Sunday, December 1, 2013

Human Rights Education in Indonesia: The Muhammadiyah Schools Experience

Agus Miswanto*

The United Nations (UN) has been emphasizing human rights education through a series of measures such as the Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), the World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005 onward), and the adoption in December 2011 by the UN General Assembly of the Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training.

In this article, I present the results of a research on a human rights education model in Indonesia, particularly the curriculum used in Muhammadiyah schools. This human rights education curriculum led to strained debate between the progressive and conservative groups within the Muhammadiyah community, due mainly to the different perspectives on introducing human rights education. I analyze the human rights education textbook employed by the Muhammadiyah schools under that curriculum. I discuss the issues involved in the debate on human rights education between the two groups. Finally, I present the strategies used in the negotiations toward the introduction of human rights education, and which constitute an interesting process showing the ability of the organized progressive sector of the Muhammadiyah community (Mulkhan, 2007) during the 2005-2010 period to overcome the resistance from the conservative sector.

*Agus Miswanto is the secretary of the Center of Islamic Studies, Muhammadiyah University of Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.

The PDF of this article is available at the following link:

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