Bali Hindu Religious Schools

Feb 27th, 2009, in News, by

The building of specifically Hindu religious schools for primary and secondary education in Bali.

The provincial parliament of Bali, DPRD Bali, has instructed all regencies and towns of Bali to begin preparations for the establishment of Hindu religious schools, sometimes called “sekolah plus Hindu”.

Parliamentarian Ketut Karyasa Adnyana says the schools, from kindergarten through to primary, junior and senior high school, will be operational by 2010. The issue of building such schools however has been mooted for many years without much ensuing action taking place.

Ketut added that due to the considerable shortage of qualified Hindu teachers of religion those with teaching qualifications in other disciplines would have to be recruited to teach Hindu subjects in the new schools. Such subjects will include:

  • Balinese, Old Javanese (Kawi), & Sanskrit
  • Wedic knowledge
  • yoga
  • ritual, chanting & ceremony

Other, more general subjects will taught within a Hindu framework of understanding.

Currently it is said there are only a handful of Hindu elementary and secondary schools in Bali, while schools on the standard national curriculum are only required to teach a few hours of religion a week. Supporters of “sekolah plus Hindu” often speak about it as a matter of urgency, in order to save Balinese culture and religion from whatever threats they are thought to face. selebzone

49 Comments on “Bali Hindu Religious Schools”

  1. diego says:

    I hope they wouldn’t teach their pupils to bomb / kill infidels (non-hindus).

  2. Mike Oxblack says:

    Yes let’s open more religious schools. The Anthony Blair approach to public policy. Let’s sow the seeds of meaningless sectarian distrust and hatred in yet another generation of children. You wanna make a better world? Ban all religious schools and stop lumbering and labelling kids with theological dogmas.

  3. Rama Treiz says:

    Mike you seem like your a hardcore atheist or something like that. I see no problem with hindu schools (at least they’re not making a madrassa, or something of that nature.) Besides when have hindus in Indonesia been militant, or violent? You don’t see Balinese people killing folks in the name of Kali, or Vishnu now don’t you?

  4. hary says:

    I think the point is that religion, any religion, should be kept out of schools. In a plural society, there should be a body of shared experiences independant of religious teaching. This is no different than having race segregated schools in the US in the 60s.
    A national Indonesian identity is forged by having youth sharing experiences that cross cultural, religious,race barriers. Not by erecting and highlighting differences. This is another step to national disintegration.

  5. Mike Oxblack says:

    Rama, I don’t really think you can be a hardcore atheist, i.e. for not believing in something for which there’s no evidence. Presumably you don’t believe that there’s a teapot in orbit around Mars. You are therefore a-teapot-ist. Does that make you “Hardcore”? The burden of proof is on the religious I believe.

    I graciously accept your point that Hindu’s are not forming militant groups here (although India is another matter) ..Not yet anyway, and that’s my point. Secular society is surely predicated on a secular education system. No matter how ostensibly peaceful, a religious education necessarily breeds sectarianism by its very nature. the us & them syndrome: our God is (or Gods are, if you’re a Hindu) true and yours isn’t. Religion is inherently divisive.

    And that’s without going into the completely atavistic and untrue creationist myths that are taught. Being unable to look reality in the face (eg evolution) and to believe in something without evidence opens kids up to whole raft of second tier exploitation and unreason such as nationalism and consumerism.

  6. Mike Oxblack says:

    Hary has got it right. Shared experience that cuts across difference is a vital part of education in any society that doesn’t want to disintegrate.

  7. DumadiSatrio says:

    @Rama Treiz: The minority never does…..when the majority however……,8599,213670,00.html

    In general, any group can be brainwashed and segregation always leads to sectarianism which always leads to hate, prejudice, violence, extremism, and all the things that are bad for us human types.

    Personally, IMHO, I think it would be a grand idea to teach all the religions and cultures to school children. So all people can share in it. Hindu culture is a part of the cultural history of Indonesia, just like Islam, and the christian faiths.
    In all these cases they became unique in Indonesia, they became part of the countries shared heritage.
    Introduce students to Christian faiths, to Islam, to Balinese Hinduism, to Kejawen….not as “the other”, but as part of ourselves.

  8. DumadiSatrio says:

    sure that sounded naive and folksy, but anyone got a better idea for keeping humanity from devouring itself?

  9. David says:

    The parents will never have it…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. schmerly says:

    DumadiSatrio.. I think it’s a good idea but as Patung says, the parents will never have it, especially some of the old diehards, they’ll say the usual clap trap, deviating away from Islam, not in their culture Etc., They just don’t want to know about other religions, Shame really.

  11. Mike Oxblack says:

    It’s the idea of segregation that is really damaging. OK you’re Muslim or Hindu or Christian and learn your religion, fine. But why does that mean you can’t mix with peoples external to your belief systems when you’re being educated. You’re going to have to mix with them when you leave school. This problem has created problems in my home (The UK) ie ghettoisation leading to poverty and riots.

  12. andrey says:

    Mike, as I understand it, it is the whites who get out or stays away from what you call ghetto.

  13. diego says:

    Have they got clearance from MUI? They should follow the steps of these christians:

  14. DumadiSatrio says:


    Your avatar…….no offence….but it haunts my dreams

  15. David says:

    Thankyou for the link, Diego….

  16. schmerly says:

    DumadiSatrio.. I hope your dreams are not of the wet kind!!!

  17. Kinch says:

    The Indonesian Unitary State was always a (not so polite at times) fiction.

    Centripetal force, baby…..

  18. ET says:

    The building of specifically Hindu religious schools for primary and secondary education in Bali.

