Aisyiyah Bustanul Athfal Kindergarden has been Educating the Nation’s Children for One Hundred Years

November 14, 2019 by : BHP UMY

Decree No. 20 of 2003 concerning the national education system that says “Early Childhood Education is a coaching effort that is meant for children from birth to the age of six years which is carried out through the provision of educational stimuli to help physical and spiritual growth and development”. This shows the government’s commitment as stated in the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution which reads “to educate the nation”.

However, before the laws and programs on early childhood education were introduced, Aisyiyah as one of the Muhammadiyah’s Autonomous Organizations (Ortom) has been organizing Early Childhood Education for over 100 years. In 1919, Aisyiyah established the Frobel School which would later be renamed the Aiyiyah Bustanul Athfal (ABA) Kindergarten. Back then, there was no educational institution for the lower class natives. With the ABA Kindergarten, Aisyiyah was ahead of their time when it comes to planning the future of children and women.

The Chairwoman of the Aisyiyah Central Board Dra. Hj. Siti Noordjannah Djohantini, M.M., M.Sc. stated that at that time, there were no educational institutions for children. The schools that were available only accepted nobles and white people.
“Aisyiyah became an organization that pioneered the early childhood education movement. At that time, there were no communities or movements that organized education for early childhood. The idea of the ABA Kindergarten itself was in line with the intentions of Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah to conduct education for children for the sake of early learning to receive teaching values, socialize, and communicate,” she said when interviewed at the Aisyiyah Central Board Building of Yogyakarta on Tuesday (12/11).

The current era is known as the golden age of human quality and character building. This phase only happens one in a lifetime. To that end, the ABA Kindergarten serves as a place to provide education and care outside of the children’s home. This shows Aisyiyah’s efforts to create high-quality human resources for the future. Aisyiyah has prepared for this since one hundred years ago.

“We had to fight the invaders through smart ways. One of them was by establishing educational institutions. This was done to make our society smart, both in the past or the present. The Aisyiyah movement has been paying attention to early childhood for a century in various parts of the country. Aisyiyah started this struggle one hundred years ago when not many people paid attention to children before the government had even existed. Now that we have entered the Golden Age, Aisyiyah was proven to be on the right track, and we will continue to commit ourselves to that track,” added Noordjanah.

Exactly ten decades have passed, and the development of ABA Kindergarten has spread throughout the country. There are around 20 thousand Aisyiyah PAUD (Kindergarten) institutions that have produced hundreds of thousands of alumni. The eras will continue to change, of course, and the challenges that Aisyiyah will face in managing TK ABA will also continue. To answer this, Noordjanah said that the organization she led will strengthen three things. The first is improving the quality of the teaching staff and PAUD Aisyiyah managers. This is indicated by the implementation of a scholarship program for teachers to continue their education. The second is strengthening the ideology of Islam and the state. Nowadays, information can be accessed very quickly. Coupled with the 4.0 Industrial Revolution, this can raise many challenges, especially related to Islamic and state thinking. For this reason, Aisyiyah will strengthen their ideology by including teaching methods and curriculum in accordance with the needs of the nation. The third is improving the management of ABA Kindergartens throughout Indonesia by strengthening coordination among schools throughout Indonesia. This is done so that the quality of schools is more evenly distributed.

In its 100th anniversary celebration that will be held at the UMY Sportorium on Monday (18/11), Aisyiyah will adopt the theme “Serving the State”. ABA kindergartens are also present in remote areas of Indonesia such as Natuna, even in non-Muslim dominated regions such as Bali, Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and Papua as a public servant and educational provider. ABA Kindergartens continue to serve all religions and economic classes. They do this so that all layers of Indonesian society receive a decent education early on.

“Even though we face various challenges and problems, Aisyiyah will remain committed to future generations. We hope that these Kindergartens will progress on a national level. A good institution should be an example for other institutions. We must continue to found schools in various regions so Aisyiyah can be present for the benefit of future generations everywhere. We also have to answer challenges in accordance with the values of Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah’s views,” she concluded. (ak)