Is this madrasah in Indonesia or Thailand?

Throughout the Islamic world there are traditional educational institutions which, at a minimum, teach religious subjects including Quranic memorization, Quranic interpretation, the traditions of the Prophet (hadith) and Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). In many parts of the world, these schools are called madrasah, although the term in Modern Arabic can refer to any kind of school. In Southeast Asia they are called variously, pondok, pondok pesantren, and pesantren. Typically, these schools center around a charismatic headmaster and are residential in nature. I will use the term pondok to refer to all Southeast Asian madrasah-type schools because in certain places in the region the term madrasah means a completely different kind of educational institution. Although it is reasonable to presume that pondok between different countries and areas in the region started out virtually indistinguishable in form and function, local and national histories have shaped them differently. Of particular interest are the curriculum debates and changes that arise.

In Indonesia, the development policies of the Soeharto regime and globalization shaped pesantren in
Indonesia so that many now offer both secular education and traditional religious education. Depending on a number of local factors they may emphasis one over the other. In Patani and elsewhere in the deep south of Thailand, religious leaders have had to make a choice. Either they can maintain their identity as pondok or the can become “Islamic schools” and offer a government recognize curriculum. This can be explained in part by the turbulent political climate. By contrast, in the upper south of Thailand, at least some pondok have been able to develop and run parallel curriculums in traditional religious education and in the Thai national curriculum. In this respect, they look very much like the Indonesian schools.