"For East Java, we have invited 300 santris for a selection, but only 68 passed. As originally planned, we will send 100 santris from East Java to Japan for apprenticeship," he said here on Tuesday night.
He made the remarks when opening entrepreneurship training for 225 santris at the building of the East Java provincial branch of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia`s largest Islamic organization.
Also present at the function were NU Chairman Said Aqil Siradj and Head of the East Java Provincial Manpower and Transmigration Office Harry Soegiri.
The minister said the entrepreneurship training and the dispatch of santris to Japan for apprenticeship were part of cooperation between the ministry and the NU executive board.
"This cooperation is a follow-up to cooperation between the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry and the NU executive board. So far, we have established such cooperation with West Java and Central Java and this time with East Java," he said.
"Once upon time I asked the management of Lirboyo Islamic boarding school. They said they had around 10 thousand santris and only 1000 of them were groomed as kiais (religious leaders). So about 9,000 of them would be employed in the public," he said. (*)