Jakarta (ANTARA) - State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir has called on SOEs to improve the quality of education in Islamic boarding schools to realize progress in civilization and the Indonesian economy.

"We want Muslims to be able to maintain the foundation of our country," Thohir noted in a statement received here, Saturday.

Thohir remarked that Islamic boarding schools were important for the national economy due to which he encouraged SOEs to support the development of Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia.

Earlier, the government had launched a collaboration program for SOEs' Social and Environmental Responsibility (TJSL) in East Java. The activity, which took place at the Qomaruddin Islamic Boarding School, Gresik District, East Java, on June 10, featured an applied business program or vocational program of PesantrenPreneur for 26 Islamic boarding schools in East Java and assistance for the Madura community, involving 42 SOEs.

The program, initiated by the SOEs Ministry, was started by the 2022 PesantrenPreneur Training of Trainer (ToT) activity that was attended by 78 teachers.

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ToT is a training activity for teachers to improve their quality in hard skills as a provision of knowledge and experience to be delivered to students in Islamic boarding schools. The materials encompass technology and engineering, technology and information, health, agribusiness, fisheries, agrotechnology, business and management as well as make-up and culinary arts.

"I want to build the independence of Islamic boarding schools and improve the students' skills to harbor an entrepreneurial spirit, (to be) aware of business opportunities, to use networks to collaborate, and to apply digital-based technology," Thohir stated.

Furthermore, the minister expressed optimism that the program would drive growth of the domestic halal industry, considering the fact that Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.

In addition to training, three SOEs -- Semen Indonesia, PLN, and Pelindo -- representing 31 SOEs signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Faculty of Economics and Business, Airlangga University, Surabaya, East Java.

The agreement includes assistance in implementing applied business education from SOEs and Airlangga University for Islamic boarding schools in East Java for a year.

Meanwhile, 21 other SOEs provide assistance for communities on Madura Island, especially in Sampang District. The assistance aims to improve the people's living standards in the form of clean water facilities, renovation of docks, mangrove rehabilitation, and the development of 15 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and village-owned enterprises (BUMDesa).
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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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