Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer announced three-Australian government-funded initiatives worth over A$11 million (US$9.24 million) to improve the quality of education in Indonesia's Islamic schools.
According to Australian embassy media release the package of initiatives is funded under the five-year, A$30 million Learning Assistance Program in Islamic Schools (LAPIS) as a part of the Australian Government's international development agency, AusAID. The new initiatives aim to improve the English language teaching capabilities of 750 Madrasah Tsanawiyah (Islamic Junior High School) teachers, to build the capacity of three Islamic universities to design and deliver quality degree programmes for Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (Primary school) teachers, and to promote equal learning opportunities for boys and girls in East Java, NTB and South Sulawesi. The aim of this initiative is to bridge the gap between general education and Islamic education in Indonesia. Such new-found zeal of the developed countries to modernise the Islamic education in Muslim countries is both meaningful and note-worthy!