"Let us ignite it and make the Santri Day commemoration a momentum for us to continue to intensify and inflame the spirit of building a better Indonesia, especially during this pandemic," Effendy remarked while giving a speech at the virtual Santri Day commemoration, accessed from Jakarta on Tuesday.
At present, santri and Islamic boarding schools can play a vital role in maintaining unity in the midst of differences, the minister said.
Santri are also urged to become agents of religious moderation in the community in order to dispel all ideological threats that can undermine unity, he added.
He said the roles of santri and Islamic boarding schools are also equal and they are no longer accorded different treatment since the enactment of Law Number 18 of 2021 concerning Islamic Boarding Schools, which regulates the implementation of the education function, the function of preaching, and the function of community empowerment.
Related news: Govt allotted Rp2.6 trillion for pesantren economic recovery program
In addition, the ratification of Presidential Regulation No. 82/2021 has emphasized the importance of Islamic boarding schools in human development through improving the quality of education, Effendy said.
"This means that Islamic boarding schools and santri are already in the mainstream of our national education system. And this is an invaluable recognition for the benefit of all of us to build Indonesia in the future with a blessing for all creations," he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Commission VIII of the Indonesian House of Representatives Yandri Susanto said that around five million students of Islamic boarding schools served as the capital in developing the country, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the students must be invited to assist in all government programs for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Students of Islamic boarding schools are called to participate in the success, to join together to face the pandemic, which is really having an extraordinary contraction on our lives," he remarked.
Related news: santris encouraged to become entrepreneurs