MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, PALEMBANG – Indonesia has to strive to overcome its lag and become a developed nation. One of the key areas is through accelerating education for the advancement of the nation’s civilization.
Looking at history of Japan, the country was defeated in World War II, but it could raise the nation up for less than 50 years. Japan developed science and technology integrated with its traditions.
In the annals of history, education has consistently become a prominent characteristic of great civilizations as Greece, Mesopotamia, the Islamic golden age, India, and China. Advanced civilizations of those eras were erected on the firm foundations of education and erudition.
Hence, according to Haedar, the development of India, China, and the Arab world is due to their rich traditions. Indonesia also possesses a grand cultural heritage. However, the prolonged period of colonization followed by the need to rebuild the nation after gaining independence resulted in a considerable lag.
“Despite our notable accomplishments today, our human development index in ASEAN ranks us in the sixth position, while our competitiveness places us fourth in the region, far behind on the global stage. In the most recent release, Indonesia’s intelligence level ranks at 78.49, positioned at 113, not far from Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea,” mentioned Haedar at the 44th Anniversary and the 74th Commencement of Universitas Muhammadiyah Palembang on Thursday (15/6).
Thus, the nation’s elite, from the central government to local authorities, avoid the construction of physical marvels while substantial gaps remain.
“This necessitates the commitment of all stakeholders to expedite, invigorate, and introduce progressive breakthroughs in education, adopting strategic steps that remain deeply rooted in our constitution. This is how we can chart a prosperous future for Indonesia. The fundamental values of our national education encompass faith, piety, noble ethics, religious virtues, intelligence enhancement, and the cultivation of our national civilization, in accordance with Article 31 of the 1945 Constitution,” said Haedar.
Drawing on the 1945 Constitution ensures that education is not approached pragmatically or severed from our constitutional essence. Muhammadiyah, in line with this principle, remains steadfast in constructing an educational framework founded on Al-Islam Kemuhammadiyahan (Islamic and Muhammadiyah Teaching), inclusive nationalism, and the visionary ideals created by the nation’s founding fathers.
“We should design and establish an educational system that can compete internationally. It’s the spirit of progressive education,” said Haedar.