FIDKOM Building, UIN NEWS Online– The presence of profession of religious extension worker of Islam needs to be balanced with the strengthening of adequate capacity of scientific extension so as to maximize their services to community. Related to that, Islamic religious colleges and the Ministry of Religious Affairs need to synergize its base of epistemology of Islamic education extension through the strengthening of the Islamic Counseling Guidance program (BPI).

This was conveyed by Head of Study Program of BPI Faculty of Da’wa and Communication Sciences (FIDK) Rini Laili Prihatini M.Si. when talking with UIN NEWS Online in her office on Monday (9/11/2017). “The science base of an extension worker is instructor or trainer, not counselor. That way, the science of extension must be maximized so it will be important foundation when a trainer work directly into the middle of society, “she said.

In contrast to the counseling approach, the extension activity targeted audiences with a wider problem and thus has significant impact on the lives of many communities. While counseling targeted a particular audience with a specific problem so that approach therefore closer to psychological matter.

Indonesian public, she continued, really need the existence of religious instructors, including Islamic extension worker. Although the majority of Indonesian are Muslims, they also live with cultural and religious diversity. That way, religious extension workers are required as the personality figures on various issues of religious life, including tolerance of differences in religious understanding and faith.

A year ago, FIDK UIN Jakarta and the Ministry of Religious Affairs launched a professional organization of Islamic religious instructors. The organization launched by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin and UIN Jakarta Rector, Prof. Dr. Dede Rosyada MA that was expected to be a forum for the development of competence for extension worker of Islam.

The presence of such organizations was considered as a step ahead in advancing the profession of extension worker of Islam. Because, many of professional organizations of extension workers under the organization of the Indonesian Development Counseling Association (PAPPI), the profession of extension of Islam has not been yet a member of the association. Which was now is filled by another extension profession like profession of forestry extension, agricultural extension, and social extension.

Ministry of Religious Affairs noted that tens of thousands of religious extension workers where 45 thousand of them are honorary religious instructors are assigned to conduct religious extension activities in various regions in Indonesia. Their presence as a religious counselor is required to educate, connect, and cognize the religious life of a better society. (usa-im)

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