Contributor: Maroof Ahmed | Editor: Supriyono
On June 16, 2023, a momentous event unfolded as the second batch of MA students at the Faculty of Education (FoE) of the Universitas Islam Internasional Indonesia (UIII) embarked on an educational visit to Madania School.Madania School, located 20km away from the UIII campus in Bogor, West Java, was founded in 1996 by Prof. Dr. Nurcholish Madjid and co-founded by Prof. Dr. Komaruddin Hidayat, the Rector of UIII, and their colleague Dr. Achmad Fuadi, with the shared vision of creating an Indonesian institution for aspiring leaders.
The FoE students were accompanied by Prof. Nina Nurmila, Dean of FoE, Dr. Bambang Sumintono, Head of PhD in Education program, Dr. Tati D. Wardi, Head of MA in Education program, and the FoE faculty administrators Ms. Afra Fahira and Ms. Nurul Fatimah.
This excursion was a key part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FoE and Madania School, a pact designed to provide FoE students with valuable internship opportunities. As a component of their two-year MA in Education program, these internships aim to serve as an impactful step towards bridging academic knowledge and practical applications.
For the internships, the students can select an array of departments from Public Relations and School Development to Administration and Educational Services, gaining hands-on experience and skill-building opportunities.
Moreover, the internships are structured in two formats. First, an Independent Study internship lasting 10 to 20 working days, aimed at broadening students' knowledge related to their field of study. Secondly, a Field Practice program of 8 to 12 weeks, focusing on refining the students' working skills and experience. The program also offers accommodation facilities at the school residence for the FoE students.
The FoE students and the faculty members were warmly welcomed by the staff members of the Madania School, including Ms. Alfi Afifah, School Administrator, Ms. Titin Indri Yastuti, Curriculum Development and Quality Assurance Officer, Mr. Ahmad Gunawan, Secondary School Principal, and Ms. Susi Suciatiningsih, Deputy Head of Institutional Development.
The staff members then guided them to tour the school premises and facilities. The tour gave them a glimpse of how Madania School strives to create a conducive and holistic learning environment for its students.
Following the tour, the students and the faculty members attended a presentation session by the staff members, who explained the vision and mission, learner profile, education standards, school leadership and management, teaching and learning, curriculum, and school climate of Madania School. The session ended with a lively Q&A session, where the FoE students asked questions and shared their feedback.
Muhammad Fayyaz Mumtaz, a local student, voiced his enthusiasm for the opportunity, reflecting on the vibrant dynamism and diversity of Madania School.
"This school provides an overview of students from different backgrounds. Its tremendous facilities support their academic missions. I am looking forward to expanding my understanding of pluralism in educational practices. This inclusive environment is the ideal setting [for me] that needs further exploration," said Mumtaz.
Meanwhile, Mir Hussain Amiri, an international student from Afghanistan, considered the potential for growth in intercultural communication and pedagogical understanding.
"Through this internship, I hope to learn about educational policy, curriculum development, and classroom management strategies. This experience will be invaluable in preparing me for future professional endeavors that may encounter different cultures and backgrounds," said Amiri.
Lastly, Irkham Zamzuri, another local student, anticipated a deep dive into the operationalization of educational programs with a keen interest in curriculum development.
"I would like to learn how a private school develops and implements several different curriculums. It's important for my study as I plan to focus on this topic for my thesis. I hope to understand how to construct, apply, and adjust curriculums to meet the SDG's goals agenda," explained Zamzuri.
The innovative partnership between UIII’s FoE and Madania School provides a bridge between theory and practice. It allows students to delve into real-world scenarios, understanding various facets of education management. This unique collaboration could potentially shape a new way of preparing future educators, grounding them firmly in practical knowledge while enhancing their academic journey.