"We have just held a meeting with the president. The coordinating minister for human development, minister of culture and education, minister of state secretariat, and cabinet secretary have also gathered for a follow-up discussion on the draft regulation on character building," Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin noted after the closed-door meeting.
In line with Nawacita, he highlighted the importance of strengthening education for shaping the nations character, which includes the values of integrity, religious beliefs, nationalism, independence, and mutual cooperation, to be brought forward.
"This is what will be increasingly promoted among all our students in schools and madrassas. The point is to strengthen education for building their character," he emphasized.
He further explained that the presidential regulation will replace the earlier Regulation Number 23 of 2017 issued by the culture and education minister.
He said the discussion on the draft of the regulation will involve all stakeholders, including religious organizations, which manage several educational institutions in the country, such as boarding schools, madrasah diniyah, and other educational institutions.
When it comes to the ideal number of hours allocated for character building in schools, he said the technicalities for it will be formulated together.
He revealed that the Ministry of Culture and Education had prepared the draft, which will then serve as the basis for the next discussion meeting in order to create a comprehensive regulation that is ready to be issued.
With regard to the implementation of the regulation, he said they are making efforts to apply it immediately.
"To this end, the president has appointed the coordinating minister for human development to be in charge of this activity, as she is in the leading sector," he explained.
The minister asserted that during the discussion on the draft of the regulation, the government will invite as many stakeholders as possible in order to listen to their aspirations and ensure that they can be accommodated and embodied in the draft.
Meanwhile, speaking in connection with the proposal for holding full-day school, he said the term was not part of the discussion on the draft.
He expressed belief that the government has always focused on promoting character building, and it is hoped that flexibility would be applied in its implementation.(*)