The Role of Pesantren in Building the Students’ Character



Pondok Pesantren is a place for traditional Islamic education with particular characteristics; the education system, the learning system, and its goals and functions. Islamic boarding schools are not only places of learning but also a process of character-building and resource development. The compulsion, sincerity, and resignation of the intention to live in Islamic boarding schools make the diversity of the people in the environment. Various backgrounds make different characteristics in each student.

Pesantren requires students to live in one environment with people who are not yet known and bound by various rules that must be obeyed. Of course, there are multiple pros and cons for each individual or those not used to living with different people.

The education program in Islamic boarding schools has an independent educational program. Where this program contains a formal, non-formal, and informal education process that lasts throughout the day, and students are required to stay in the boarding school dormitory.

Santri is a student who studies and is one of the crucial elements in a pesantren. One of the obligations they have to carry out is to increase congregational prayers and, of course, requires elements that must also always remind them. The one who reminds them is the caretakers and administrators of their Islamic boarding schools.

Sometimes, some students violate the rules regarding praying in the congregation. However, sometimes many students pretend to be sick, so they don't pray. Awareness, willingness, and spirit of worship from students are needed. Not only in terms of prayer, gosop culture (taking or using other people's things that are unknown by the owner) is also challenging to remove, especially sandals gosop. Many boarding school students take or wear sandals that are not theirs. Of course, the increase in congregational prayer for students is expected to form a better character.

So how does the manager of the boarding school handle the santri to increase congregational prayers, what challenges are experienced, and what kind of resolutions will be built and created? This article will describe the role of Islamic boarding school managers, what opportunities and challenges they experience, and what solutions will be taken.

The Role of Carer Building Improves The Character of Students

The role of Ri'ayah (manager) in improving the students’ character better, one of which is the behavior of praying in the congregation. All activities carried out by the manager of Islamic boarding schools in the congregational prayer process to achieve the planned goals, namely shaping and building students' character for the better by giving direction to students in congregational prayers.

Managers in improving the behavior of praying in a congregation for students act as teachers and parents who want goodness in each child with guidance, direction, and rules for all students. Such as, firstly, providing an understanding that is expected to help students know the hidden potential in themselves and the importance of having congregation prayer.

Second, the caregiver builds the students' character by taking preventive actions, namely the caregiver's efforts always to anticipate various problems that may occur and try to prevent them from being experienced by the students. Through this function, it is hoped that the manager will be able to guide students on how to avoid actions or activities that plunge students into actions that violate the Shari'a.

Third, the manager always creates a conducive learning and worship environment and facilitates support for the student's development. Fourth, managers provide curative guidance, closely related to efforts to assist students who have experienced personal, social, learning and family problems. Lastly, distribution is to help students choose extracurricular activities, majors, or talent interests to give appreciation to students so that they have the spirit to worship.

Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions in Improving Student Character

The opportunity for the manager to improve the religious behavior of students is through the regeneration system built by Pondok Pesantren to create a generation that can maintain their life and dignity in Islamic boarding schools and create alums who can bring about change. unfortunately, the life system in Islamic boarding schools, such as requiring students to stay in dormitories, has become part of students' obligations to apply a disciplined attitude and obey the applicable regulations.

This is an opportunity that can be maintained by the manager or caregiver of the pesantren to shape the behavior of students in the daily discipline and religious behavior such as praying in congregation and maintaining the pesantren environment. Such pesantren life is one of the factors that color the worship behavior (prayer) and the character of the santri. So the Pondok Pesantren builds a small community in the pesantren environment, which aims to make students able to interact directly with various backgrounds and characters of students.

In addition, the manager also found challenges in building students' character through worship activities or congregational prayers. The challenge was that the parents of the students or guardians misunderstood and did not comply with the regulations imposed in the pesantren. Another challenge was building closeness between the manager and students, the lack of manager praying in the congregation at the mosque with certain obstacles resulted in students' distrust of the manager.

As a result, students felt uncomfortable in the Pondok Pesantren, and also a lack of awareness of students towards congregational prayers. This then affects the role of the manager in building students' character through the implementation or discipline of worship, especially congregational prayers.

However, the manager tried to take alternative actions in responding to the worship behavior of students. The santri’s character, who initially did not know congregational prayers, attempted to plan and organize pesantren activities, determine student activists, prepare human resources, carry out activities and supervise steps by providing guidance and good role models to students.

Improving the application of discipline by building a more regular student dynamic, training students to be more responsible and socially aware, and forming a culture of discipline for students and their militancy in carrying out their congregational obligations. Developing mindsets, attitudes and behavior, coordinating and cooperating well with the manager, and providing motivation, direction, and advice.

The Relationship between Manager  and Students

Ri'ayah (caretakers) are expected to re-maximize existing regulations following the roles and functions of the board. Therefore, it is hoped that the current tasks can be carried out correctly and still control the management to improve the behavior of praying in a congregation of students. Furthermore, as leaders whom students imitate, the manager must provide direction to the administration to maintain the spirit of worship of students in shaping their character in the pesantren environment.

Building bonds between managers, administrators, and students is needed to maintain trust between students, administrators, and managers. Thus, efforts to build students' character will be more accessible by instilling character values in various activities or obligations in the pesantren environment.

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