Equipping future asatizah with relevant skills to be future-ready.
Students in Singapore’s full-time Madrasah today face many different life challenges and socio-religious landscapes compared to a decade ago.
Sensitive to the issue, Ustazah Sri Nurayu Mat Aris said the madrasah today has taken various learning approaches that can provide students with certain skills in an effort to guide them to become beneficial Muslims as well as religious leaders who are ready to guide society in the multi-religious context of life in Singapore.
For example, at Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah – where she teaches Tauhid, Tasawuf and hadith – Ustazah Sri Nurayu said madrasah emphasizes the development of three main skills; understand religious texts contextually, cross-cultural sensitivity and society.
“The situation in the world and Singapore has changed. Madrasahs need to prepare students not only with appropriate knowledge or content, but also with the relevant skills needed, ”said Ustazah Sri Nurayu, 32 years old.
Explaining further about the three main skills, Ustazah Sri Nurayu said, understanding the main source of reference for the Muslim community, namely Al-Quran and As-Sunnah, is important because “the context and reality of life is always changing, so it is necessary for us to understand it properly.”
Regarding cross-cultural skills, Ustazah Sri Nurayu said: “In today’s life, we cannot think we are sufficient with ourselves or with people who are like us.
“Instead, we need to learn from many people. We need to collaborate with other races, religions and we need to have the skills to talk to them and the skills to respect them. ”
“Most importantly, I often emphasize to my students to have a loving attitude, and respect for each other, regardless of race or religion.”
For example, Madrasah Wak Tanjong held a collaborative program with Dunman High School, where its students can socialize and exchange views with students of different races, religions and opinions.
The third skill, according to Ustazah Sri Nurayu – touches current issues in society, such as mental health issues and so on and students “must know how to approach those issues in an appropriate and effective way.”
“All these skills are important today, and may even become more important and needed in the future,” said Ustazah Sri Nurayu.
In fact, she added, with the availability of information technology (IT) tools such as mobile phones that allow students to get a variety of information easily, they should also be provided with the skills to filter the information obtained.
In addition to this, the social skills she mentioned were able to “teach students to appreciate the diversity of opinions and show good morals as shown by Rasulullah s.a.w to people who do not agree, or who are of different religions.”
“It is always because of this difference that tensions arise. So madrasah educates our students today and when they leave and be with the community they can be the ones who can guide the community in the right direction, with good ethics and can unite the community” said Ustazah Sri Nurayu.
An alumnus of Madrasah Wak Tanjong – from primary to pre-university – Ustazah Sri Nurayu continued her Bachelor’s degree in Usuluddin (majoring in Hadith) at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, before returning to teach at the madrasah.
On the community’s support for the local madrasah institution, Ustazah Sri Nurayu is grateful that the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) together with the community has helped the madrasah a lot, both in terms of finance and training programs and expertise.
“We must see the madrasah as belonging to (us) together. Madrasah does not belong to madrasah teachers and leaders alone, ”said Ustazah Sri Nurayu.
Article was translated from Malay and was first published in Berita Harian on 15.11.2019 and republished on Learnislam.sg. Taken from: https://learnislam.sg/madrasah-bina-kemahiran-baru-agar-pelajar-sedia-hadapi-cabaran-masa-depan/