Ministry seeks financial inclusion in Islamic boarding schools

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The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs is encouraging the acceleration of financial inclusion in Islamic boarding schools, deputy of macroeconomics and finance at the ministry, Iskandar Simorangkir, said here on Thursday.

The acceleration of financial inclusion will not only help the residents of Islamic boarding schools or pesantren, but also the surrounding community to prosper.

“This financial inclusion is very strategic in empowering Islamic boarding schools to improve the welfare of Kyai, administrators, santri, and the community around pesantren,” he explained.

The acceleration is part of efforts to achieve the 90-percent financial inclusion target in Indonesia by 2024, Simorangkir highlighted in his statement.

Financial inclusion in Indonesia reached 83.6 percent in 2021, which was higher compared to 2020, when it was recorded at 81.4 percent, he noted. However, the financial literacy index in Indonesia is still low, he added.

For instance, he said, endeavors to speed up both financial literacy and inclusion are being conducted in Mansyaul Huda 02 and Al-Islah Islamic boarding schools in Tuban, East Java, facilitated by the Secretariat of the National Council for Inclusive Finance (DNKI).

According to him, financial education and socialization in the Islamic boarding school environment are very important as Indonesia has more than 30 thousand pesantren.

Some Islamic boarding schools have potential in agriculture, farming, fisheries, and micro and small enterprises (SMEs), Simorangkir pointed out.

Meanwhile, the deputy district head of Tuban, Riyadi, called for synergy and collaboration between the central and local governments to improve financial literacy and inclusion.

“It is hoped that forums like this can encourage the acceleration of financial inclusion and give economic added value at the household level,” he said.

The educational socialization activities were part of a collaboration among inclusive finance partners such as state-owned logistics firm Perum Bulog, Agency of Revolving Fund Management for Cooperatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (LPDB-KUMKM), as well as PT Permodalan Nasional Madani, PT Pupuk Indonesia, PT Telkom, and the Sharia Business Unit of PT Pegadaian.

Source: Antara News