Pesantren Educational System and Social Transformation

1.1 Background

Since colonial times, Pesantren and Madrasah Diniyah an educational institution that grow and thrive in the midst of society. Existence of these two institutions have long received public recognition. Both are involved in the effort to make the life of the nation, and not only in terms of morale, but has also participated as well as providing a significant contribution in providing education. Religious institutions can be shaped education track or path outside of school education.
As an educational institution that has long been developing in Indonesia, in addition to the Pesantrenhas managed to nurture and develop the religious life in Indonesia, also had a role in instilling a sense of nationhood into the soul of the people of Indonesia, as well as actively participate in efforts to educate the nation..
In terms of historical, Pesantrenis the oldest form of indigenous educational institutions in Indonesia. Pesantrenhas been known long before Indonesia became independent, bahakan since Islam arrived in Indonesia continues to grow and develop in line with the development of education in general.

1.2 Problem formulation
1. What is pesantren?
2. How does the history of the founding of pesantren?
3. What are the elements of pesantren?
4. What are the typology of pesantren?
5. How learning methods in pesantren?
6. How the transformation of pesantren in the modern era?

1.3 Purpose
1. Knowing what is meant by pesantren
2. Knowing the history of the founding of pesantren
3. Knowing the elements of pesantren
4. Knowing the typology of pesantren
5. Knowing the methods of learning in pesantren
6. Knowing the transformation of pesantren in the modern era


2.1 Definition of Pesantren

Before the 60's, educational centers pesantren in Java and Madura, better known by the name of the cottage. The term probably originated from the notion cottage dormitories, the students called a lodge or shelter made of bamboo, or perhaps derived from the Arabic word "funduq" which means a hotel or hostel. Pesantren in the course of its history has been the object of Western scholars who studied Islam. Pesantren derived from the word "students" who got pe prefix and suffix's, meaning the abode of the students. Professor Johns argues that the term comes from the Tamil language students, which means the teacher of the Koran, while CC Berg argues that the term is derived from the term that Shastri in India means a person who knows the sacred books of Hinduism, or a scholar of Hindu scriptures expert. Shastri word comes from the word shastra which means holy books, religious books or books about science.
Viewing from the function and usefulness of Islamic boarding schools as an educational institution that has a distinctive characteristic, then in other areas (outside Java) living Islamic institutions that have the same functionality and benefits with different names, for example meunasah in Aceh, surau in Sumatra, rangkang in Borneo. In fact, according to other experts known as the shrine where the bangunannyaterpencil from the crowd and circular learning system that is now known as bandongan.
In the Indonesian dictionary is defined as a Pesantrendormitory where students or where students learn the Koran. While in terms of Islamic boarding schools are educational institutions where the students used to live in the cottage (dormitory) with teaching material of classical books and general books aim to master the details of Islamic religious knowledge and practice as guidelines for daily living by emphasizing the importance of moral in the life community.
Pesantren is a religious institution which has its own peculiarities and different from other educational institutions. Education in Islamic boarding schools include education, preaching, community development and other similar education. Learners in schools are generally referred to students living in boarding schools. The place where the students lived in Pesantrenenvironments, referred to as cottages. From this, it called by Islamic Boarding Schools.

2.2 History of Establishment of Pesantren

Tracing the growth and development of institutions of Islamic education in Indonesia, including the early establishment of boarding schools and madrasas diniyah, not apart relation to the history of Islam in Indonesia. Islamic education in Indonesia began when the people who converted to Islam would like to know more content embraced the new religion, either on procedures for worship, reading the Qur'an, and Islamic knowledge is wider and deeper. They are learning at home, mosque, broken, or mosque. In places these people who are new to Islam and their children learn to read the Koran and other religious sciences, individually and directly.
New Pesantrenin Indonesia known existence and its development after the 16th century. The works of such classical Javanese Cabolek fibers and fiber found Centini reveals institutions that teach a variety of books in the field of classical Islamic jurisprudence, Sufism, and became centers of Islamic broadcasting, namely Islamic boarding schools.
History of education in Indonesia censure, that the Pesantrenis the oldest form of indigenous educational institutions in Indonesia. There are two opinions regarding the initial establishment of boarding schools in Indonesia. The first opinion stated that the Pesantrenrooted in the tradition of Islam itself and the second opinion said that the education system of the Pesantrenmodel is native to Indonesia.
Since the beginning of its growth, the main purpose of the Pesantrenis 1. Preparing students explore and master the science of the Islamic religion, or better known as tafaqquh fid-din, which is expected to print a cadre of scholars and also educating the people of Indonesia, followed by task 2. Da’wah spread about Islam and 3. Bastion of the people in the field of morals. Due to the times and demands, the Pesantrenpurposes was increased due to a significant role, the purpose of it is 4. Work to improve community development in various sectors of life.
With the system that called pesantren, the internalization process of Islamic teachings to students can walk in full. In boarding schools, with the leadership and exemplary clerics and religious teacher seta typical management will create a distinctive community, in which there are all aspects of life such as economics, culture, and organizational.

