Indonesian Teaching Training Program in Muslim Community at Southern Thailand Case Study: Islamic School at Southern Thailand

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Indonesian Teaching Training Program in Muslim Community at Southern Thailand

Case Study: Islamic School at Southern Thailand


Abdulsuko Dina, the Adviser of Private Islamic School Association (PISA) of Songkhla, Thailand



The aims of this study are ;  to study the way of this program is being held between Indonesian Universities with Islamic Schools of Southern Thailand, to study the impact of this program toward all the stakeholder involved and to give suggestions for sustainable development of the program for future improvement. This method of study is by conducting focus group discussion among, researcher, the practical students, program supervisor teachers, school administrator and Indonesian Consulate officer. The research’s outcomes have been concluded as follows;

1. Program has been done through some corporations which conduct by; Islamic schools’ network, Islamic organization and Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre of Thailand (SBPAC).

2. Program impacts all of the stakeholder from both countries; the students and schools in Thailand, the Indonesian practical students and the universities, and even local communities.

3. Trough 3 years observing the program, researcher found some rooms of improvement for this program, such as; technical problem in accommodation, latter and administration and others.


Key word; Indonesian Teaching Training Program, Southern Thailand,



1.      Introduction

Teachers play important in our life to helps us to become good human being in the society and good citizen of the country. So the future development of any nation is in the hands of teachers. Since 2014 up to 2016, about 300 were taking short practical period, one month, and few others were taking the whole semester teaching learning process in Islamic School of Southern Thailand. This Program impacts all of the stakeholder from both countries. Trough 3 years observing the program, we found some rooms of improvement for this program, such as; technical problem in accommodation, latter and administration and others.


2.      Muslim Education in Southern Thailand


2.1. The Thai Muslim Community

The Thai Muslim community is not regarded by the Thai authorities and society as a “minority” group. The minorities who live in Thailand consist of various ethnic groups such as Thai Yai, Karen and Wah. The Thai Muslim community, on the other hand, consists of Thais who profess the Islamic faith. They enjoy the same legal and political status as Thais of other religious beliefs such as Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Confucians. Each of these religious groups has its own identity, religious values and practices, as well as distinct cultural traditions and way of life. The fact that they have their own identity, however, is not grounds for differential treatment or deprivation.

At present, there are approximately 7.5 million Thai Muslims in the Kingdom or about 12% of the total 62.5 million Thai populations. The approximate numbers of Thais as categorized by religion are as follows :




1.      The table of religion percentage of Thais


54.5 million (87.2%)


7.5 million (12%)


0.45 million (0.72%)


0.05 million (0.08%)

*(Hindus, Confucians, Sikhs, etc.)


Almost all of the Thai Muslims belong to the Sunni sect. very few are Shiite .This is a living proof of the freedom of religion enjoyed by the Thai people.

As for the 3 southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, in which the majority of the people are Muslims, a recent census by the Ministry of Interior shows that the inhabitants of these provinces can be grouped by religion as follows :

2.      The table of religions in number in 3 Southern Provinces in Thailand


















1.4 million

0.43 million

0.01 million


The Thai Muslims living in the 3 southern border provinces therefore constitute about 18% of the total Thai Muslim population. Meanwhile, a recent survey by the Ministry of Culture shows that Thailand has a total of 3,406 mosques located in 61 of the 76 provinces. These mosques are situated in different regions of Thailand as follows :


3.      The table of number of Mosque in each devided regions


Total of Mosques











Southern (excluding border provinces)


5 southern border provinces



2.2. Ethnicity and Identity

Thailand's Muslim population is diverse and multicultural, with ethnic groups having migrated from as fares ChinaPakistanCambodiaBangladeshMalaysia, and Indonesia, as well as comprising indigenous Thais, while about two-third of Muslims in Thailand are ethnically Malay

                    In the three southern border provinces, the vast majority of the local Muslim population is predominantly Malay in origin. These people, known colloquially as Malay speak (jawi writing) a dialect of Malay that is not mutually understood by Thai speakers. This adds to the culturally unique identity of Thai Malay Muslims.

The high number of Malay origin inhabitants in the Southern region is due the historical nature of the area, which was once known as the Pattani Kingdom, an Islamic Malay kingdom established in the nineteenth century, but later annexed to Siam (the older name of Thailand). Similarly, there is an ethnic Thai minority in Northern Malaysia.

2.3. Education as a way to improve the Southern provinces of Thailand situation

Education has been advocated as one of the best ways to improve the situation in the southern border provinces, according to several reports in which various groups of people had come up with the conclusion that problems in the southern border provinces could ease through better education.

