In a concerted effort to enhance the quality of Islamic education in elementary schools, the English Language Education Department and Islamic Education Department of the Tarbiyah and Teacher Training Faculty at UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya recently organized a comprehensive community service program. The event, which took place on September 20th and 21st, 2023, witnessed the participation of seven dedicated trainers from both departments and aimed to equip elementary school teachers in Mojokerto City with essential tools and insights for the successful implementation of the Kurikulum Merdeka. They were Hernik Farisia, M.Pd.I, Dr. Siti Asmiyah, M.TESOL, Rakhmawati, M.Pd, Rizka Safriyani, M.Pd, Hilda Izzati, M.Pd, Sigit Pramono Jati, M.Pd, and Fahmy Imaniar, M.Pd.

This momentous event, held over the course of two days, unfolded within the premises of the Mojokerto City Education Office and was inaugurated by the Head of the Education Office of Mojokerto City. It brought together educators, representing various elementary schools in the region, who eagerly delved into the intricacies of the Kurikulum Merdeka, its learning outcomes, and the instructional objectives and methods for differentiated learning.

On the first day of the program, participants were immersed in the fundamental aspects of Kurikulum Merdeka, gaining a profound understanding of its core principles and goals. The curriculum, known for its innovative and holistic approach to education, emphasizes not only academic achievements but also the holistic development of students. Teachers were introduced to the concept of Kurikulum Merdeka, its aims, and the progressive path to achieving these objectives. Additionally, they delved into the art of differentiated learning, a crucial element in catering to the diverse needs and abilities of students.

The second day of the program was equally enriching, as it delved into the practical aspects of Kurikulum Merdeka. Participants explored the intricacies of creating effective teaching modules (modul ajar) that align with the curriculum’s ethos of holistic education. Moreover, they were exposed to the importance of assessment (asesmen) and the role it plays in gauging students’ progress and ensuring they meet the curriculum’s goals. The day concluded with a thorough examination of the Pancasila-based student profile strengthening project (proyek penguatan profil pelajar pancasila), aligning the curriculum with the core values of the Indonesian nation.

One of the distinguishing features of this community service program was its hands-on approach. Participants did not merely receive theoretical knowledge; they actively engaged with each element of Kurikulum Merdeka. Through interactive workshops, role-playing exercises, and collaborative discussions, teachers were given the opportunity to apply what they had learned, allowing them to internalize the concepts and strategies for practical use in their classrooms.

The trainers, comprised of distinguished lecturers from both the English Language Education Department and Islamic Education Department, brought their extensive expertise to the program. Their dedication to the cause was palpable, as they patiently guided the participants through the nuances of Kurikulum Merdeka, offering insights and practical tips gleaned from their years of experience.

The community service program also fostered a sense of camaraderie among the participants, allowing them to share their experiences and ideas. This collaborative spirit is expected to have a positive ripple effect throughout the local education community. As the program concluded, participants left with a newfound enthusiasm for implementing Kurikulum Merdeka in their classrooms. Armed with a deeper understanding of the curriculum’s philosophy and practical tools to facilitate its execution, the elementary school teachers of Mojokerto City are poised to provide their students with a more holistic and enriched learning experience. The success of this community service program reaffirms the pivotal role that educational institutions like UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya play in fostering positive change in society. It is a testament to the commitment of educators and the shared vision of enhancing the quality of education, ultimately contributing to the development of a more enlightened and prosperous future