2.3 The Elements of Pesantren

2.3.1 Boarding

Brief definition of the term “boarding” is a simple place that is home to clerics with the santrinya. In Java, the magnitude depending on the number santrinya cottage. The existence of a very small cottage by the number of students is less than one hundred to lodge that has a vast land with a number of more than three thousand students. Regardless of how many students, boarding students are always separated women with male boarding students.
The complex has a Pesantrenbuildings other than dormitories house students and clerics, religious teachers also include housing, building Islamic schools, sports fields, canteen, cooperative, farm land pertenakan. Sometimes cottage building itself was founded by clerics and occasionally by villagers who work together to collect the funds needed.
One cottage intentions other than those intended as a dormitory where the students are as a training ground for students to develop their independence skills to prepare them to live independently in the community after graduating from boarding school. Students must own cooking, washing his own clothes and were given tasks such as maintaining the cabin environment.

Boarding system is a hallmark of the pesantren tradition that distinguishes pesantren education system with a system of Islamic education such as the education system in Minangkabau region called the mosque or systems used in Afghanistan.

2.3.2 Mosque

The mosque is an element that can not be separated by boarding and regarded as a most appropriate place to educate the students, especially in the practice of praying five times, sermons, and the Friday prayer, and teaching classical Islamic books. Status of the mosque as a center of education in the pesantren tradition universalism is a manifestation of the traditional Islamic educational system.
Connexion of Islamic education and mosque very close and tight in the Islamic tradition around the world. In the past, the Muslims always use the mosque for the worship and also as a place of Islamic educational institutions. As a center of spiritual life, social and political, and educational Islam, the mosque is an aspect of everyday life are very important for the community. Usually the first founded by a religious scholars who wish to develop a Pesantrenis the mosque. The mosque is located near or in the back of the house kyai.

2.3.3 Teaching Using Classical Islamic Books

The books authored classical Islamic scholars earlier and includes lessons on the various sciences of Islamic religion and Arabic. In the boarding schools, classical Islamic books often referred to the book because of the color yellow paper editions of the book mostly yellow.
According to Dhofier (1985:50), “in the past, teaching classical Islamic books are the only formal instruction given in the Pesantrenenvironment. "At this time, most schools have taken the teaching of general knowledge as an important part also in the Pesantreneducation, but teaching the books of Islamic classic still given high importance. In general, the lesson begins with books that are simple, then proceed with the books and deeper levels of a Pesantrencan be known from the type of books that are taught.(Hasbullah, 1999:144).
There are eight kinds of knowledge taught in the classical Islamic books, including: 1. Nahwu and sharaf (morphology); 2. fiqh; 3. proposal fiqh; 4. Hadith; 5. interpretation; 6. monotheism; 7. tasawwuf and ethics; and 8. other branches such as the chronicle and Balaghah. All types of books can be classified into groups according to level of teaching, for example: elementary, intermediate and advanced. The Book is taught in schools in Java in general same. (Dhofier 1985:51).

