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Character Education

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A. Background

Madagascar, an Indian Ocean Island country, is the world’s fourth largest Island. It has experienced political instability since early 2009, initiated by tensions between the country’s last elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, and an opposition movement led by Andry Rajoelina, the mayor of the capital city, Antananarivo. Periodic protests by Ravalomanana supporters after the takeover led to violent clashes with security forces.

As a result of the coup d’état, many workstations were destroyed, many Malagasy people lost their job, and foreign governments, including the United States, reacted to Rajoelina’s seizure of power by sanctioning the government in various ways (e.g., through, restrictions on aid, personal sanctions on some individuals, and removal of trade benefits). That’s why Madagascar is currently in poverty and the character of Malagasy people has been changed. Many of them influence to the evil acts such as theft, crime.

Regardless of that, one of the most famous bad characters of Malagasy people also, is jealousy, a spring that threatens the country’s economic development. The difference between Madagascar and Indonesia is Religion. That is not too important in Madagascar, that’s why it’s not among subjects that educated in public schools and also, Ministry of Religion does not exist. Religion is like a personal affair for Malagasy people, it can be learned only in Church, except to the private schools which are institutionalized by catholic or protestant religion. So, that is not enough to change better the character of Malagasy young generation. Therefore, implementation of religious education in all public and private schools is necessary.


A. Implementation Of Religious Education in the current curriculum of Education in Madagascar.

Based on the policy of the National Education of Madagascar, year 2011, the purpose of education is to increase the level of basic skills in schools in order to improve the productivity which contributes to the development of the country on the one side; a refound of culture and human rights, citizenship and of citizenship on the other side. (M. MANORO Régis, Minister of National Education, Ministère de l’Education Nationale. http://www.education.gov.mg. on 14th of November in 2013). The Government expected that by means of educations both formal and informal can build the character of Malagasy young generation. Although Madagascar needs political stability, job creation, and social welfare, Education is a solution to build the nation’s character. However in Madagascar, religious education is not yet integrated into curriculum of education. So, the implementation of this subject in the current curriculum is one of the best solutions to build the character of Malagasy people in 2020 (My hope for Malagasy people to have a good character).

The scientist from State University of New York in their book The Vision of Islam said that ‘’The solution to solve the problem in society, as the hunger, diseases, pollution and many kinds of social diseases is return to God through religion’’. The combination between the idea about education and religion, can find the balance of the life itself. It means that it must improve the educational system itself. The education doesn’t only emphasize on the technology development, but also on improving the faith and piety on the moral itself. The religious education doesn’t only teach the theory, but also the application in everyday life style. On in other word the religion not stops in the competence, but also to the will and habit. Don’t only master the moral knowing, but also the moral feeling and the moral action. By this way, it is hoped that the potency of the young generation can develop optimally to have the Intellectual Intellegency (IQ), Emotional Intellegency (EQ), and Spiritual Intellegency (SQ).

Teacher and parents have a role to build student’s character, education which is provided by teacher and parents will be memorized and be followed by students. Whatever is done, the behavior will give experience for children to deal with the situation. In essence, children always behave and have a very strong reasoning abilities (Damon, W., 2002). The development of this two things ‘’behavior and strong reasoning’’ will make students become more confident, focused in learning, so that children could not be influenced by the environment even that good or bad situation. Further, Damon, W., (2002) mentions that one aspect in the teaching of character that must be owned by a teacher is the attitude of morality. The point is to teach values in general to help students acquire a variety of forms of morality, so that students will maintain the attitude or morality in many situations: joyful, grim, inspiring, corrupt, which will be found in everyday life. Damon, W., (2002) says that children must learn about beliefs and values in morality based on this step: students learn through clarty of message consistency, and ambivalent moral will leave students a rigid thinking; students learn through positive habit. Students must active, they have sense of curious to the new knowledge. Therefore they will not fragile, because the real danger is inside of them; and with the flexibility of thinking, they can absorb local wisdom and make a choice what they are needed.

