TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir believes that Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and sharia economy have great potential for boosting national economy.
Until the first quarter of 2021, Indonesia had a total of 31,385 Islamic boarding schools, with more than 4.29 million students, he said in the 12th Diplomat Success Challenge held online in Jakarta on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian sharia economy is ranked fourth in the world, with a Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) score of 91.2. The excellent sectors of the Indonesian sharia economy cover halal food, finance, tourism, Muslim fashion, cosmetics, media and amusement, he said.
The nation still can develop the great potential to make Islamic boarding schools more powerful and self-reliant economically. Moreover, they no longer serve merely as Islam-based educational institution but also entrepreneurship engine and economic center in their respective environment, he said.
“To that end, we all need to make efforts to improve the talent capacity of Islamic boarding schools in terms of management, finance, digitalization, infrastructure and market access so their graduates are ready to compete in the business world and career. Above all, they can build mutually strengthening network and ecosystem,” he said.
The endeavors will no doubt need support from and synergy with various parties, down from the government to the private sector, including various events that challenge Islamic boarding school graduates to develop their talents and continue to make innovations, he said.
Earlier, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin expressed the hope that cooperation between the Sharia Economic Community (MES) and State-Owned Companies (BUMN) could be expanded to cover Islamic boarding schools particularly in terms of developing the national economy..
He said 12,000 out of 28,914 Islamic boarding schools in the country have the potential to develop sharia economy. Therefore, the 12,000 Islamic boarding schools need mentorship, guidance and training courses to create the so-called santripreneurs, Islamic boarding school graduates who have the capability to run business.
The economic empowerment at Islamic boarding schools will benefit not only their students but also the people living near the Islamic boarding schools, he said.