2.3.4 Santri (Student)

Students are important elements in a boarding institution, because the first step in the stages of building a Pesantrenis that there must be a student who came to learn from an alim. If the student has lived in the house of a pious, learned that the new one can be called religious scholars and began to build a more complete facilities for boarding.
There two kinds of students :
1. Kalong Student
Is the students who did not settle in a hut but went home after the completion of each follow a lesson in boarding. Students bats usually come from areas around schools so do not mind if often go home.
A students went and settled in a Pesantrenfor various reasons :
a. He wanted to study any other book that discusses in more depth Islam under the guidance of clerics who led the pesantren.
b. He wanted to gain experience of Pesantrenlife, both in teaching, organization and relationship with the famous pesantren.
c. He wants to concentrate his studies at the seminary without preoccupied with day-to-day duties at the family home. In addition, by staying in a Pesantrenthat are very far from his own house, he does not easily go back though sometimes he want.
2. Mukim Student
He is the son or daughter who lived in Pesantrenand usually come from distant regions. In the past, the opportunity to go and settle in a distant Pesantrenis a privilege for the students because he had full ideals, have courage enough and ready to face its own challenges that will be experienced in the boarding. (Dhofier, 1985:52).

2.3.5 Kyai

Kyai important role in the establishment, growth, development and maintenance of a Pesantrenmeans he is the most essential element. As leaders of pesantren, pesantren lot of character and success depend on the expertise and depth of knowledge, and charismatic authority, and skill kyai. In this context, personal religious scholars is crucial because he is the central figure in a boarding.
The term kiai is not derived from the Arabic, but from the Java language (Ziemek, 1986:130). In the Java language, the words of clerics used for three different types of degrees, namely:
1. As the title of honor for the goods that are considered sacred; for example, "Kyai Golden Garuda" is used to specify a train of gold that is in Kraton Yogyakarta;
2. Honors for older people in general;
3. Title given by the society to the scholar of Islam who have become leaders or boarding schools and teaching classical Islamic books to the santri.

2.4 The Typology of Pesantren

Along with the rate of development of the community then either place a Pesantreneducation until the substance has been much changed. Pesantren is no longer as simple as what a person described but the boarding schools might be changed in accordance with the growth and development of the times.
According to Yacob cited by Khozin say that there is some division of Pesantrenand typology :
• Salafi Pesantren is a Pesantrenwhile maintaining a lesson with classic books and without any public knowledge. Pengajarannyapun as a common model applied in salaf pesantren is with methods weton and sorogan.
• Khalafi Pesantren is schools that implement classical teaching system (Madrasi) provide general knowledge and science of religion as well as providing vocational education.
• Short term Pesantren is which form a kind of Pesantrentraining in a relatively short time and usually held on school holidays. It focuses on the Islamic School ibdah and leadership skills. While the students consists of students who follow religious activities deemed necessary dipesantren lightning.
• Integrated Pesantren is boarding a greater emphasis on vocational education as vocasional or training centers in the Department of Labor with an integrated program. While the majority of students come from the children drop out of school or job seekers. (2006:101).
Meanwhile, according to Masoud et al there are several typologies or models Pesantrenthat is:
• Pesantren that maintains the purity of the original identity as a place of religious sciences menalami (tafaqquh fi-i-din) for the santrinya. All the material taught in these schools are religious are all derived from the Arabic-language books (yellow book) written by the scholars' medieval. Pesantren model is still much we have encountered up to now as Lirboyo pesantren in East Java Kediri elapsed schools in central Java Apex Nest District and others.
• boarding which include common materials in the teaching curriculum, but with organized themselves according to their needs and do not follow the curriculum set by national governments so that diplomas issued not get recognition from the government as a formal diploma.
• conducting public education Pesantrenin good shape madrassas (Islamic schools distinctively in the shade DEPAG) and schools (public schools under DEPDIKNAS) in various levels even up to a higher education include not only the religious faculties meliankan also general faculties. Pesantren Tebu Ireng in Jombang East Java example adl.
• Pesantren which is a Muslim student dormitory where the students learn in schools or colleges outside it. Religious education in schools of this model is given outside school hours so that it can be followed by all santrinya. It is estimated that this is the largest Pesantren model number. (2002:149-150).

