A national seminar on strengthening character education took place in the Graduate Program auditorium of the University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) Campus I Jl. Bandung, Thursday (03/31). Seminar on cooperation between UMM Graduate Program (PPS UMM) and Paramadina University presented, among others, cultural expert Zawawi Imron from Madura, M. Shofan and Taufik Hidayat from Paramadina. Meanwhile, PPS UMM presented Prof. Dr. Tobroni and Prof. Dr. Syamsul Arifin.
In his presentation, Zawawi revealed much about his concern to the condition of society that ignores the nation's character. Social ethic, cooperation, tolerance, even for small things such as personal hygiene is still very low. In contrast, instead of being “able to feel”, society’s attitude shows that they "feel they could".
"There are many political scientists, economists, doctors, professors at the capitol. They are clever, but when debating the Century case, they did fist fights. To fight, it is not necessary to have high education," said Zawawi exemplifying some cases of the weakness on character possessed by officials.
He advised, character education is a necessity but it is not easy to find although it has already in our own self. "Dadi wong pinter ana gurune, dadi wong bejo ora ana gurune. Sabejo bejone wong pinter, isih bejo wong sing eling lan waspada (being clever needs teacher, being lucky do not need teacher. How lucky the clever is, the more lucky people who are remember and aware.red)," said the cultural expert from Madura quoting Javanese saying. Being clever, there are a lot of teachers, but being strong characterized people is difficult.
On the other hand, Taufik and Shofan gave many examples about the Living Values Education (LVE) which has been disseminated to schools and Islamic boarding schools. They agreed that there is a lower on the value of tolerance among Indonesian people due to the lack of understanding on values. In LVE, Taufik said, there are 12 core values, i.e. various activities which contain value of peace, respect, compassion, cooperation, happiness, honesty, humility, responsibility, simplicity, tolerance, freedom and unity.
"LVE is not a new subject that will burden the students. Precisely, the values have already existed in the students so that they need to be integrated to the subjects," said Shofan, alumnus of FAI UMM.
Meanwhile, Tobroni spotlighted character education in Muhammadiyah's educational vision. According to him, Muhammadiyah has integrated character education within the mission of Muhammadiyah as stated in the Official Gazette: 221. It is mentioned that revitalization of Muhammadiyah education is going towards the formation of human learners who are righteous, having noble character, having progress and excel in science and technology as the embodiment of tajdid on dakwah of amar ma’ruf nahi munkar.
"Thus, Muhammadiyah is actually a religious, humanity, nationalism and modernity movement," said Tobroni, the Chief of Islamic Studies Study Program of PPS UMM.
Therefore, Muhammadiyah is considered to have a strong concern on character education. Evidently, from hundreds of universities, Muhammadiyah (private university), makes progress when other universities are less of being interested. "University of Muhammadiyah Makassar, for instance, even has 33 thousand students. It turned out that the strongest factor of interest to Unismuh is because this campus has never rowdy, never experienced brawl as on campuses around it," explained Tobroni giving reasons.
The discussion guided by the Chief of Sociology Master Program, Dr. Vina Salviana, M.Si, was followed by no less than 150 participants from various regions. They came from among educators, observers of education and graduate students. (rno/nas/t_alf)