Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (Print ISSN: 1098-8394; Online ISSN: 1528-2651)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 22 Issue: 2

Leadership Transformation; Study of Islamic Boarding School (Dayah) in ACEH Province of Indonesia

Mukhlisuddin Ilyas, STKIP Bina Bangsa Getsempena

Zainuddin, Universitas Negeri Medan

Abdul Muin Sibuea, Universitas Negeri Medan

Zahrila, Universitas Islam Negeri Ar-Raniry


This paper focuses on analysis of Islamic boarding school leadership transformation in Aceh Province. Dayah as the Islamic institution has the authority in determining self-leadership form in the hierarchy of education management; this study aims to analyze transformation model of leadership that was influenced by the modern education system, the method used in this study based on qualitative method with ethnographic approach. The results of the study revealed the transformation process of traditional Dayah leadership in Aceh was transformed to expand the authority from a solitary leadership form, revolved into collective leadership and authoritative transformation which is focused on the public authoritative policy.


Transformation, Leadership, Boarding School, Education.


Dayah, as an organization with a special authoritative model of the Islamic education, have been contributed in the education sector and have carried out many transformations as an effort to be existing as a public education organization (Fitriah, 2017). Islamic boarding schools as the initial basis for the development of education in Indonesia are often named as “Pesantren” or “Dayah” in Aceh, with high organizational values and education. The existence and development of a Dayah in Indonesia was largely determined by the role of the leader (Schenk, 2018). The Leaders become a central role in maintaining the existence and development of Islamic Boarding School in Indonesia (Thahir, 2014).

Essentially, the leader plays an important role in an institution. The leadership has the key function in organizing the potential that possessed by the organizations to achieve the goals, and leadership also plays a key role in regulating the organizational rhythm. The Leadership Determination also was applied in the Dayah, the level of success of education in Dayah is strongly influenced by the leadership management (Usman et al., 2016).

Dayah as the oldest traditional Islamic institutions in Aceh have also carried out transformation. Change of time has influenced this institution. Dayah, which is basically a subculture in life after society role, has shifted to produce Muslim intellectuals expected to continue the goals of their predecessors to advance Muslims holistically (Huwaida, 2015).

Innovations was made by Dayah also have a social impact, as institutions which has three main functions, the first, as an educational institution that organizes formal education (madrasah, public schools, and colleges) and non-formal education that specifically religion practice teaching. Second, as an egalitarian, democratic and non-discriminatory social institution (Ahmad, 2015). Dayah was also opened to the wider community as consultative function to the government and community (Muafi & Uyun, 2018). The third, Dayah as Islamic education representation also act as a religious broadcasting institution that covers the whole circles (Humaizi, 2018).

Aceh Province through the government work unit was managed the Dayah since 2006, the only one of province in Indonesia, which is managed Dayah by establishing the local government apparatus under the Aceh Province Dayah Education Development Agency (BPPD). This embryo was transformed to the higher level as Department of Dayah Education (DPD) since 2016 (Mujiburrahman, 2015). At the other province in Indonesia, Islamic institution was managed under the Indonesia regional ministry of religion, in Aceh Province the function of Indonesia regional ministry of religion continues to carry out its functions in managing early education and boarding schools vertically.

In this study the process or model of transformation of traditional Dayah leadership in Aceh was analyzed, to have depth understanding regarding the leadership transformation of Dayah as the autonomous Islamic institutions education in Aceh Province.

Literature Review

Leadership Model of Islamic Boarding School

Islamic Boarding School (Dayah) is a unique education model, culture, leadership, methods, and networks (genealogy) that have a very strong bond. Dayah was also referred as the original (indigenous) education system in Indonesia (Zakaria, 2007). Traditional Dayah tie was different from others public schools, the problems that arise was shown the typical and exotic character in the education system. Dayah was grow from the grass root level, based on the will of the community which consists of; teungku (leader), santri (Student), parent and the surrounding community, including the community leader (Azra, 2015).

The development of a Dayah depends on the personal abilities of the leaders; the management is the crucial aspect need beside the capacity and reliability leadership qualifications. For this reason, leadership transformation is an obligatory in the development of education management in the Dayah management education (Husin, 2013).

According Gary Yukl, future leadership is a leader who continues to learn, maximize energy and master deepest, simplest, and multi focus feelings. Therefore, the quality is important and quantity is no longer an advantage in competing. Finding and exploring knowledge must be done for the future leaders. This is very essential because science is a vital energy for every organization (Yukl, 1999). In line with this opinion, Kotter argued that the ability of a future leader includes intellectual and interpersonal abilities to achieve organizational goals (Kotter, 2008).