Realizing that education would encourage people to think rationally and do the right thing, the Ministry of Education has set six education strategies to be implemented in the Southern provinces of Thailand. The first strategy seeks to develop the quality of education. In the second strategy, Islamic studies will be promoted and local residents in the South will be able to have Islamic education as they wish. The third strategy seeks to support local private schools, such as Pondok (Islamic Boarding School and Tadika (Local Kindergarthen).

In the fourth strategy, vocational education will be promoted to enable local residents to earn a living both in Thailand and abroad. The fifth strategy seeks to improve education management and develop provincial and district offices under the Office of Private Education Commission and sub district offices under the Office of Non-formal and Informal Education into IT centers for communication. The sixth strategy, education for security, seeks to ensure safety for teachers and other education personnel.

The Ministry of Education has offered annual scholarships, from kindergarten to graduate level, for those whose lives have been disrupted by the unrest. The Ministry of Interior has also carried out a project to send southern Muslim students to continue their studies in various universities. The project is considered an important measure to tackle southern problems, especially those concerning security, socio-psychology, and economic development. It is intended to provide educational opportunities for young Muslim Thais and upgrade their living standards.

The Ministry of Education has been cooperating with the Fourth Area Command and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Center in carrying out a project to develop model pondok schools at the tambon, or sub district, level in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and four districts of Songkhla, Chana, Thepha, Nathawi and Sabayoi. Under the project, each sub district in these areas will select a pondok school to be developed as a model. A target has been set to develop a total of 48 pondok schools by 2011.

Meanwhile, the College of Islamic Studies, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani province, is making efforts to upgrade the quality of Islamic studies in Thailand to suit the challenges of the globalization era. The efforts will contribute to the tackling of southern problems in the long run. The government sees it necessary to provide greater educational opportunities for young people in the Southern provinces, so that they would be equipped with both vocational training and religious study. It believes that the education policy will prevent young people in the Deep South from being misled by ill-intentioned people.

Since a large number of Muslim students in the South had no access to education loans, in accordance with Islamic principles, the Ministry of Finance assigned the Islamic Bank of Thailand to work with Krung Thai Bank and the Income Contingency Loan program in setting guidelines for extending credit to Muslim students for education purposes. The Ministry of Finance also has a policy to provide Islamic microfinance to entrepreneurs in Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani provinces and some districts in Songkhla. It wants the Islamic Bank to play a greater role in helping Muslim students and business operations in the Deep South.

2.4. Roadmap for Islamic Studies in Southern Thailand

Aware of the importance of investing in Muslim students and introducing key investment in quality Islamic studies, Thailand has worked out a roadmap for Islamic studies in the country. The conference “Roles of Islamic Studies in Post-globalized Societies,” held at Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus, on 21 December 2010 was told – with regard to a roadmap for Islamic studies in Thailand – that Islamic studies could play an important role in strengthening the basis for harmony and understanding in society. When Muslim and non-Muslim scholars study Islam and live by the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, there is a sense of fulfillment. Not only will these scholars understand more about the principles, practices, and pillars of Islam – understanding that they could pass on to succeeding generations – but they will also be guiding devotees toward the path of peace and harmony.

In this sense, Islamic studies, like the study of other religions, could serve to maintain social harmony and peace. Around 400 Muslim leaders and academics from 16 countries worldwide gathered at the three-day conference on 21-23 December 2010. It was the first international conference on the role of Islamic studies in post-globalized societies and was co-organized by the College of Islamic Studies under Prince of Songkla University, Al-Azhar University of Egypt, and the Office of the Sheikhul Islam in Thailand, the Thailand International Cooperation Agency, and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre.

The conclusion of this conference “The academic discipline of Islamic studies has an important role in building the capacity of Muslims to strive, and excel, in the globalized 21st century. Although Islam does not make any distinction between religious and general studies, because both are complementary and thus studied simultaneously in an integrated system, Islamic studies could be tailored in such a way that it accommodates both religious studies and other fields of study. These areas include the physical and natural sciences, which are highly praised by Islam in the Qur’an and Sunnah (traditional practice).

This will increase the graduates’ chances of securing jobs in the highly competitive labor market that requires specific skills and specializations. Its curriculum needs to be designed for maximum job marketability, so graduates will be able to contribute to the overall development of their country. The study of any branch of knowledge in any field is linked to the strengthening of religious and moral values, which will in turn guide science towards benefiting the larger community. We need to review and continue to improve the curriculum, the teachers’ qualifications, and teaching methodologies to help students excel in the modern world, while acting in accordance with the true teachings of Islam.