Character Education can be integrated in teaching and learning process, so that the appropriate subject which is more reliable to build character of people is religious Education. Thus, the values of character not only show in cognitive aspect, but they must be internalized as a real accomplishment in social life. Education has responsibility on developing human character, by the effort that can be done by planting of local or national culture, change the curriculum, teaching and learning, assessment or evaluation, and habits of all the educators. According to Greenberg (2003), education make students be knowledgeable, have skills,  healthy, care, responsible, and hard working as a good civilization. To build the cultural and intellectual character of students, and to commit a long life of education, the quality of education must be in interaction with social positive habits, no harm and healthy way; to support with ethical and responsible in group, family and school; and to have basic competency, work culture and values as the basic for potential workers or citizens.

B. Teaching and Learning Religious Education in using the method of ESQ

WAY 165
The Urgent of the theme shows about how to use the ESQ WAY 165 in religious education while most of Malagasy people are Christians. According to Ary Ginanjar Agustian (2009:25), the concept of new thinking ”Emotional and Spiritual Quotient ESQ” Model is spiritual device engineering in terms of character and personality development. It was initiated on the (1) Value, (6) Pillars of Faith, and (5) Pillars of Islam that would eventually generate the superior human in the emotional sector and internalize wealth of spirit, mind, and physical in his life.

Vision of ESQ is the realization of civilization gold and meaningful life for millions of people in the world. Its mission is to accelerate the transformation of the character and culture of the nation. As a solution to build the moral of nation at this time, the union of IQ , EQ and SQ is necessary, with the value of 7 Main Cultivation of ESQ, they are: honest , responsibility , visionary , discipline , cooperation, fair, and caring. ESQ is the union of values of nationalism, Pancasila as the foundation of the State was born on 1-6-45, and spiritualism for this foundation is 165. ESQ is oxygen O2 neutral and no color. ESQ is an independent training institute to build the character and culture of the nation with the method ESQ WAY 165.

By the method of ESQ WAY 165, ESQ develops human resources, which are able to build the nation’s character in the field of Character Education. Additionally, ESQ is able to combine 3 human potentials such as physical, emotional, and spiritual. The merger will result in totality that is driven
by three  motivations, where the life and work are not just driven by motivations that are both physical and emotional, but also spiritual motivation that generated to the Contribution, Meaning of Life, Abundance Mentality through the SQ; Profit, Incentive, Responsible through the IQ; Commitment, Acknowledgement, Quality

Relationship through the EQ. It will bring competence, happiness and meaningful life. So, the unification of IQ, EQ. and SQ is able to make human habituation. Albert Einstein said that ‘’The big problem that we face can not be solved by the same level of thinking when the problem occurs.” ESQ model discussed is the new level of thinking to answer the thorny problems in terms of emotional intelligence and spiritual development. ESQ concept model is believed to be able to create a superior human being, but this is not a crash training program. It cannot happen without an ongoing process and a strong commitment to oneself. ESQ model will continue to focus on fundamental truths that are universal and timeless.

The principles in the various parts that keep new ideas are: In part one namely Zero Mind Process through Istighfar (Ask forgiveness from God), It results the clear and pure unconscious, or designation with awareness which is in God spot ie return to the heart that is independent and free of obstacles through Dzikir Asmaul Husna (Remember God to purify the heart) . Ary Ginanjar Agustian (2009:25). Free people is limited by the shackles of prejudice, the principles of life that are bad, the experience which handcuff the mind, the interest of selfishness, the comparison of subjective barriers, and the shackle the fanaticism which is misleading. (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:92). This step is the starting point of a spiritual intelligence. In addition, in this part one, the introduction of what conscience (self conscience) serves as a foundation of SQ. Human here has a universal value and Ihsan (Good Deeds).

In part two, Mental Building elaborated on how to build emotional intelligence systematically through the 6 principles based on 6 Pillars of Faith (or Proclaimed the Mystery of Faith for Catholic) that realized by Tasbih (Holiness of God), Tahmid (All praise and thanks be to God), Tahlil (to believe that None is worthy of worship except God, or none deserves to be worshiped except He), and Takbir (to signify the greatness of God). Started with building the ultimate principle namely Star Principle; that is a spiritual commitment in order to form an unshakable mentality and a digital mentality. People must be ready with all the loss because one day, everything will be returned to the Lord. Therefore, people must have faith in God and must have value of the trust.

