Published On:30 April 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Bosses are loud and proud of Blackburn Islamic school

Muslim leaders have described how they have transformed their madrassah to make it a happier, more effective learning environment. Sophia Rahman spent a day at Blackburn’s Jamia Ghosia Mosque to discover more.

By Sophia Rahman

Every weekday Muslim children across East Lancashire come home from school, have something to eat and head back into lessons at their local Islamic evening school.

Following reports of children being mistreated in madrassahs, Muslim leaders want to show how pleased they are with how the institutions have improved.

In the last year, the Chester Street madrassah has overhauled its management, curriculum, classroom practices and tools.

The desire was to create an interactive experience for pupils based on that of traditional British establishments.

Boys and girls from reception age to GCSE level attend Arabic, Urdu, citizenship, religious education and Qu’ran lessons in mixed-sex classes. This is a novel set-up for a madrassah, most of which will not allow boys and girls to be taught in the same room.

Abdul Rehman, a member of the educational management, said: “We want to give everyone the best chance at a good education. We just put them in different sections of the room now, for modesty.

“It isn’t fair that one class might get a sub-par lesson because they are a girl or boy, and have to have a different teacher from the other.”

In citizenship lessons, children are taught everything from how to politely retrieve a lost football from a neighbour’s garden, to how to converse with a secular person and basic human rights law.

The syllabus is prescribed by the government-funded Islam and Citizenship Education Project, and is just one instance of the standardisation of the curriculum.

As of September this year, the brightest students will be sitting Arabic GCSE exams accredited by Blackburn College.

Mr Rehman said: “Extra qualifications will mean better chances for the children to get into college or university.

“We want to help them do their best, whether they go down the religious or secular route.
“We’re really excited to show everyone what we’ve done here because we’re so different now.”
All 12 teaching staff are CRB-checked educational professionals, ranging from university lecturers to teaching assistants, and every class has two members of staff.

Mr Rehman said: “When I was a student here a few years ago, kids were desperate to leave. All we did was sit on the floor and learn Qu’ran by heart, not understanding what we were speaking.

“Lots of young people weren’t learning how to become a good citizen and stay off the streets.
“Now, we teach kids citizenship so they will know how to be a good British citizen, teach them Arabic so they can understand the Qu’ran and be a good Muslim.

“We also teach them about other religions, so they can see the differences and similarities and make their own minds up on everything.

“It’s completely different now, parents have to fight to get their children to go home.”
The 130 pupils work for two hour-long sessions per evening, with a 10-minute break in between.

Younger children sing songs, play games and do crafts while they learn Arabic, and the older students are in constant dialogue with their teachers, as is in any high school language lesson.
Mohammed Ismail, president of the madrassah, said: “We know the children have been at school all day and we don’t want it to be hard for them to keep learning, so we make it interactive.”

Salim Mulla, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: “It’s time madrassahs move into the 21st century, and Jamia Ghosia is a great example of one that is.

“It’s really important that children learn how to be good citizens and good Muslims, and they will certainly get that there.”

(Courtesy: Lanchashire Telegraph)

About the Author

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on April 30, 2013. Filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on April 30, 2013. Filed under , , , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

0 comments for "Bosses are loud and proud of Blackburn Islamic school"

Leave a reply

Popular Posts

Editor's Pick

Equity Markets – Best Investment Option for Muslims

By Imtiaz Merchant Muslims should take advantage of the boom witnessed in the Indian Equity markets and they should not get left behind in...

Get IMO Newsletter

IMO Search Finder