update desk

Israeli NGO finds hopeful signs in first report on Indonesian curriculum

Although Israel is described as a “colonizing country,” the indigenous status of Jews in their homeland is acknowledged.

MK Avi Dichter, now minister of agriculture, and then-MK Nira Shpak attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, March 21, 2022. Credit: Courtesy.
MK Avi Dichter, now minister of agriculture, and then-MK Nira Shpak attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, March 21, 2022. Credit: Courtesy.

A new report of the Indonesian school curriculum shows that it’s largely tolerant, promoting peace and coexistence, according to British-Israeli think tank IMPACT-se—The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

The study was conducted in collaboration with the Ruderman Family Foundation.

“This is extremely encouraging, given the size of Indonesia and its influence in Asia and beyond,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

“We believe that the balanced perspective on international relations already in the textbooks, which includes an impressive forbearance of its colonial occupiers, is a solid foundation to address the current, unsatisfactory narrative on Israel, and to advance ties between the two countries,” he added.

Jay Ruderman, a board member of IMPACT-se and president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, said, “Despite the report’s revelations when it comes to the Indonesian curriculum’s inclusion of Holocaust education only in Christian education and lack of factual information about Israeli history, the study provides a beacon of hope when it comes to the future possibility of relations between Indonesia and Israel.”

Among the report’s findings: Most references to Jews in Islamic Education textbooks are neutral or positive, jihadi terrorists are condemned, and textbooks praise local wisdom, celebrate cultural diversity and combat bias against religious, racial and ethnic minorities.

Although Israel is described as a “colonizing country,” the indigenous status of Jews in their homeland is acknowledged.

Textbooks offer a balanced perspective on international relations, including countries with which Indonesia has a sensitive relationship. Historical discussions on Japanese colonization in Indonesia reveal positive aspects of Japanese colonial rule, such as respect for Islam and its influence on the rise of Indonesian nationalism.

Similarly, criticism of the Dutch occupation also highlights admiration for the introduction of modern infrastructure.

The researchers looked at 169 textbooks taught in the Standard Public Track, schools run by the Indonesian Ministry of Education, which accounts for 85% percent of all students.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates