Why Scholastic Islamiah?
Today’s educational landscape offers parents a myriad of choices when it comes to educating their children. But for those opting for Islamic environment, religious education, high academic standards and to preserve children’s religious identity, Scholastic Islamiah is the right place.
Islamic environment Plays a critical role of laying the groundwork for the children’s future as Muslim individuals, and as a means for the children to acquire and deeply internalize Islamic teachings and principles. Scholastic Islamiah provides children with a sense of belonging through high Islamic morals and a positive peer influence. Almost all parents in Scholastic can testify to this influence when they see their child’s eagerness to pray, fast, memorize Quran, or do the hijab.
A place where children learn about Islam and learn to live Islam What is the difference? In learning about Islam, children acquire knowledge about the basic principles and teachings of Islam, for example, the five pillars of Islam, the six pillars of eeman, stories of the prophets, memorizing Quran, etc. However, parents are not content that their children learn only the theoretical teachings of Islam; they want their children to learn their religion and to apply these teachings in their daily lives. They learn what Islam is about and how to apply it in their daily lives, which is quite difficult to achieve in the absence of day-long exposure and interactions.
Preserving Identity Youth has the tendency to “dissolve” in the “melting pot”. For many of the youth, swimming upstream against peer pressures and the overwhelming social tides is too taxing. We in Scholastic are trying to identify the hidden poison our children are being fed and to find ways to combat this poison. Sometimes we teach what is being taught and in discussion bring out the problems and sometimes we start off by what is right (stories taken from Quran and hadith) and then present what is being taught commonly and allow readers to develop the ability to identify the daᶜwah of bāṭil.
It’s a different world out there A strong Islamic identity is an indispensable survival tool in a society where so many trends and mores are diametrically opposed to Islamic teachings. Thus, Scholastic is a place where their identity can be established, nurtured, and strengthened. We hope that when the children are grown and on their own, they will face life’s situations with an Islamic frame of mind, and will make decisions based on the foundation and values that were established during their younger years.
Behavior and Morals By far, the most important advantage of Scholastic Islamiah for parents is morals and behavior. Generally children are exposed to behaviors and practices that are contrary to Islamic beliefs. In addition to common concerns, such as the use of bad language, or even worse…., parents are also concerned about peer pressure and behavior. By attending Scholastic, we believe that the children can avoid this peer pressure to a certain extent, and are thus less likely to become involved in un-Islamic situations.
High academic standards There is a common misconception that Islamic schools are academically inferior. Scholastic has produced one of the best results in the city in their O level program. 83% of the students in 2014 and 73% in 2015 received straight A and A* in their O level examinations.
It supports the parenting Parents recognize several benefits for themselves! Because the school is reinforcing what they teach at home, their child-rearing efforts are made that much easier. These parents recognize that if their children were in some other school, there would be a conflict between home and school values, and they would have to work much harder to instill Islamic values in their children’s hearts and minds. Another advantage for parents is the peace of mind they feel knowing that their children are safe, knowing who their children are associating with, and knowing that their children can practice their religion freely and comfortably without enduring any teasing or negative attention.
Learning from the children Many parents feel that having their children in Scholastic Islamiah has given them the opportunity to learn from their children. As their children learn about Islam, they as parents, learn along with them. Some parents feel that their children’s knowledge about Islam has exceeded their own.
Positive Impact Scholastic Islamiah helps children become proud and confident Muslims. One parent says “My kids used to ask me when are we going to Dubai or Disneyland on vacation. And now they’re asking me, when are we going to Makkah”?
Practicing religion freely without being teased Children can practice their religion freely without being questioned or teased, and without feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed or left out. Just the feel that you are in an Islamic environment, that you are with the people who understand you…And then again, the feeling of not belonging [in other schools], not fitting in because they are not able to do the things the other kids do, or be involved in the things the other kids are involved in.
Challenges Running an Islamic school has continuous challenges. While we might not have the amenities such as big play grounds, physical education facilities/equipment and fancy libraries, we hope that parents make a conscious decision of trading these facilities in exchange for an Islamic education and environment.
Our vision is to see Islamic schools become model schools and beacons of education in Pakistan. It’s still early for Scholastic Islamiah, and all other Islamic schools. There are many years of pioneering, sacrifice, dedication and hard work ahead. Aim is to change the mindset from “Why SI” to “Why not SI”.
Some text taken from Hoda Badawi, (Why Islamic Schools)