SMP Kristen Yahya Bandung

SMP Kristen Yahya is a partner school of SMP 8 Muhammadiyah Bandung in implementing the Breaking Down The Walls (BDW) program to foster students' character education, especially regarding diversity and tolerance values.

This school shares the same goal as SMP 8 Muhammadiyah Bandung: to build peaceful student characters from an early age so that prejudices against other religions that exist in students' minds can be directly addressed.

Why Does SMP Kristen Yahya Implement the BDW Program?

It all started with a question from one of the students posed to Ema Ridwati, a Civics teacher at SMP Kristen Yahya, "Ma'am, is it true that Muslims are the ones who bomb people?"

Ema Ridwati, a Muslim religion teacher at the school, was quite surprised when one of her students asked such a question. She actually hoped that questions like these would be asked by her students when she taught in the classroom. According to Ema, such questions can help children get used to dialoguing.

Ema also realized that some of her students still harbored such prejudices. Eliminating these negative prejudices requires more than teaching material in the classroom.

According to Ema, there must be examples and role models from teachers and the closest adults. Not only that, children need to be accustomed to interacting with people who are different from them. Based on this background, SMP Kristen Yahya implements the BDW program in their school.

What Is the Impact of the BDW Program on SMP Kristen Yahya Students?

When students from SMP Kristen Yahya visited and interacted directly with SMP Muhammadiyah 8 Bandung, Ema noticed a change in her students.

"At first, they had prejudices. Muslims had prejudices against non-Muslims, and vice versa. However, during the last visit to SMP 8 Muhammadiyah Bandung, they wrote down these prejudices and successfully overcame them," said Ema.

Ema admits that the school exchange program with different religious backgrounds is challenging. Many schools still consider it taboo, but it is necessary to build students' character.