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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2002 > September
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 23, 2002


State Department Funded Training for Indonesian Islamic Schools

HISTORY:  U.S. funds have supported the growth of civil society organizations, including faith-based civil society institutions with the Indonesian Muslim community, and Muslim education for 25 years. U.S. agencies have worked with all elements of Indonesia’s broad-based educational system to help strengthen community participation in educational leadership and management. The United States Agency for International Development has provided technical assistance to pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) for some time, as visible and central institutions for Indonesian communities.

FUNDING:  The training program for pesantren heads is funded by the Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. The first phase of the project -- the September 2002 U.S. training segment -- will cost approximately $325,000. The second and third phases will fund in-country projects and follow-up workshops.

GRANTEE PARTNERS:  The pesantren program is implemented through a grant to the Institute for Training and Development, based in Amherst, Massachusetts. Since 1985 the Institute has conducted training programs, institutes, and exchanges for over 2,500 persons from 60 countries. The Institute for Training and Development’s Indonesian partner is the Institute for Social Transformation (INSIST), a non-governmental organization established in 1995 with a core emphasis of strengthening the management and organization of Indonesian civil society non-governmental organizations. Significant projects since 1995 include development of human rights education, conflict resolution methods, and community organization training.

ABOUT PESANTRENPesantren are Islamic boarding schools, with a curriculum emphasizing religious teachings. The leadership of a pesantren lies in the hands of the ‘kyai’ (religious teacher). Most of these religious teachers practice a form of Islam indigenous to Indonesia that is tolerant of other religions. Though most are not fundamentalist, many pesantren are characterized by authoritarian control and limited exposure to outside ideas.

There are about 5,000 pesantren in Indonesia, 30 of which are nationally recognized and draw students from all over the country. The schools are mostly located in the regions of East Java and Central Java.


Released on September 23, 2002

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