ACTNews, JOMBANG - After completing their basic Quran education, usually children in Catak Gayam Village, Mojowarno District, Jombang Regency, rarely continue their education. This became a concern for Kiai Mashud Ahmad. In 2010, he founded the Nurul Ahmadi Islamic Boarding School which is now better known by the local community as the Gayam Children's Islamic Boarding School.
To be a student in this institution, all it takes is consent from the parents to send their children to live and study there. so that the child can study well. It never requires the students to pay for tuition fees if they can’t pay.
"We don’t force the parents to pay. If they can pay, they should pay. If they can’t, that’s alright. The school will fulfill all the students’ needs from the moment they wake up in the morning until they go to bed at night, from the moment they enter this institution to the moment they graduate. They are welcome even if they want to stay until they go to college,” said Ulil Absar, commonly called Gus Ulil, the General Assistant of Nurul Ahmadi Islamic Boarding School on Friday (1/15/2020).
Although about half of the santris are economically underprivileged and study for free, the activities in the Islamic boarding school are still running smoothly. “For those who don't pay, the Kyai will strive to fulfill their needs. Don’t ask me where the things to fulfill their needs come from. I am just an assistant. But they are the followers of Allah. Never mind humans, even animals have their sustenance, "said Gus Ulil.
At first, there was only one santri, Now the school has 150 male and female santris. The school accept secondary level students and teaches both religious and non-religious sciences.
The students watch television in their spare time. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)
However, the boarding school buildings are getting too small to accommodate all the students and staff. “We need to develop more buildings. The number of students continue to grow, but we never build more boarding houses " Gus Ulil said.
Nurul Ahmadi Islamic Boarding School also tries to meet the needs of the students as best as possible. They try to always provide enough food for the students although they sometimes run out of resources.
"Sometimes our supplies run out. However, no matter what happens, the caretakers of this school strive to never let the students go hungry even for a day. It’s common for the caretakers of this school to incur some debts to fulfill the students’ needs, as long as they have three meals and two snacks a day," explained Gus Ulil.
To support the Islamic Boarding School, Global Wakaf - ACT sent packages of Waqf Rice and boxes of Waqf Drinking Water to Nurul Ahmadi Islamic boarding school. Gus Ulil was very grateful for these packages.
"Alhamdulillah, they are very helpful. Here, any kind of assistance will be very useful and will be used as well as possible. Food aid will never go to waste. In the future, hopefully, there will continue to be assistance that reaches this school. We have no permanent donors. So if anyone wants to donate, we really welcome," said Gus Ulil.