International Collaboration between FSSH and the Sultanate of Bintan and Development of ‘Pesantren’ and Tahfiz Centre

June 30, 2022

By  Jamilah Ahmad & Shahrin Hashim

JOHOR BAHRU, 16 June 2022 – A ‘pesantren’ and a tahfiz centre have been developed as a result of the international collaboration established between the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and the Sultanate of Bintan, Riau Islands, Indonesia. This collaboration was accomplished by two lecturers from the School of Education, FSSH, Associate Professor Dr Jamilah Ahmad and Mr Shahrin Hashim with the Bintan Sultanate and the Riau Islands community.

This collaboration begins with the sharing and transfer of ideas on effective leadership in leading a multi-racial and multi-religious community. Appropriate leadership concepts and styles to be applied in governing a community are very important in the development and unification of communities with diverse backgrounds. The focus must also be on the children of today who will lead in the future. According to Jamilah Ahmad, “Nothing is more valuable when knowledge is mixed well and used to disseminate, it will definitely succeed to produce something useful. Good cooperation and consistent efforts from the leaders of the Bintan Sultanate and the community also made all these ideas come true.”

The starting phase of idea-sharing to collaboration involved a long process. Various challenges and improvements were made to successfully create these two centres, Pondok Pesantren Baiturrahman, Sungai Jang, Tanjung Pinang and Tahfiz Centre Sungai Ungar Kundur, Karimun, Riau Islands. Both of these centres have been established especially for the children of the Riau Islands who have been selected to memorize the Al-Quran, seek knowledge and carry out various religious activities. To date, a total of 102 children of the Riau Islands, aged between 6-16 years, have been accepted to join these pesantren and tahfiz centres. A total of 12 Ustaz have been appointed to manage, administer and educate the children in these centres. Now all parties involved continue to be proactive in implementing various activities that contribute to the well-being of the children of Pondok Pesantren Baiturrahman, and Tahfiz  Centre, Sungai Ungar Kundur in Riau Islands, Indonesia.

According to Shahrin, “FSSH students had proposed and developed an integrated tahfiz learning module that includes the elements of life skills and economics in the learning module. It is time for the proposal to be realized through Community Based Learning by the students who will be sent to Bintan for that purpose. FSSH is a leader in this community-based learning which is included in the concept of  Future Ready Educators.”