Amidst the globalized situation which poses challenges of which one is a possible threat to identity, yet provides ample opportunities to excel for those who possess the prerequisites, we need to equip our children as the continuing generation with necessary competencies—affective, cognitive, psychomotor and interactive. In other words, we need to help them grow and develop into total persons and this can be achieved through the whole-child development approach which ensures the development of all potentials. In addition to this is the need for developing some competence which enables the children to communicate globally. All of this will ensure that the children will develop their citizenships both at the national and global levels. How can this ideal development be realized?
If you want to find out about how efforts are made to develop children’s whole potentials, you can come to SD Islam Al Azhar 55 Yogyakarta. Here you can see how the four-year old school has grown fast due to the stakeholders’ trust to send their children to study here. With only 54 children in the first year, this school now has 185 students. These students are educated to respect and preserve the social-cultural environment by learning the local language (Javanese, including the script) and arts (dance). Simultaneously, they certainly learn the national language (Bahasa Indonesia) and national content, which is unquestionable since it is compulsory, and English, which has now become a global lingua franca; thus, a prerequisite for successful global communication. More importantly, children in this school also learn to practise their religion consistently. So, in this school children’s identity is rooted in the local culture, with nationalism and global awareness being inherently developed together with reliogiosity.
Does the whole-child development approach at SD Islam Al Azhar still give room for children to excel? In my belief, when all their potentials are developed, children will have a greater chance to excel and I can see the truth in my belief in this primary school. In the last two years, the students have made great achievements in various competitions held at the local and national levels–gold medals in English, math and science competitions (national), silver and bronze medals in IT competitions (national), silver and bronze medals at colouring and swimming competitions (local) to mention some.
In conclusion, SD Islam Al Azhar has given evidence of the right efforts of true education to develop both intelligence and character.