Australian Embassy

Australia Receives “Negara Sahabat” Award - Recognised As Indonesia’s Most Important Bilateral Partner in Islamic Education

Media Release

24 November 2017

The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) has awarded Australia with a prestigious prize for its partnership with Indonesia to improve education quality, policy and practice.

The “Negara Sahabat” award for partnership in Islamic education  was presented by Minister of Religious Affairs, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin at last night’s annual Islamic education appreciation ceremony.

Australian Charge d'Affaires, Bradley Armstrong said Australia and Indonesia both value education as the foundation for our nations’ future growth, and recognise the importance of a strong education system in promoting religious tolerance and inclusion.

“Islamic education and Islamic schools play a crucial role for Indonesian children. Madrasah constitute around 20 per cent of primary and secondary schools in Indonesia, serving around 13 per cent of the school age population,” Dr Armstrong said.

Since 2005, Australia has supported MoRA’s efforts to strengthen Islamic education, including through building 504 madrasah schools and enabling 1500 private madrasah to fulfil accreditation requirements by meeting national education standards set by the Indonesian government.

Australia is currently providing advice to MoRA to improve training and professional development for madrasah teachers.

Under the Australia Awards program, Australia and MoRA have worked together to promote multiculturalism and Islam through developing curriculum materials to support character building and pluralism.

Australia also awards scholarships to students from Islamic tertiary institutions to study at the Australian National University to complete their PhD dissertations.

See how Australia works with Indonesia to improve education here and here.

Images from the awards ceremony here.