah added, around 72 percent of unaccredited "Madrasahs" would have a chance to expedite efforts to acquire national recognition. (hrl)