Tawhid (Unity of God) is the intrinsic sense of ownership, self-confident, strong integrity, wisdom, and high motivation. All of it based on faith, and built with the principles of God only, ‘’glorify God, and preserve nature in human beings’’. La Ilaha Illallaah (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:123). Secondly, Building trust and helping habit namely Angel Principle; that is a spiritual integrity which is reliable and trust; giving and helping habits. Human must believe in angels ie he must have a high level of loyalty, a strong commitment, a habit to provide and to initiate, helpful, and have a mutual trust because everything that we do must be recorded by the angels behind us (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:140). Thirdly, Proceed with building the ability to influence namely Leadership Principle; that is a balance and a harmony.

Human will be able to build influence because true leader is someone who always loves people and gives attention to others, so that he was loved, has a strong integrity, so he was trusted by his followers, always guides and teaches his followers (Kader), has a strong personality and consistent. And most importantly is to lead based on the nature of conscience (Leave Legacy). (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:167). That is like Jesus Christ for Christians. Fourthly, Building the spirit of learning namely Learning Principle; that is intellectual and creative, a continuous improvement. It is recognized by kaizen method: take the good, discard the bad, and create new ones with the mission and vision of the power of learning. Students will be able to have a habit of reading a book and read the situation carefully, always think critically and deeply, always re- evaluate their thinking, be open to hold refinement, have strong guidelines in the study , which adhered to the Al-Qur’an (or Bible for Christians). (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:197). Fifthly, Building the ultimate vision namely Vision principle; that is adventurous and courage.

We always orient to the final destination at every step made so that we have to optimize every step in earnest (Short term vision: always do the best). Sure, it will have an after day (mid-term vision), so have the self and social control, and have certainty that it will have the future and a high inner peace (Long term vision: Meeting God to Heaven). (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:215). ‘’Shoot the star, I know your arrow will not reach the star, but I know your arrow will fly higher away rather than if you shoot at the same of yourself’’ (Material of teaching). Finally, building Well Organized Principle; that is powerful and realistic (happiness in heart). Human will have peace and confidence in the business, because he has knowledge of the certainty of natural law and social law. Deeply understand the importance of a process that must be passed. Always oriented to the formation system (synergy), and always try to keep the system that has been established. (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:239). At this point, it will be created EQ format based on spiritual awareness, and in accordance with the inner conscience of the human self (self conscience). This is where the human characters have high level of emotional and spiritual intelligence (ESQ) that is formed according to the human conscience.

Part three, Personal Strength is the 5 physical steps performed sequentially and very systematically and based on the 5 pillars of Islam. In essence, this section is a step that starts from the determination of the ultimate mission strengthening namely Mission Statement; that is perseverance and optimism. To build a clear mission of life and integrated, do Syahadat (A statement of belief in the Holy trinity for Christians: the Father ‘’God’’, the Son ‘’Jesus Christ’’, and the Holy Spirit, that is as Confession). Syahadat will build a confidence in trying. Syahadat will create an impetus in achieving the goal. Syahadat will evoke courage and optimism, while creating inner peace in life mission. Remember that we are here on earth as a servant of the Lord. Followed by building the strong character that is Character Building. Character building continuously and incentives, a paradigm shift in looking at a problem, no longer as a burden but an opportunity or container to forge ourselves. Sholat (Prayer for Christians) is a method of relaxation to maintain self-awareness in order to still have a clear way of thinking. Prayer is a step to build the power of affirmation.

Prayer is a method that can improve the emotional and spiritual intelligence to be continued. Prayer is the technique of forming experience that build a positive paradigm (New  paradigm Shift). And prayer is a way to continue to hone and sharpen the ESQ obtained from pillars of faith. (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:307). Furthermore, strengthening the self- control helps to detect weaknesses and strengths as well as how to control themselves. Puasa (fast or carême for Christians) is a training method for self-control. Fasting aims to achieve true independence and liberation from the shackles of control. Fasting is good to preserve our most precious assets, which is divine conscience, and true life purpose. (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:326).

