Devy Ernis, Jakarta – A junior high school teacher in Lamongan shaved the heads of dozens of hijabi students for not wearing an inner hijab or ciput as it is locally known. This action was met with strong protests from a number of parents, demanding the teacher to be disrespectfully fired.
This went viral on social media. EN, who is an English teacher and a scout leader at State Junior High School (SMP) 1 Sukodadi Lamongan, East Java, used an electric shaver to cut the hair of 14 female students, leaving them partially bald. The teacher was later discharged.
A lecturer at the Teaching and Education Faculty (FKIP) of the Surabaya Muhammadiyah University, Holy Ichda Wahyuni, responded to the case. Holy said that education through violence is not a solution to instilling character education.
She emphasized that the national educationalist Ki Hajar Dewantara promotes the concept of humanistic learning so that education is provided in a good way as it is aimed at building their skills and character.
"Times have changed. There are many approaches to be applied to teach the character of students or children, especially in the context of teenagers," Holy said on Tuesday, August 29, as quoted from the university's page.
She believed that a cultural, personal, and friendly approach would produce a more positive response because adolescents need a friendly teacher rather than a dictator one.
"Regarding the perfection in wearing a hijab, teachers should be able to apply other methods than cutting their hair, which will certainly cause them trauma," Holy said.
For example, Holy said teachers could call students into a private room and provide an understanding of which parts must be covered by a hijab. Teachers could also fix their hijabs and then praise and appreciate them for wearing a hijab.
"This is in line with our motto: ing garso sung tuladha ing madya mangin karso tut wuri handayani (literally translated: In front, setting an example. In the middle, building work. In the back, giving support)," Holy concluded with Ki Hajar Dewantara's educational ideology.