BANK Indonesia (BI) empowers Indonesian Islamic boarding school, or known as pesantren, to achieve financial inclusion.
“We increase the capability through technical meeting and assistance,” Governor of BI Agus Martowardojo said during National Seminar on Empowering Pesantren in Surabaya, Wednesday, Nov 5. The assistance includes recording and managing their money. BI also educates the santri on financial access.
The financial education aims to elevate their knowledge on financial system. The santri is expected to transmit the knowledge to people so that more people enter the financial system, especially banking account. Increasing people’s investment in financial system can boost the economic growth.
Financial inclusion means that more people having access to financial system, including banking and insurance. The better financial inclusion also means economic growth will be more sustainable.In Indonesia, only 48 percent of households have access to finance, based on BI survey. Martowardojo said that pesantren could increase the financial inclusion. According to composition of the country’s religion based population, 82 percent of Indonesians are Muslims. Its growing populations make pesantren develop accordingly.
Based on the data from Ministry of Religious Affairs, Indonesia had only 9.388 pesantrens with 1.771.000 students, or known as santris, in 1997. As of now, the number grows significantly. The country has 28.000 pesantren with 4 million students,
The Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said the cooperation was in accordance with the mission of pesantren, which is developing people’s welfare. The cooperation with Indonesian central bank also helps pesantren deter its challenges. One of them is on managing the asset of pesantren.
“Many pesantrens are overwhelming. People trust them with wakaf. Pesantren has to use it for the benefit of people,” he said. Lukman said, BI played the role on assisting santri to manage the money and asset from wakaf.
Thu, 6 November 2014