James T. Riady poses with schoolchildren during his visit to Lentera Harapan School in Ambon, Maluku, on Dec. 8. (B1 Photo)
Religious Values Are Important in Educational Development: James Riady
BY :PRIMUS DORIMULU
FEBRUARY 26, 2017
Ambon. While religion and education are seemingly on two different roads, James Riady, Lippo Group chief executive and owner of Pelita Harapan Education Foundation, or YPPH, presents another perspective.
According to James, success is not only determined by knowledge and advanced technology. The most crucial factor in being successful is having faith, while the lack of it is what can cause destruction, he said.
"Those who have faith will avoid doing bad things that lead to destruction," said James, whose Lippo Group runs all kinds of businessin the sectors including hospitals, real estate, retail and education.
Religious values in education can assist students in forming their own worldviews and behaviors that will help them flourish, he said.
"Talent must be discovered and developed through education and training."
During his visit to Lentera Harapan School (SLH), a school for underprivileged families under the care of Lippo Group's YPPH in Ambon, Maluku, on Wednesday (08/02), James said he especially appreciates the students who aspire to become teachers.
"A good teacher does not only master school subjects, but needs to have integrity and strong faith."
Teaching involves more than simply standing in front of a class and lecturing. Even though a teacher spends most of the day in a classroom, the actual teaching is only part of the job, James said.
SLH also trains teachers in school administration and creating a good learning environment.
With the help of YPPH, teachers from various parts of Indonesia obtain scholarships to study at the Teachers College of Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) in Tangerang, Banten.
After completing the program, they obtain five-year contracts with SLH to teach at schools across the country.
"I'm from Lampung, but since my teenage years I've always wanted to teach in eastern Indonesia," said a female teacher at SLH in Ambon.
"At the Teachers College, teachers are also taught to be able to build an intense personal relationship with God," James said.
As of 2016, the Teachers College had 563 graduates teachers who now work for SLH and educate schoolchildren in many remote areas of the country.
YPPH also owns Pelita Harapan School, known as SPH, an international school with an international curriculum, and Dian Harapan School, or SDH — bilingual kindergartens and elementary schools.
SLH, which started in Lampung, in 1995, is now present in 16 cities of Indonesia, including Jakarta, Nias in North Sumatera, Tomohon in North Sulawesi, and Kurubaga in Papua.
YPPH was founded by Yohanes Oentoro and James T. Riady. Since the beginning, both have been determined to build 1,000 schools for students from underprivileged families.
The school fees are set relatively low in order to provide affordable education. Every Lentera Harapan School in Indonesia also awards scholarships to those who are unable to pay the fees.
James Riady expressed his hope that SLH network will continue to develop across the country to help many less fortunate children achieve their dreams.
"Education is the escalator to a better standard of living, because vertical mobility is only possible through education," he said.