I warmly welcome you all to the 2018 academic year.
We have many many things to look forward to this year, in particular I will highlight our new curriculum, the Tarbiyah curriculum, which has been carefully crafted by the World Federation of KSIMC, Madrasah Centre of Excellence (MCE) since the inception of the project in February 2011.
The new curriculum has many positives:
- An integrated approach to teaching which will demonstrate to our students that Islam is not just to be compartmentalised into various subject areas but rather its concepts are fluid and can be applied into all parts of life.
- A Quranic worldview which confirms to our students that the basis of Islam is the Holy Qura’n and of course Hadith of Aimmah (as), which form part of lessons as well.
- A modular approach allowing for an increase in complexity as students advance through the Madressa.
- A fully reviewed syllabus which has sign off by various scholars for every lesson which allows us a sense of comfort that all the material has gone through a rigorous quality check.
- A new approach to teaching lessons in our Junior section by utilising story books to help instil learning in a manner which is accessible for children of a young age
There are many other benefits of this new curriculum and I would encourage parents to review the resources provided to children on a weekly basis and provide us with feedback which in turn we can pass on to the MCE team.
As with any change, there will be a period of time required to settle in and our expectations are that this year will be a year of experimentation and learning for the Madressa. We request parents to bear with us over the course of this year as we also get used to the new curriculum and our teachers, some of whom have been teaching our previous curriculum for the last 30+ years, also navigate their path through the new curriculum.
‘Tarbiyah’ is to nurture, and in this context, the aim is to seek to nurture the character and spiritual development of our students through transformation. The Madressa was built on the foundation to “Teach by actions rather than words” and we continue to strive on this path with the understanding that “learning has not taken place, until behaviour changes” (reference: Dr Akber Mohamedali).
Let us also be clear, there is a limited amount of success that is achievable by the Madressa without parental engagement and support. Mawlana Rizvi from Canada recently visited us and noted that “Children will learn about Islam at Madressa, but live Islam at home.” If the values, ethos and understanding that the Madressa seeks to impart is not being reinforced at home then we will be restricted in our collective success to raise confident, well rounded and a righteous generation of young people who will serve as ambassadors of Islam.
I pray that during the course of this year, each and every family will see an increase in knowledge and understanding of our wonderful religion and that together, the Madressa, students and parents, we can collectively work towards realising our vision “To nurture a community of students that exhibits the features of the Holy Qura’n and Ahlul Bayt (as)”. May this year be both spiritually fulfilling and intellectually fruitful for all and do remember to keep us all in your prayers as you will be in ours.”
Shia Ithna’asheri Madressa,
London, United Kingdom—January 2018