Islamic studies could strengthen the global community. Islam calls on its followers to be well-rounded in knowledge, so that their service to God is based on true knowledge. This includes the assessment of community needs, so as to best serve the community, which is extended to cover the ‘global community.’ Thai Muslims should see themselves as a unifying factor in the Thai community and the world at large. In so doing, we adopt an inclusive perspective, whereby we inculcate in people caring relationships, race and gender sensitivity, acceptance of religious pluralism, ecological awareness, community spirit, and awareness of the Divine. 

Like all academic disciplines, Islamic studies need to keep pace with the world. In order to do so, we can emphasize the issue of connectivity – physical, structural, and through people – that would enable our scholars of Islam to take full advantage of a bigger market with greater potential. 


Investing in people, which, in this case, is investing in our Muslim students, is very important. The Thai government believes that education is the key factor in human development. We therefore introduced the 15-year free education program. We also emphasized the quality of education and life-long learning. With this in mind, we need to upgrade and introduce key investments in quality Islamic studies. With a steady growth of Islamic studies in the Southeast Asian region, we hope to develop leading centers of Islamic studies, such as the Centre for Islamic Studies here in Pattani, as leading centers in the South. Eventually, we hope that centers like these will become regional leaders and destinations where both Thai and foreign students converge to pursue their studies. Through the roadmap for Islamic studies in Thailand that is being worked on, we will see many more contributions to the development of Islamic studies.

2.5. Several system of Islamic studies in southern of Thailand

1.       Formal System

1.1    Government School. Pre- School  3-5 years old and Grate 1-12

1.2    Islamic Private  School. Pre- School  3-5 years old  and Grate 1-12 Grate 1-12

1.3    Islamic Studies at University of government as Prince of Songkhla University and Narathiwat Rachanakarin University and Islamic Private University is Fatoni University.

1.      Nonformal System

2.1    Studying Quran  in Community for Children

2.2    Hafiz Quran institute

2.3    Pondok  System (traditional)

2.4    Tadika System (Fardhu In or Islamic studies for Children in Islamic center)

2.5     Islamic studies at Islamic center for youth and people in community.


3.      Indonesian Teaching Training Program in Islamic School at Southern Thailand

Since 2014 up to 2016, the number of practical students from various unversity had been come and go, such as; UIN Malang, University of Muhammadiyah Malang, University of Muhammadiyah Palembang, Ibnu Khaldun University, IAIN Kediri, IAIN Tulung Agung, and others. The totol number of practical students are exiding 300 poeple, most of them were taking short practical period,one month, and few others were taking the whole semester teaching learning process in Thailand, five month. Those students came from English Department, Arabic Department, Islamic Studies Department, and Indonesian Languange departmen. In addition English department the favorite one, since most of the school in Thailand are running on English languange section and stucents’ development on it.


3.1.The corporation way

Briging the program, some of instituion have been done and successed this program, there are some corporation ways to establish the program, there are :

A.    Islamic Schools’ Network

A lot of indipendent corporaion have been done by the schools themeself to make this program and run it smoothly just by using their own networking, such as Chariyatam Suksa Foundation School and Sasana Bambarung School. These school are independently successed upholding groups of student practical teaching to practice in and spread numbers of practical students also to other networking school.

In ohter hand, Privat Islamic School Association (PISA) of Songlkha province and Integrted Islamic School Network (IISN) Thailand are some of the association which shade almost all regional islamic school in that area, eighty-six schools are under PISA and more than hundreds school are under IISN which most of them located in southern Thailand. These two big organizations are intensively making MOU for various of matter with various universities in Indonesia, and one of the most clear is about the Teaching Training Program for Education students to be hold in Thailand.


B.     Islamic Organization

Islamic Organizations in Southern Thailand are actively taking part to succeding this program, by also making MOU and and partnership with Indonesian Universities, some big organization such as; International Alumni of Southern Thailand Association, Muslim Education Development Association of Thailand (MEDAT), The Board of Islamic Centre of Pattani Province. Making MOU and providing most of the accomodation and administration matter making this way of coorporation become the most promising way to Indonesian universities to sent their practical students with less concerning problem, since all of the basic needed of the students are fulfilled by these Islamic Organization. 


C.     Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre of Thailand (SBPAC)

 The south province areas include Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Satul and Songkhla have experiencing in security issues that impact to national security and peace and harmony of people. Those problems have specific and different comparing with other area in Thailand. The Royal Thai Government has closely focused and imposed the national security policy especially in southern border area. The scopes cover the operation of political, military, economic and sociology. On 16 December    1980 the cabinet has approve to revise the management and improve the performance of government officers and development the economic in area. General Prem Tinsulanonda, the Prime Minister has ordered issued no. 8/1982 dated 20 January 1982, topic “The solving problems of government administration in south border provinces” within the frame and authorities of SBPAC, and one of its, is Education Section.


