Malang- Seminar on Character Education at UMM, Saturday (30/04) got attention from various parties. Conversation on the similar theme never seems to stop. Moreover, the paradoxes that have arisen recently tend to be stronger caused by the government’s counter-productive policies and behaviors to the character education.
Institute of Culture (LK) UMM, the organizer of the seminar, believed the urgency of character education always should be voiced. Phenomena of violence, fraud, corruption, and instant lifestyle are symptoms that must be answered by establishing the noble character of the nation. Education does not stop only at the UN and the teaching of science, but more than that, education is about values instilling.
That was one of the conclusions of the seminar that presented three main sources, namely Prof. Dr. Syafiq A Mughny, Prof. Dr. Tobroni, and Prof. Dr. Suminto A Sayuti.
The Chief of LK UMM, Dr. Sugiarti, explained that the theme of the seminar was nation's character education development based on local wisdom. The aim was to explore the local values that can be used as the content of character education.
Syafiq exposed about the ‘drought’ of local culture due to the exceeding modernism and tight understanding of puritanism. Modernism erodes local cultures to become westernized, while puritanism often thinks of culture as a syncretic practice that should be avoided. In fact, according to him, as long as it is not contrary to the religion, local culture should always be built to evoke the character of the nation.
Chairman of PP Muhammadiyah exemplified that grave pilgrimage is a practice of character education. It is not to idolize or worship the tomb, but to remind of death. "It means that all the life forms would end so we need to prepare ourselves with a noble character," said the former head of East Java PWM.
Meanwhile, Tobroni highlighted the lack of good smart people. "A lot of smart people, but little the good ones," he said. Education, said the professor of FAI UMM, does not fulfill the formality, pragmatic, and transactional tasks only for it can forget the moral, character, and culture values. "Etiquette and manners have been forgotten a lot," he said.
On the other hand, the professor of the State University of Jogjakarta, Suminto, criticized our educational system that makes the UN as the largest ‘door’ to determinate student graduation. This ignores the interaction process between teachers and students during the learning process. "Ironically, the teachers also taught the students to cheat by providing answers to the test in various ways. Isn’t this a denial of character education, is it?" he said.
Moreover, recently teachers are proud of the teaching with westernized style. Local culture is forgotten. The teachings of Ki Hajar Dewantoro even begin not to be known anymore.(umm.ac.id)