Last Sunday, the 20th of November 2016, we opened the doors for children of the community to attend the Mosque School. A total of 47 students aged 5 to 12 years were registered by their parents to attend the school to learn Arabic, Qur’an and Etiquette.
It may be asked: why does a mosque in Scotland teach children Arabic and Qur’an? Our answer is: if we want to raise the next generation of youth confident in belonging where they are, and with their religious identity, we should make sure they have the tools to correctly understand their often misunderstood religion. And it just so happens that the language which this religion originally communicated in is Arabic! It’s a language with 300 million speakers, officially spoken in 22 countries, and has at least 11 words for love. Languages connect humans!
In the first week, all the attending students were assessed to determine their Arabic language levels and abilities. The assessment results enabled the school administration to organise the students into three classes taking into account age in combination with Arabic language competency. Currently, the school has a young beginners’ class, an intermediate level and a relatively advanced class.
The primary goal of the Mosque School is to equip the students with the language skills to be ‘conversant’ with the language of the Qur’an – the Book of their religion: reading, writing, speaking and recitation. The school also has an equally important role to meet the student’s social needs of being in an environment where they can feel comfortable with their Muslim identity, make friends and learn about the diverse cultures of the Muslim world.
Many parents have emphatically made the point that some of their own childhood experiences with Islamic schools (Madrasahs) had been negative. Some outlined being ‘scarred’ by some of the experiences to the point that affected their identities as Muslims relating to Islam. We don’t want this to happen in our school. For this reason, we are teaming up with education practitioners in Scotland to help us design our classes so that they teach Islam in as positive, fun and rewarding a way as possible for our children.
We have currently reached our limit for new enrolments to our school. However, inquiries can be sent to [email protected]