Immersion to Brisbane to Broaden Minds | Al-Azhar 55 Primary Islamic School


Immersion to Brisbane to Broaden Minds

Tuesday March 14th 2023

Nothing to say but “alhamdulillah” that finally, Al Azhar 55 could make one of its biggest dreams true this year, i.e. carrying out an immersion program. The long-awaited program was dedicated to grades 5-6 students, for them to learn about different perspectives by putting themselves in the shoe of their counterparts in another country.

After some considerations, Brisbane, Australia, was picked to be the destination. It is in an English speaking country, it has developed education system, and it is not so far away from Indonesia. It was also quite a good luck for us that despite the planned “field trip” by the co-working travel agent, we had a chance to add a place to visit due to one of the teachers’ acquaintance. It was Mayfield State School. Thus, students had a chance to visit two schools, i.e. Mayfield State School and Australian International Islamic College (AIIC). 

In both Mayfield State School and AIIC, students and the accompanying teachers “attended” the activities e.g. learning in the classroom, playing in the break time, and eating snacks from the schools’ canteen. They could even have Jumuah prayer together at the AIIC. Aside from that, at Mayfield, they were given an opportunity to perform Javanese traditional games such as “Cublak-Cublak Suweng”. Even Ms. Vita, one of the accompanying teachers, explained that Mayfield students looked very interested in the games that it made her touched. She added that our students learned so much about respect and appreciation from them.

Aside from the schools, they also visited two universities, i.e. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and The University of Queensland (UQ). There they met some Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia members and had some discussion on how to be part of the universities and toured around the campuses. Sitting in a lecture room in each university, they felt the vibes of university life. Even better, when they were at QUT, they watched the history of technology development and simulation of chemical reactions. Such a scientific expereience, wasn’t it?  

Last but not least, other than visiting education institutions and getting involved in some activities, the participants had a tour of public places such as Goald Coast Beach, Movie World-Wonder Bross, Mt. Coot-tha Summit Lookout, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Museum of Brisbane, and Queensland Street Mall. One of the highlights when touring these places was that at lunch time, they once had an opportunity to buy some stuff themselves using the Australian Dollars. It was truly an irreplaceable experience to interact with locals using English in an English-speaking community. Reality, they could “survive” with the skills they have instilled in themselves.

All and all, this immersion has been one of the significantly contributing aspects to the cultivation of students and teachers’ open-mindidness and global-mindedness. Although only 21 students and 2 teachers took part, the program gave them invaluable experience which is hoped to broaden their minds. Then, sharing it with the other school members is hoped to “ripple” the impact on them. 


Prof. Dra. Hj. Suwarsih Madya, M.A., Ph.D.


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.

Prof. DR. Budi S. Daryono, M.Agr. Sc.

Testimoni Sebagai Orang tua menyekolahkan anak Di Al-Azhar 55

Sudah menjadi kewajiban bagi orang tua untuk memberikan pendidikan yang terbaik bagi putra putrinya. Tantangan untuk mendidik anak di Era Global dan Digital pun semakin besar, kita tidak bisa lagi membendung segala perubahan yang begitu cepat terjadi, dan harus mempersiapkan anak-anak supaya bisa survive dan sholeh/sholehah tentunya. Saat ini dunia bagaikan kampung, dimana tidak ada batas-batas untuk melakukan transaksi kehidupan, untuk itu anak harus bisa berkomunikasi dengan bahasa universal sebagai modal utama. Disamping itu, pendidikah Ahlak dan Aqidah harus diberikan secara dini sebagai dasar anak dalam menghadapi gejolak gelombang kehidupan. Atas pertimbangan tersebutlah, kami selaku orang tua memilih untuk menyekolahkan putra kami tercinta Hikari di Sekolah Islam, yang menggunakan dua bahasa pengantar, yaitu Al-Azhar 55.

Prof. DR. Budi S.Daryono, M.Agr. Sc.

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