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The Main Role of Education in Countering Radicalism and Building Tolerance

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Radicalism has become one of the biggest challenges faced by Indonesian society today. This phenomenon is not only limited to Indonesia, but has also attracted international attention. Radicalism can be defined as extreme attitudes or views, which often lead to acts of violence or terrorism. In facing this problem, education has a very important role in preventing radicalism and building tolerance in society.

Education has a central role in countering radicalism and building tolerance in society. Through education, individuals can be given a correct understanding of democratic values, human rights and pluralism. Education can also help raise awareness of the importance of cultural and religious diversity, and promote respect for differences.

Education not only plays a role in providing knowledge, but also in shaping individual attitudes and character. In this context, education can help develop critical, tolerant and inclusive attitudes. With quality education, individuals can learn to respect differences and uphold the values ​​of justice, equality and peace.

Chancellor of the University of Surabaya, Dr. Ir. Benny Lianto, MMBAT said that what needs to be avoided in the world of education is intolerance, bullying, sexual violence and radicalism. Therefore, efforts to prevent radicalism through education must be instilled from an early age. For example, character education which teaches the values ​​of kindness, honesty, cooperation and empathy. Children need to be given a correct understanding of religious and cultural diversity, so that they can grow into individuals who respect differences.

Apart from that, education must also provide a deep understanding of Indonesian history, politics and social culture. With a good understanding of the nation’s history, individuals can appreciate the struggle of heroes in fighting for independence and a peaceful life. Education must also teach about gender equality, human rights and peaceful conflict resolution.

Director of Prevention at the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Brigadier General Pol. R. Ahmad Nurwakhid stated that all elements of education, especially students, should be wary of radical groups who seek to pit one another against one another and divide the nation as well as increase attitudes of religious tolerance. The government has a very important role in building tolerance through education. The government must ensure that there is a curriculum that includes a correct understanding of the nation’s religion, culture and history. The education provided must be based on the values ​​of justice, equality and peace.

Apart from that, the government must also strengthen the role of educational institutions in teaching the values ​​of tolerance. Educators must be trained to become agents of change who can inspire and guide students in developing tolerant attitudes and character. The government must also provide sufficient support and resources for educational institutions to implement educational programs aimed at building tolerance.

Director General of Islamic Education, Ministry of Religion (Dirjen Pendis Kemenag) Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali Ramdhani said that religious education has a very important role in efforts to maintain the unity and integrity of the Indonesian nation. To build tolerance through education, various efforts need to be made. First, education must be accessible to all levels of society. The government must ensure that quality education is available evenly throughout Indonesia. Scholarship programs and educational assistance must be provided to underprivileged families, so that all individuals have the same opportunity to get a quality education.

Second, education should focus on developing social and emotional skills. Individuals need to be trained to communicate well, empathize and work together with others. Education must also help individuals to develop critical thinking skills, so that they can understand information well and are not easily influenced by radical propaganda.

Fighting radicalism and building tolerance is a complex task and requires cooperation from various parties. Education has a very important role in overcoming this problem. Through education, individuals can be given a correct understanding of democratic values, human rights and pluralism. Education can also help raise awareness of the importance of cultural and religious diversity, and promote respect for differences.

With quality education, individuals can learn to respect differences and uphold the values ​​of justice, equality and peace. Therefore, the government and society must work together to strengthen the role of education in countering radicalism and building tolerance in Indonesia.

Through a holistic and sustainable approach, education can be an effective tool for developing a deeper understanding of the values ​​of tolerance, diversity and peace. In addition, community involvement in building networks, promoting interfaith and cultural dialogue, and empowering individuals to understand differences and resolve conflicts peacefully are also key steps in fighting radicalism. With cooperation between the government, educational institutions and civil society, joint efforts can be made to reduce the influence of radicalism and build a more inclusive and harmonious society.

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