Me and Gontor

Posted on: February 28, 2009

Yes, I have studied in Gontor. I had many experiences when i lived there. I took experiment class (kelas eksperimen) because my background school was junior high school (sekolah menengah pertama) at that moment, and that’s why i could take that class in which studyng periode just took 5 years studying : first grade, second grade, third grade and jump to fifth grade and then sixth grade. That was the system for experiment class.

For the first grade, I was placed in Darul Ma’rifat which was located in Kediri, exactly in Sumbercangkring Gurah Kediri. I think it was because In Gontor, the capacity of building was limited. So if the number of student was more than space, so Gontor would manage to distribute them to its branches. And Kediri was one of Gontor Branches.

At that time, Darul Ma’rifat Kediri was led by Ustadz Ma’ruf Chumaidi. He was so calm and famous Ustadz in that region of Kediri. Besides Arabic, he also spoke English well. It was really great.

In Darul Ma’rifat, Friday was a day off so every student had a lot of chances and choices to do things. Some of them used the time to wash their clothes which were collected during a week. If they had money, they would like to go generally to Gurah to buy something. And I think going to Gurah was a kind of refreshing the mind. for student, however, going outside school location was more difficult then their Ustadz. they had to get permission, if I am not wrong, from security division / department (bagian keamanan) and . I still remember, Kohar was the security department president whom students (a’do – members) feared. In fact, he could be funny if he interacted in informal situations.

After one year studying in Darul Ma’rifat Kediri, then i moved to Gontor in Ponorogo. Situations and discipline in Gontor were not so strange for me because i used to live with it in Kediri. But I had to confess that Darussalam Gontor had more teachers, students and of course buildings as well as options of extracurricular activities. Every building was internationally and famously named such Tunis, Aligarh, Sanggit, Palestine, al-Azhar, Rabithah etc. it seems to me that the founding father of Gontor has a broad mind and wide experiences and that’s why Darussalam Gontor was famously known as Pondok Modern (Modern Islamic School) Darussalam Gontor.

Unlike student in Traditional Pesantren (Pondok Pesantren Salafi) who wear sarong during studying in class, Students in Gontor wear pant and shirt when they go to class but not necessarily uniform.

But I think it was a kind of being modern. More than that, Gontor can exist even until now because it is inclusive in the sense that Gontor accommodates any student from any background no matter whether the student from Muhamadiyah, Nu or Other Organization. And they can live with peace and tolerance.

In Gontor, I was interested in (Arabic) calligraphy so that I then join Aklam (Asosiasi Kaligrafer Darussalam). I have to say alhamdulillah and I am grateful that by joining aklam, I can share many things about calligraphy and its style with my fellow “aklaman”. In Aklam, I also can develop my calligraphy skill. But I have to say that if we want to write calligraphy well, we have to practice continually and never give up.

In class six, when Amaliyah Tadris (training of teaching) came, I directly choose calligraphy as a material to teach in Amaliyah Tadris. Alhamdulillah, I did Amaliyah Tadris successfully without being nervous. Before my turn came, I saw some of my friends were nervous and even get sweaty due to his nervousness. How not to be nervous!! We have to teach class where many of our fellows were obliged to watch, find out and even criticize our mistake. They were standing around us!!

I think Amaliyah Tadris was great examination. It could test our mentality, down or survive!!

One of my friends told me like this “anggap aja mereka patung” which mean “just look them as if they were statue”. This advice could work out to make us brave!!

Yes I have many memories about my life in Gontor. Good and bad memory. My bad memory was about my encounter with security department. The people of this department always displays their selves as frightening people as possible. How many times I got beaten by them, sometimes with their stick and another time with their strong and easy hand to beat. They never even just smile. I heard that they ever beaten student without control until the victim got injured in his ears.

I have to be honest, when I was chosen as mudabbir (I call it “manager”) in hostel named Saudi. I was sometimes trapped to act violent against naughty member. But after that, I feel that by this way, many members follow the rule not by their pure awareness but being afraid of punishment which was usually physical. From that time I tried to be much softer yet straight (tegas). Because I believe to be straight doesn’t necessarily mean being violent. Members will respect this way.

But I guess, this kind of discipline was institutionalized, so it was regarded as something normal. In this situation, it is normal when you are beaten because you are student being caught doing wrong and when you become manager, so you will simply feel the right to beat your member whenever you find him doing wrong. So it was like the chain of beating from generation to generation.

For now, I don’t know exactly if this kind of discipline still exists or not. But personally, through my deep thinking, this kind of physical punishment is not relevant any more todays. There should be a new innovation and creativity when it came to topic about punishment. The key is that following rule should come from our awareness not from our fear.

I think there are my things that I don’t tell about my experience in Gontor. I am proud that I graduated from Gontor. It teaches me the life. I still remember Ustadz Hasan’s word. “Yang penting itu bukan hidup untuk hidup tapi bagaimana kita hidup untuk kehidupan”. This word strongly depends on how we mean it. But personally, to live for life is much deeper than our life is to live


17 Responses to "Me and Gontor"

Yeah, anyway Gontor had given us the way to live…

Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

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Instead, the power company will pay YOU!

anyway, I do greatfull b coz of Gontor. it taught me many things…
here I am now..even every thing not always has d perfect one.
but for sure..we have to thank to Gontor very much…

madza ta’ny ya shahiby?

I was once a student there. I hated the dicipline soo much. I don’t believe the school is for everyone. The teaching in the class are great. The teaching outside of class needs improvement. My opinion only. For those that needs reform or behavior control. It might be perfect. In the end I got fed up and ended up kick out of the school after 3 years of attending it.

It might be a dumb move. But I felt the school is somewhat like a prison. At the time of attending the school. I got this weird thinking that it is an institution to brain wash people by cruelty and inhumane way to control the student. My dumb move (?) was, after 3 years of attending it. I just took a couple of days off, without permission to go out of the school and just hang out. Came back in the fourth year, missed the roll count which was mandatory. The advisor said I’m out of the program. Why did I do this. The school and pressure is just way too much. Not my lifestyle.

Just my opinion… I could write a book of the stories and experiences there. Mainly outside of class is not my lifestyle. I think if the school is extremely highly well funded. It’s not a bad school. Alot of talents and hidden skill can be accomplish.

My last statement meant to say….

Alot of talents and hidden skill can be ‘refine.

Just my vent. The thing I got fed up the most was. There are no privacy. That problem was easily solved by leaving. Only drawback was I didn’t finish the training.

I got my college degrees in the US instead.

nice blog,
salam gtr,,,

Hi, salam…
I used to be a student there just like u (year ’96/’97, if I was not wrong). I knew Ust. Ma’ruf as a great president (He was so cool) and Kohar as a ‘Qismul Amni’ at that time. However, I left my study there after 3 years (a first year at Darul Ma’rifat and the remaining at Gontor I).
Now I am a geologist at an oil company which the working area covering the northern part of Kediri and Gurah as well. Once I had a micro seismic survey over there and still I could smell a little sweet memories there, when I was a little child student.
I love Gontor so much…

It was very enjoyable memories back to 36 years ago, when Iwas graduated as one of syahadah holder of KMI.
I still remember all activities, arabic language, mahfudhaat and also almost all lessons during my life time in gontor.
Even though I got my college degree from ITB and abroad, but my friends from ITB always see me as a Gontorian.

Thank God, that gave the chances to study in Gontor.

my teacher, have you come after going out from this boarding school???

Someday I want my son joint with Gontor, where I can get Information about it ? thank’s for your information.

Good luck our almamater.
We’ve enjoyed learning at beloved boarding schoool, the way to survive in this world.

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