Education Section of SBPAC are on of the government representative  which being the provider of practical students who held teaching training program from those school demanding it. SBPAC beliefs education and teaching training prgram including the exchange of educational culture from another country can derive development and improve students  awereness of students in southern Thailand since the crisis make it less.


3.2.Program’s Impacts

3.2.1.      Impact for Indonesian Practical Students and the universities

The impact for Indonesian Practical students and universities sent them are as follows :

A.    By having the brand new practical place for teaching training, the universities expanding their role as people enlighten in South East Asia Regional to be well known

B.     Upgrade the standard level of the faculties to next step since this program aims the standards of ASEAN Education demand.

C.     Gaining such experience and lesson on how to develop the academic section toward another international program and its administration.


3.2.2.      Impact for the Students

The Students which are mentioned are for both practical student from Indonesia and those who are taught by them in Thailand. The impacts are also obviously seen, as for Practical Students :

A.    Practical students gain a heap of new experience and lesson upon their practice teaching outside of their homeland country, having different culture and language and exchange all of the factor while the process.

B.     Chance for learning how Thai daily activity and culture both in school and in society, they had direct contact to the local society where they taught.

C.     It is kind of next further step for students to gain international career experience as a teacher in Thailand, since Thailand are widely open the chance to be a teacher and teach on both government and private school.


Meanwhile, the impacts for the taught students are  :

A.    Students are facing the new environment when using all the English language for classroom activity.

B.     Student are getting used to develop the underlying skill by listening to English in every class.

C.     By having most of Muslim practical students in this program, they are use to do Islamic practises with the corporation of training teacher.

D.    Cultural exchange are happen as long as the process in the class.


3.2.3.      Impacts for Thai Stakeholder

Some of the stakeholders which have role in this program are also getting some benefit, these are mention as follow ;

A.    Thai’s Advisor Teachers

1.      The advisor teachers gain experiences guiding the students from another country and exchange the culture between them.

2.      Creating new or develop the basic skill of language

3.      Known and learn each other methodology and approach for teaching

4.      Having more link to continue education for master or doctor level.


B.     Thai’s Administrators

1.      In term of the administration, either process and communication occur  in English, so it will develop their language skill

2.      Having such kind of challenge to corporate with another natin is a great Chace o develop their administrative skill

3.      Having time to communication and broaden the networking in Indonesia and the Universities

4.      Having another channel to Indonesian network, which not only the university but also the other government section


C.       Thai Government

1.      This program is one of the further step for developing English skill for the next generation of Thai

2.      School are going to be promoted trough this program, since its corporate with another nation

3.      In case of long term agenda, it will be a great step for upgrading the standard of Education in southern Thailand especially and Thailand overall.


3.3.Programs’ Suggestion

3.3.1.      Since the program run, all of the element already work together for succeeding this, so the higher policy and corporation in higher importance are absolutely needed for next greater and sustainable bilateral

3.3.2.      Somehow to minimalize the unsolved problem and misunderstanding occur  for both nation, it should derive us to a seminar before and after the program proceed for overcome the problem and do the evaluation afterwards

3.3.3.      It should be a big chance for both nation to doing research and education movement try-out in other country.

3.3.4.      The reliable accommodation and international insurance must be a point out for this program

3.3.5.      SBPAC as the one of the organisation handling this kind of similar program hope the practical student can also cope with the local society trough social program and daily activity.



                Education of Muslim in Southern   Thailand is freedom to study and Muslim Community has freedom to study academic subject and Islamic Studies with formal System or non-formal System. Indonesian Teaching Training Program in Muslim Community and Islamic school at Southern Thailand. This Program impacts all of the stakeholder from both countries though we found some rooms of improvement for this program, such as; technical problem in accommodation, latter and administration and others but if we can take all suggestions to modify to sustainable development of the program for future improvement.




          Abdulsuko  Din-a. 2007. Pondok in Southernmost  Provinces of Thailand. Songkhla : Maxmedia


         -------------. Pulic Policy of Studying in in Southernmost  Provinces of Thailand.


        -------------.Indonesian Teaching Training in Southern Thailand

Prince of Songkla University.         Education as a Way to Improve the Southern Situation.


-------------------------------------. Pattani  Declaration.2010. Conference on “Roles of Islamic Studies in Post Globalized Societies”, held at Pattani, Thailand, during 21-23 December 2010,


Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre of Thailand (SBPAC).


Thai Embassy. Muslim in Thailand.



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