Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chief of the Presidential Staff (KSP) Moeldoko has said that the government is paying serious attention to the development of Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and the welfare of ulema and religious teachers.

At the 5th National Working Meeting of the Nahdlatul Ulama Teachers Association (Pergunu) in Majalengka, West Java, on Saturday, he observed that the government has continued to improve the quality of national human resources.

He said that the government is committed to improving the welfare of ulema and religious teachers who have an important role in shaping the nation's character.

The government, Moeldoko said, is offering scholarships for ustad, pesantren teachers, and also ulema cadres.

"The government provides master's and doctoral level scholarships for ulemas managed by the Istiqlal Mosque Management Agency (BPMI)," he noted.

The scholarship scheme is being offered in collaboration with the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, and the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), he added.

He said the Religious Affairs Ministry has made a road map for the independence of pesantrens so that they have strong and sustainable economic resources.

The implementation of Law No.18/2019 concerning Pesantren has been bolstered to strengthen human resources, he added.

The government has prepared a budget of Rp250 billion (US$16.7 million), sourced from the Islamic Boarding School Endowment Fund, to support programs aimed at strengthening and improving human resources.

Moeldoko promised that KSP will continue to oversee and guarantee the disbursement of teacher allowances at the Raudhatul Athfal (Islamic early childhood school) and Madrasah (school) levels.

Furthermore, he said that Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), one of the biggest Islamic organizations in the country, not only has power in terms of religious affairs but also in driving the economy and society.

He added that he considers NU not only as the government’s partner in development, but also as a critical partner that is helping ensure that government policies are on target.

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Translator: Indra P, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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