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(From The Jakarta Post)
Pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) have from the very beginning primarily performed a religious mission, which is to disseminate Islam through education, with little thought of financial gain.
Most schools rely on local residents for their daily needs. In some cases, people also donate land and buildings to the schools.
Nowadays, however, pesantren must be more realistic as they have to manage financial matters to ensure their survival or bolster their development amid the country's protracted economic crisis.
Every pesantren leader seems to have his own policy in coping with money matters, mostly noting that money is a sensitive issue which must be handled carefully.
Some remain conservative by relying …