2.5 Learning Method in Pesantren

Here are some traditional teaching methods that characterize learning in the main cabin salafiyah.
a. Sorogan Method
This method is originally from javanese language “sorog” that means inform/publish. Students inform/publish theirs book/kitab to their teacher (kyai, ustad,etc). This system is included as individual learning system. Where students facing their teachers and interract each other to giving information about their studies. This method is very common and very effective for pesantren and always used in several pesantren in Indonesia.

b. Wetonan/Bandongan Method
This method is originally from javanese language “weton” that means “time”. This method explained that study in pesantren is determined in particular time. Usually, in several pesantren study settled before or after praying. this method conducted by teacher to explain to his student and his students listen to his explaination about their studies in book that read by teacher.

c. Musyawarah Method
Musyawarah is the method that almost same with discussion method. Students make their own group and then discuss about their studies. And then, after they discuss they presented their thought that concluded after the discussion. And the teacher give addition to make the problem of studies clear.
This method also used in order to solve problems of islamic studies like fiqh, tauhid, etc.

d. Recitation Method
Recitation method means that students attend to some recitation in other pesantrens to make relation between students and another pesantren. They travel to one pesantren to another in order to develop their studies about different method of another pesantren, because each pesantren have their own method.

e. Memorize Method
Memorize method is the activity of student in pesantren to memoryze their studies under the guidance from teachers. This method is effective in recitaion about Holy Qur’an, Nahwu, Lughoh (Language), Shorof, etc.

f. Demonstration Method
This method means that teacher give demonstration about worshipping activities. This method usually used in pesantren on fisrt grade or lower grade. Teacher demonstrate how to pray, recite qur’an and hadith, and another worshipping activities.

2.6 Pesantren Transformation in Modern Era

a. Educational Transformation of Pesantren
Almost of Islamic Education Institutions are aiming and focusing on Islamic teaching and or religious texts. Because, pesantren has signature of ‘the originality of Indonesian educational institution’. Abdurrahman Wahid argues that pesantren are categorized as a sub-culture. Because in fact, pesantren has own cultural characteristics such as cultural discourse about educational values, leadership style, and pesantren values which are considered different from the outsider’s perspective.
In this Era, obviously gives challenge and obstacle to educational outcomes and many of competitive people, while at the same time pesantren as educational institutions still need to be able to keep their tradition and originality as a provider of Islamic teaching.

b. Cultural Transformation of Pesantren
In this modern Era, the cultural educational values of pesantren are varied. And this educational values are not only take prior from Islamic studies just like Fiqh and Tafsir supervised by Kyai but are also dominated by general/secular knowledge subjects like technology, and mathematics.
Implementation of National curriculum in traditional religious schools inside of pesantren leads the management of pesantren to recruiting new teachers and staffs that has background are not necessarily in Islamic studies. And because of that, transfer of authority in Pesantren from old Kyai to younger Kyai produces a new dynamics in Pesantren Culture.
Most Pesantren in this globalization era are using a new systems and technologies to improve the education in that pesantren. Such as, now in pesantren has a school laboratories to do experiment and observation for scientific science. And using of modern communication to connect between the office and dorms in Pesantren. But, pesantren still keep their own tradition and their method of teaching. The dedication from santri to Kyai still high and they are respecting to Kyai. These factors are the new hybrid system that made pesantren in this era still exist and still develop bigger and bigger. Because they combine and using a new systems to keep their tradition. That’s a good point.

c. Social Transformation
Beside Pesantren have basic character above, pesantren also plural character, heterogeneous. Pluralism of pesantren, they showed by there is no everything regulation, well contain about managerial, administration, bureaucracy, structure, culture, curriculum especially politic that explain pesantren become just one.
Regulation come from religious understanding that personificated by some Yellow Book. Because of pluralism level and strong independent, felt so difficult to give conceptual formula that definitive about pesantren.


1. The Suitable Learning Method that could be used by pesantren in this era

If we talk about suitable method that could be used in this era, we just combine and integrate the old and valuable method with new method of teaching in this era. Suitable method sometimes is using the discussion method because discussion method is a way to prepare, to train the student (santri) to discuss, to make a group or we could call it by small-size society that contained by some students that thinking together, solve problem together, and use discussion to get the best and the most valuable decision from it. And then the second method that important and could be used too is the recitation method. Students go to another pesantren or another educational education, whether Islamic institution or secular institution of education. They learn something from that, students could compare some of studies that used in another institution and also they could integrate it by their own studies. So, some of learning method of pesantren, that two methods are the suitable method that could be used by pesantren in this era and could be integrated by the new technology, new education method, and new curriculum.

