Thursday, October 07, 2010


Delivering the keynote speech on `Strategizing Islamic Education'
Alhamdulillah, another task completed - a keynote speech at 1st AMRON International Conference themed ASEAN Islamic Education - Change From Within Through  Education, held at Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand on 2-3 October 2010. The title of my speech was `Strategizing Islamic Education'.

I put forward two main points in this keynote speech. Firstly, that we should not worry too much about the numbers of  Islamic education institutions nowadays as they are mushrooming everywhere, both in Muslim and minority-Muslim worlds. What should be worried is the strategy to attain the maximum accomplishment of the aims of these institutions. Secondly, there are at least three main components of the strategy that should be taken into account seriously, viz. the management method of the Islamic education, the teaching-learning method that has been adopted, and the approaches taken to realize the goals of the Islamic education.

I expressed my conviction that the management method must be fully Islamic, deeply rooted in Islamic own's philosophical and epistemological underpinnings; the teaching-learning method should not ignore the `heart-to-heart' method; and the approach has to do away with imitation, benchmarking and competition - the three likened attitudes of many Muslims that ascertain them to be eternal followers rather than innovative leaders.
Opening Ceremony (R-L): Myself, President of Walailak University Associate Professor Dr Thai Tipsuwannakul, Secretary General of ASEAN Dr Surin Pitsuwan, & Professor Sir Azyumardi Azra of Universiti Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta, Indonesia
Parts of the participants, altogether totalling more than a thousand
Another six ISDEV members too participated in the Conference by presenting their respective papers: Dr Fadzila Azni Ahmad, Dr Zakaria Bahari, Dr Zahri Hamat, Dr Mohammad Zaini Abu Bakar, Dr Masakaree Ardae @ Nik Wan Muhammad Syukri, and Ustaz Shukri Hanapi.
ISDEVdelegates with Br. Hasni (extreme right) of Sekolah Menengah Islam al-Amin, Gombak at Twin Lotus Hotel, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand where the guests of the Conference stayed
The Conference also saw the declaration of the establishment of ASEAN Muslim Research Organisation Network (AMRON), signed by representatives from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Phillipines, and Cambodia. I was appointed as the representative of Malaysia to sign the declaration, together with the  other respective representatives of the ASEAN member countries. ISDEV was honoured to be recognized as one of the founding members of AMRON, apart from Walailak University, Yala Islamic University, Chulalongkorn University, Prince Songkla Universdity, and Curriculum Reform for Pondok Project.
The signing ceremony, witnessed by ASEAN Secretary General Dr Surin Pitsuwan
The organisation of the Conference and the establishment of AMRON has been initiated and supported strongly by Secretary General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, who was with us all along during the Conference. He has also hosted a dinner at his Pondok Bantan and a breakfast at another branch of his pondok.
With ASEAN Secretary General Dr Surin Pitsuwan (middle) and ISDEV's Ustaz Shukri Hanapi (right)
With Assistant Professor Dr Chairat Siripatana, Principal Coordinator of AMRON and Chairman of the Conference's Organizing Committee
Distinguished speakers and guests of the Conference from ASEAN member countries

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