UniKL Malaysian Institute of Industrial Technology (MITEC) held an educational visit to a reputable Islamic boarding school, Pondok Modern Darussalam Gontor (PMDG), Indonesia from March 3 till 7, 2012.
Three staff, Nor Aini Abdul Rahman (HOS General Studies), Jimisiah Jaafar (HOS Short Courses and Professional Education), Ahmad Hisham Abdul Wahab (Executive, Student Affairs), accompanied five young engineers and young executives (YE2) Jalilah Samsudin (Bachelor of Quality Engineering), Nor Nabila Afandi (Bachelor of Quality Engineering), Mohd Amirul Fauzi Abdul Ghani (Bachelor of Industrial Logistics), Mohd Najib Abdul Wahab (Bachelor of Industrial Logistics) and Mohd. Farid Muslan (Diploma in Industrial Logistics), to explore how entrepreneurship activities provide sustainability to the institute.
The YE2 were selected based on an interview session. They must own a registered business with UniKL MITEC and must be a member of Entrepreneurship Club.
Upon arrival at PMDG, participants were received by three staff, Ustaz Sandy Abdullah Husein Abdullah, Ustaz Tommy Alvanso and Ustaz Eko Nur Cahyo, former students of PMDG. The top management of PMDG consists of Kiai Haji Abdullah Syukri Zarkasi, M.A., Kiai Hasan Abdullah Sanal, and Kiai Syamsul Hadi Abdan, S. Ag.
PMDG was established in 1926 and to date, it has twenty thousand local and international students with twenty branches all over Indonesia. The latest branch is currently being developed in Riau. Local students come from all over Indonesia while international students come from Malaysia, Thailand, middle-east and Russia.
The teaching and learning activities at PMDG are guided by five principles: sincerity, moderation, independence, Islamic brotherhood, and independence. Its motto, politeness, physical health, knowledgeable, and ability to think freely, are also translated in its teaching and learning activities.
Because of the students’ diverse background, lessons are taught in English and Arabic. Students who are unable to speak both languages will be given intensive training and only these two languages are allowed to be spoken on campus. The success of the institute has attracted many visitors from all over the world to learn how the institute is managed.
At the central administration centre, Gontor Pusat, participants from UniKL MITEC were given a briefing by Dr HAji Nurhadi Ihsan, Ustaz Mujiono Suparno and Ustaz Suraji Badi. Gontor Pusat also hosts the male institute, Gontor Putra. After the briefing, YE2 presented the background of UniKL, UniKL MITEC and their entrepreneurial activities.
PMDG has many collaboration efforts with local and international universities which enable them to send their teaching staff abroad to further their studies at bachelor, master’s and PhD levels and in turn accept international staff and students to do research and internship. In order to prevent joblessness among students, they are encouraged to work at PMDG once they finish their studies.
The land on which PMDG campuses were established was donated by individuals. Since the teaching staff is not paid any salary, they live on campus and daily expensed are borne by the institute. Without having financial support from Indonesian government and to cope with administration costs, PMDG has its own paddy fields, bakery, water and electricity resources, clothing factory, printing and stationery shops, TV and radio stations, telecommunications facilities, transportation services and accommodations for rent. Students studying there pay a minimal fee and they are not allowed to buy any goods and services from outside the institute in order to protect the businesses run by the institute. Participants were then taken to the facilities owned by the institute, classes and hostels.
The institute is located away from the city to further prevent social problems among students. In addition, male (Gontor Putra) and female institutes (Gontor Putri 1, 2 and 3) are located one hundred kilometres away.
At female institutes, participants were welcomed by principals Kiai Haji Muhammad Hudaya M.A. (Gontor Putri 3), and Kiai Haji Dr Ahmad Hidayatullah Zarkasyi, M.A. (Gontor Putri 1). Participants were also invited to attend student activities such as English and Arabic public speaking competition and observe entrepreneurial activities.
Overall, the visit was very successful in promoting deeper entrepreneurship awareness among participants. They were more motivated to implement what has been observed at PMDG so that they will be less dependent on government assistance.
Nor Aini Abdul Rahman