Bekasi Teacher’s Struggle Against Quranic Illiteracy

In spite of limitations, Suhaimi (35) continues teaching at Minhajul Falah Quranic School (TPA) in Kampung Cabang Dua, Lenggahsari Village, Cabangbungin District, Bekasi Regency. He and his colleagues teach without receiving any payment. For him, financial difficulties should not be an excuse to let oneself not being able to read the Quran.

Bekasi Teacher’s Struggle Against Quranic Illiteracy' photo
Suhaemi (35) teaching the students at TPA Minhajul Falah which he founded in 2008. In 2012, the school was renovated thanks to the funding from several Islamic organizations. Now, its building has significantly involved despite still having several other limitations. (ACTNews / Fhirlian Rizqi)

ACTNews, BEKASI REGENCY - Even though they live quite far from the city center, children in Kampung Cabang Dua, Lenggahsari Village, Cabangbungin District, Bekasi Regency still have the right to religious education. This is the reason why Suhaemi (35) is determined to dedicate himself to education.

For almost 12 years, he has been teaching at TPA. When he first established the school in 2008, the building was simple, and not all parts of the floor were tiled. There were six classrooms separated by a warehouse. The path leading to the school has not been paved.

On Friday (9/16), when ACT Bekasi arrived at his house beside the Islamic school, Suhaemi just finished teaching. The loud voice of the students next door could be heard repeating the directions given by the teacher. The students come not only from Cabangbungin District, but also the neighboring Muara Gembong District.

The buildings of Minhajul Falah Islamic School in Lenggasari Village. (ACTNews)

Economically, the local residents of Lenggahsari are mostly of lower-middle class. This is why Suhaemi is willing to provide adequate and affordable access to Islamic education to fight Quranic illiteracy.

"Since I graduated from the Islamic boarding school, I have made a decision to dedicate myself to da’wah (Islamic propagation), including through education. The difficult economic condition of the locals should not be an excuse for them not to learn to read the Quran,” said Suhaemi.

The teachers at the TPA decided not to charge the students. Previously, they imposed tuition fees to the students to support the operation of the school. However, the number of students decreased because of this.

“In the past, we used to charge each student IDR 10,000 a month. But it was still quite burdensome for their parents, and the number of students decreased. We finally cut it to IDR 5,000 a month. It still didn’t work. Finally, we decided not to charge the students,” he said. He added that, for the parents of the students living across the river in Muara Gembong District, paying IDR 5,000 a month is still too expensive. Every day, the students have to spend IDR 4,000 to cross the river by a raft.

Sharing Wage with Other Teachers

Financial problem is one of the issues the teachers have to deal with. By freeing the students of tuition fees, the school has no adequate funds to support its operation. Nevertheless, Suhaimi believes that there’s a blessing in teaching sincerely there.

To appreciate the fellow teachers at the TPA, Suhaemi is even willing to share his wage of IDR 150,000 per month from teaching at another school with the TPA teachers so that they can still at least make ends meet.

"When we still imposed tuition fees to the students, each of the teachers receives IDR 200,000 a month. Now that we no longer charge the students, we have no money to pay the teachers. Alhamdulillah, from teaching at another school, I receive IDR 150,000 a month that I share with two other teachers,” said Suhaemi.

To support his family, Suhaemi and his wife open a stall that sells snacks, fried foods, and other goods.

"Because I believe, Inshallah, in what Allah has revealed in the Quran that whoever support the religion of Allah will surely be supported by Allah, and Allah will plant his feet firm. Inshallah, there will be a blessing here. Let’s not leave the locals here in both economic and spiritual weakness,” he said.

Suhaemi’s happiness upon receiving financial assistance from ACT Bekasi. (ACTNews / Fhirlian Rizqi)

Thanks to the Sahabat Guru Indonesia (SGI) program of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Bekasi, Suhaemi receives financial assistance. The father of two admitted that he is grateful to have received this assistance.

Muhamad Ihsan of ACT Bekasi Program Department said Suhaemi deserves assistance to support his struggle in preaching and teaching the children through the Quranic school that he founded.

"A man like Mr. Suhaemi deserves to be supported and strengthened for his struggle to eradicate Quranic illiteracy in remote areas. You can help the struggle of the teachers in Indonesia, especially Bekasi, by giving your zakat and donation through the link or by transferring to the BNI Syariah account number 8660291020020123," explained Ihsan. []


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