This research was applied a qualitative research method with ethnographic approach to collect the data, in obtaining primary and secondary data related to this research (Spradley, 2016). The field research was conducted directly to the research location, namely the Ma'hadul Ulum Diniyah Islamiyah Islamic Boarding School (MUDI), situated in Bireun District, of Aceh Province, Indonesia. The subject of this study focused on five subjects as respondents, namely leaders, managers, caregivers, teacher councils, and community leaders around the Dayah area. The subject of the research was determined based on the person who is considered the most knowledgeable about the information needed in the research. Data analysis used is qualitative data analysis. The data that obtain in qualitative are words that were collected through various ways (observation, interview, documentation essence.), and processed before being used through recording.

Results and Discussion

The transformation of boarding schools was inseparable from the influence of solitary leadership model of Teungku as the decision maker. In general, the exponents of Islamic boarding schools was comprehensively consider toward transformation of recent education system, the recognition of modernization of Islamic education was occurred only on limited scale, the modernization system only applied to guarantee the boarding school to be able to continue to survive significantly, the transformation wasn’t contradicted to the culture of the Dayah as Islamic education institution.

The leadership model of the early phase of Islamic boarding school period in Aceh was formed in a solitary leadership. Every policy was made by the authority of Teungku as a symbol of the leadership within the Dayah. The interactions emerged during the early period of the major Dayah's progress was led to direct leadership decisions between Dayah leaders and student. During this period, the Dayah leader role was only in process of knowledge transfer and value transfer, rather than involvement in any social and religious contestations outside the Dayah circle. The holistic Dayah rule was made verbally; disobeying action to the rule would cause the serious punishment such as dropping out from the boarding school. The competence of Islamic Boarding school as distinctive educational institution in accommodating the responsibility to educate the student was the importance factor of absolute power of Teungku as the solitary leader in the Dayah. The establishment link to empower the student in obtaining the skill of mastering the foreign language, and vocational skill such as information technology from the external side in a symbiotic-mutualistic relationship implementation. The role of Teungku as a leader for student and community as the Islamic law reference in the daily routine in practicing the Islamic religion. Dayah (Islamic Boarding school) was becoming the central of Islamic religion knowledge for every stakeholder and Teungku was the respected Figure 1 among the community as the best model.

Figure 1:Collective Leadership Model Of Islamic Boarding School.

The previous research results which have been conducted by some researchers regarding leadership management model wasn’t denied all by management of MUDI Islamic Boarding School (Usman et al., 2016). According to Teungku Hasanoel Basry as the MUDI Head master, the previous model of leadership was controlled solitary by Teungku Abdul Aziz. During his period as the successor leader, the management was already reformed into collective system of leadership with four division; education, religious, internal affair, and public affair division. As the comparison the number of student during previous management leadership was 450. The quality was the target in managing the Dayah in that era. In the new era the number of student ranged 5000 students with the same quality of education and discipline was the capital of management in yielding the multiply effect of collective leadership model.

In the beginning of 1989 in Aceh province most of Dayah was trying to adopt the modern education model the aspect that adopted was the leadership management model, the collective leadership was started from MUDI Islamic Boarding School, the existence of Islamic Boarding School with traditional system gradually moved forward by transforming the internal system of management.

The transformation of leadership system was transformed to multi transformation model such as charismatic leadership model to rationalistic, from authoritarian-paternalistic to diplomatic-participatory, and from laisser-faire to bureaucratic, from traditional individual to collective leadership patterns, from religious-paternalistic to persuasive-participatory, from leadership informal individual charismatics in formal legal (collegial) leadership, and from individual authority to collective authority system.


The transformation process of leadership in Islamic boarding school was pursued to expand its authority from a solitary leadership transformed into collective leadership and the authoritative transformation wasn’t merely focuses on Student, on the other hand altering to the public authoritative model of transformation. This transformation can be referred as the transformation model from traditional to modern education system of Islamic Boarding School. The authority transformation was carried out through some aspects which is bringing the direct impact to the institution in gaining the power of Dayah as Education institution, such as; the involvement of the Teungku in political and social contestation in Aceh, collective model of authority of leadership in managing the institution in internal relation and external relation among stakeholder, regeneration leadership through the knowledge transfer to the student in preparing the successor leader (zuriah bil ilmi), and preparing the successor leadership from the lineage as the regeneration process of future leader of Dayah in ensuring the zuriah bil nasab.