Part four, (Social strength) which describes the spiritual training to unleash the potential of being a real step, and form an alliance or synergy. This is a manifestation of social responsibility an individual who has had a personal toughness. Training provided, called Synergy or Strategic Collaboration step builds awareness to the importance of a meaningful collaboration. Zakat (alms, tithes) is a real step to unleash the potential of spiritual (fitrah), a concrete step in building strong synergy, which is based on empathy, trust, cooperation, openness , and credibility (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:369). The third step produces what is called a personal toughness (Personal Strength). Terminated with Total Action step to realize an idea and value, it requires the ability to execute and to implement in real action. At this step, it will form the social resilience (Social Strengh). Haji (pèlerinage / pilgrimage) is a transformation of principles and steps in total (tawaf), consistency and persistence of the struggle (sa’i), evaluation and visualization as well as to know a spiritual identity when wukuf. Haji is also a synergy training of the highest in the scale, and the pilgrimage, a physical as well as mental preparation faces the challenges of future (lantar Jumrah). (Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2009:393).

Based on the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (2008) (or la Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de Recherche Scientifique [MENRS]), three main principles for the plan of action in the education
sector in Madagascar is:

1. to ensure that the Malagasy people active in the development process and employees with high productivity in agriculture, industry, and services;

2. to make the education system with world-class standards; 3. to achieve universal quality basic education for all children, and eliminate disparities between men and women at all levels of education in 2015. Anonymous. TT. Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de Recherche Scientifique



Accessed on 14th November in 2013.
Therefore, teaching and learning Religious Education in using the method of ESQ WAY 165 is meaningful to build the character of Malagasy people.

A. Conclusion

Religious Education should be taught to students not only to provide knowledge by theory, or focuses on its ritual only but to provide life experiences that can apply the norms, culture and personal development, and must be applied in everyday life. The ESQ WAY 165 has seven values that can be integrated in teaching and learning, they are: honest, responsibility, visionary, discipline, fair, and care. The character that can be increased by Religious Education are: attitude of believe in God and to love Him; respect for other people; attitude of appreciating ourselves as perfect being; critical thinking to convey an idea, care; work hard and have a passion to solve every problem; discipline; responsible; and consistently.

Religious Education with the ESQ WAY 165 merges 1. Heart (value) which is Ihsan (good deeds) on God Spot, 6 Moral principles based on pillars of faith, 5 Step of success based on pillars of Islam. In the first part: God Spot and Zero Mind Process in order to establish Spiritual Intelligence (SQ). In the second part: Mental Building in order to build emotional intelligence (EQ) 1.Star Principle, 2.Angel Principle, 3.Leadership Principle, 4.Learning Principle, 5.Vision Principle, and 6.Well Organized Principle. In the third part: Personal strength, physical step 1, namely 1.Mission Statement, 2.Character Building, 3. Self Control. Finally, in the fourth part: Social Strength, physical Step 2 Is 4.Strategic Collaboration, and 5. Total Action.

Based on the value of character education and oriented to approach in teaching and learning Religious Education, such as exploration, inquiry, discovery could be a destination of success in Education and also can be create a human who has good character, hopefully for the Malagasy young generation in 2020.

B. Suggestion

Based on the explanation above, the writer suggest to the readers: 1. Implementation of teaching religious education in using the method of ESQ WAY 165 is appropriate to government policy to improve quality of education. 2. Researcher can do research about effectiveness of implementation the religious education in the current curriculum to create a young generation who has good character.

Anonymous. TT. Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de Recherche Scientifique.


on 14th November in 2013. Ary Ginanjar Agustian, Rahasia Sukses Membangun Kecerdasan Emosi Dan Spiritual Berdasarkan The ESQ Way 165, 2009. Jakarta Indonesia. Ary Ginanjar Agustian,
Bangkit Dengan 7 Budi Utama, 2013. Jakarta Indonesia. Damon, William, Bringing in a New Era in Character Education. California: Hoover Institution Press. 2002.

ESQ Leadership Center. The ESQ WAY 165. www.esqway165.com. Accessed on 14th November in 2013.
Greenberg, T. Mark; Weissberg P. Roger; Utne, M; Zins E. Joseph; Fredericks, L; Resnik, H; Elias J. Maurice; Enhancing School-Based Prevention and Youth Development Through Coordinated Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. USA: American Psychologist Association, Inc. 2003. Khofifah-sikhya. Moral crisis in Indonesia. . Accessed on 14th November in 2013.

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