Padang, W Java (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin joined a congregation of the Al Azhar Mosque at the Padang State University (UNP) campus to perform Friday prayers before attending the Association of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals' (ICMI's) meeting’s opening ceremony.

Security personnel secured the mosque complex area and helped direct the mosque-going crowd to the south entrance since the vice president and his entourage had entered the house of worship from the north gate.

According to Ali Wahyono, ICMI-West Java Chapter's executive board member, Vice President Amin attended the opening ceremony of ICMI's national meeting and the commemoration of the association’s 29th anniversary.

ICMI was founded in Malang, East Java Province, on Dec 7, 1990. The first chairman of this organization was B. J. Habibie who, during that time, was the research and technology minister.

Since its establishment, human resource development is one of the sectors that the ICMI really cares for. ICMI Chairman Jimly Asshiddiqie had also encouraged the government to focus on the development of human resources through education and culture.

Former Indonesian Vice President Kalla also drew attention to the significance of human resource development through the dissemination of good-quality education while receiving an honorary doctoral degree in quality assurance in education from UNP on Thursday.

Kalla believes good-quality education would become a key driving force to transform Indonesia into a well-developed nation if it were to be offered fairly and equally to Indonesians across the archipelago.

In the absence of good-quality education, Indonesia will be unable to produce well-trained, educated, and brilliant human resources that are, in fact, the driving force to make Indonesia a developed and highly competitive nation in the world, he expounded.

However, Indonesia, as the world's fourth most populous country, has yet to rank on the list of the world's most literate nations.

John W. Miller's study (CCSU, 2016) indicated that the top 10 most literate nations are Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Germany, Latvia, and the Netherlands.

The study of Miller, a noted researcher at the Central Connecticut State University, further revealed that Indonesia had ranked 60th out of the 61 countries, performing slightly better than Botswana though lagging far behind Singapore that stood 36th and Malaysia on the 53rd position.

His study synthesized "literacy achievement tests (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and Programme for International Student Assessment) and literate behavior characteristics (population, newspapers, libraries, years of schooling)" (2016).

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Translator: Laila S, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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