    This focus on religious upbringing in Balinese schools is a rather new phenomenon and probably an answer to creeping islamization by migrant workers from Java and other islands who are gradually taken over the more densily populated areas, especially Denpasar. Although the Balinese curriculum has always included religious topics, its general tone has been a rather practical one, like how to make offerings and things related to the vast array of ceremonial life, which is still of the utmost importance in Balinese private and social life. Balinese Hindu religion however has never been into proselytzing or dogmatism. That’s why one will never hear khotbah (preaching) during temple or private ceremonies, the onus lying more on practicalities and correct ceremonial actions rather than thorough understanding of hinduism’s many religious intricacies.

  19. janma says:

    You donโ€™t see Balinese people killing folks in the name of Kali, or Vishnu now donโ€™t you?

    study history….. in 1965 and 1966 they killed loads of their own people in Bali and used some obscure principle from balinese religion and philosophy to justify it. sure the roots of the problem were political, but the way they dealt with it and the way they justified it were within their religious framework.
    I really don’t see why they should teach MORE religion in schools here. there is already enough…. out of school it is completely all pervasive! Balinese communities revolve around their religion, there is no escape from it!

  20. timdog says:

    Awww, Janma, you got there first!
    Yes indeedy Rama Triez,

    Besides when have hindus in Indonesia been militant, or violent?

    Try 1965-66 when they killed around 5% of the population, and when much of the killing was given a gloss of religion, and “ritual cleansing”…
    In a very famous line, one general said of the pogroms “In Java, we had to egg them on to kill Communists; in Bali we had to restrain them”…

    If you don’t like maddrassas (and whether you do or not – and on principle I don’t – assuming that all, or a majority of them involve indocrination into bloodcurdling extremeism is silly hysteria and makes it clear that you’ve never actually been inside a maddrassa), then you also certainly shouldn’t like this either…

  21. Harun says:

    The subjects taught does not include making bombs but rather to instill a sense of heritage. I’m for it…. Unlike the pondok pesatren.

  22. hein says:

    I think these religious schools are not a bad idea at all. True the killings in ’65 were very unfortunate, but you should never forget that Indonesia at that time was at war with all that smelled politically or somehow else incorrect. True that some Balinese Hindu (religious) leaders have misused the political conflict at that time.

    But it’s not the fault of the Balinese Hindu religion as such. Perhaps if the common people had more understanding about the real meanings of their religion, this even wouldn’t have happened. It’s too easy to take an event from the past and relate it to something that’s happening currently and not taking into account all the surrounding aspects.

    The call for more religious teaching for Hindus is probably a counter reaction on the rise of Islam and Islamic extremist on Bali and Indonesia in general. You should not forget that Balinese Hinduism is an officially recognized religion in Indonesia, but also the smallest religion in the archipelago.

    @ Janma: if you don’t like that Hinduism in Bali is part of every Balinese live, than there is a good solution to your problem. Don’t go to Bali. But leave the Balinese alone! In my opinion there is already to much injustice for Balinese Hindus. It starts already with the marriage laws in Indonesia that explicitly forbid mixed religion marriages. Ever wondered why this is in a country that is for almost 90 percent Muslim? There is no factual religious freedom in Indonesia: religious freedom only exists on paper.

    It is necessary for the survival of Balinese Hindu tradition that the people know about their religion and know the differences between their religion and Islam. Nowadays they hear a lot about Islam, but they don’t know much about their own religion. Too many Balinese convert to Islam without knowing which richness they are leaving behind.

    I converted to Balinese Hinduism in 2005 and I don’t regret this decision for a single moment. The richness I found within this religion was beyond my wildest dreams. Just consider to take a course on Balinese Hinduism when you visit the Island of the Gods.

  23. diego says:

    Err…, I believe Janma actually _is_ living in Bali.

  24. diego says:

    @hein, interesting point you brought up:

    Nowadays they hear a lot about Islam, but they donโ€™t know much about their own religion. Too many Balinese convert to Islam without knowing which richness they are leaving behind.

    Do you really think those who converted did it after / because they heard a lot about islam?

    I mean, all we hear about islam are: nasty, repressive, backward, uncultured, etc. How would one convert to islam after hearing such things?

    There has got to be another explanation.

  25. Mr Tic Tac Toe says:

    Tn. Diego, Yth:

    There has got to be another explanation.

    Im not accusing anyone or anything, but have ever heard about BITE model?

    That model had been used in MLM seminars and some christian sermons extensively.

    ( still wondering about that ever so useful preview button ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  26. David says:

    Ok, alright, I’ll put it back…but I want something in return…. can you write I’m and not im or Im? Thanks, it really irritates me, he he.

  27. Mr Tic Tac Toe says:

    Tn. Patung, Yth:


    I know that Suryo Perkoso hate that. So I increasingly did more of that stuff, to subtly irritate him. Didn’t know it will irritate you too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Okay, I will try hard to improve my languange. Thank you for that preview button.

  28. diego says:

    what’s da point of havin’ prevu button if it can’t fix ur spelling mistakes?

  29. Mr Tic Tac Toe says:

    To see if the tags were properly closed.
    To think it through before submitting.
    To add more spelling mistakes if needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for “Im”, “Coz”, and stuffs… they are easier to type, more natural for my keyboard layout, less burden to the right hand.

  30. kiwibali says:

    @ Hein, I agree.

    @ Diego

    Do you really think those who converted did it after / because they heard a lot about islam?

    I mean, all we hear about islam are: nasty, repressive, backward, uncultured, etc. How would one convert to islam after hearing such things?

    There has got to be another explanation.

    Last time i was in Bali, all the media was much in favour of Islam. we hardly heard anything bad. That is until the 9/11 and the infamous Bali bombing.
    So pre-terrorist attacks, Islam was shown as ‘right’ way in a sense, by the media.

    By the way, is it just me or does Diego remind me of PN??

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