2. Salafi pesantren that used the improvization and being Khalafi pesantren

In this era, there are some salafi pesantren that still exist and still survive. In order to develop and make survival of that pesantren, it uses integration, between old method and new method. According to Dr. Hussein Aziz, an alumna and senior Ustadz at Pesantren sidogiri, who also Has a modern educational background: it is common knowledge that pesantren usually refers to the principle of al muhafadat ala qadim al shohih wa al akhdu bi al jaded al aslah (maintaining the old values that are good and still relevant and adapting the newer one that are better). So, some salafi pesantren integrate with the new technology, new method, and new social approach to make a bigger development and make an improvisation in order to keep and maintain the pesantren itself, it happened because the modernization already affecting some society and environment around that pesantren itself. So the pesantren must develop and adapting the social-changing that caused by modernization in society, they integrate by the technology because the society is changed. And the pesantren must have an alumna that capable to handle that situation. So, they do that improvization.

3. Problem that dealt by pesantren in this era

The first and the critical problem is about the leadership itself. Everyone knew that the leader of pesantren is a Kyai, that mastering the Islamic educational studies, and also he’s the one that capable to get the social approach to his students in the pesantren. In this era, there are some changing in society and world. And the leadership style also must be change. The leadership of the pesantren is the crucial thing in there. Change and improve the leadership that capable not only the situation inside pesantren, but also maintaining and adapting some modern and changing around the pesantren. They need the best and the most capable leader that mastering both classical and modern education style. That capable to handle the Islamic and secular/general issues in the pesantren, that could recite using Islamic religion value and secular value.
The second is financial, because pesantren needs to change the financial management. Because, the one and only problem that caused all of this is the modernization. Pesantren need change and improve using technology inside of pesantren and some education institution in pesantren (school). Improvisation that include the infrastructure itself. Funds is the second of the biggest problem in pesantren. Because if pesantren want to improve, it needs the funds to improve.
The third problem is the management, we conclude the management is around the curriculum, education method, and the development of life skill in the pesantren itself. And some pesantren in this era must integrate the curriculum not only recite about Islamic religious value deeply using kitab kuning but also knowing about science or secular science. This concept is intended to make student vary care about both of science, religious science and general science. When they decide of a scientific method, they could recite it and could make a correlation between that scientific method with some Islamic values. So, they could realize that using Islamic values to recite and study about scientific method is the best method. And the curriculum itself must be balanced, if students study about religious value deeply, then students must study about general science deeply too. To make a hybrid alumna of pesantren that could solve a problem not using the intellectual ability but also using spiritual ability.


4.1 Conclusion

Pesantren is a religious institution which has its own peculiarities and different from other educational institutions. Education in Islamic boarding schools include education, preaching, community development and other similar education. Learners in schools are generally referred to students living in boarding schools. The place where the students lived in boarding school environments, referred to as cottages. From this, it called by the term Islamic Boarding Schools.
In this Era, obviously gives challenge and obstacle to educational outcomes and many of competitive people, while at the same time pesantren as educational institutions still need to be able to keep their tradition and originality as a provider of Islamic teaching.
In this modern Era, the cultural educational values of pesantren are varied. And this educational values are not only take prior from Islamic studies just like Fiqh and Tafsir supervised by kyai but are also dominated by general/secular knowledge subjects like technology, and mathematics.


Suwendi, Sejarah & Pemikiran Pendidikan Islam, 2004, Jakarta : PT RajaGrafindo Persada.
Dhofier, Zamakhsyari, Tradisi Pesantren, Studi tentang Pandangan Hidup Kyai, 1994, Jakarta:LP3ES.
Departemen Agama RI, 2003, Pondok Pesantren dan Madrasah Diniyah Pertumbuhan dan Perkembangannya. Jakarta: Departemen Agama RI Direktorat Jenderal Kelembagaan Agama Islam.
Marzuki Wahid, “ Pesantren di Lautan Pembangunanisme: Mencari Kinerja Pemberdayaan”, dalam Marzuki Wahid, ed. Pesantren Masa Depan: Wacana Pemberdayaan dan Transformasi Pesantren. (Bandung:Pustaka Hidayah,1999) Cet. I hlm. 145-147.
Kawakib, A. Nurul, 2009;Pesantren and Globalisation: Cultural and Educational Transformation, Malang, UIN Press.


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