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    • By MaryKhalid
      Asalaamu alaikum brothers and sisters, 

      Minhaj College Manchester provides an Islamic environment for students to pursue their educational journey. Whether that is in the Islamic sciences or mainstream academic studies, it provides something for everyone. 

      The college provides A-Level and GCSE Programmes in the following subjects:

      1. Mathematics
      2. Chemistry
      3. Biology
      4. Law
      5. Psychology
      6. Religious Education
      7. Islamic Studies
      8. Arabic Language

      Intermediate Diploma in Arabic and Islamic Sciences is also taught as well as part time courses at Foundational level. 

      Visit the website www.minhajcollege.ac.uk for more information on all courses and options available
    • By IftikharA

      Exam Factories
        Almost all children now believe they go to school to pass
      exams. The idea that they may be there for an education is irrelevant. Leading
      companies are struggling to recruit teenagers with basic skills because schools
      have been turned into “exam factories”, business leaders have warned. Many
      employers had been left “disheartened and downright frustrated” by poor levels
      of literacy, numeracy, communication and timekeeping among school leavers and
      graduates. Overemphasis on sitting exams and hitting targets throughout
      compulsory education had robbed children of the chance to develop the “soft”
      skills needed in the work place. Business leaders believed the emphasis on
      passing exams at school meant children failed to develop other skills, including
      the ability to hold a conversation, display good work ethic, turn upon time and
      apply basic literacy and numeracy.   State, independent and faith schools have become exam
      factories and are only interested in A to C Grades. They do not educate
      children. The result is that anti-social behaviour, gun and knife culture,
      racism, drug addiction. binge drinking, high rate of teenage pregnancies and
      abortions, high divorce rate are common in society. Exam results do not reflect
      a candidate’s innate ability. Employers have moaned for years that too many
      employees cannot read or write properly. According to a survey, school-leavers
      and even graduates lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. More and more
      companies are having to provide remedial training to new staff, who can’t write
      clear instructions, do simple maths, or solve problems. Both graduates and
      school-leavers were also criticised for their sloppy time-keeping, ignorance of
      basic customer service and lack of self-discipline.   Even Muslim schools have also become Exam Factories, only
      interested in A to C grades just like state schools. There is a positive
      co-relation between faith, culture and language. Faith needs culture and
      languages to flourish. According to a research, children who study the language
      and culture of their parents may achieve more and become more involved citizens.
      Migrant Muslims speak variety of languages. State schools as well as Muslim
      schools give lip service to the community languages but majority of Muslim
      schools completely ignore or discourage community languages. The ex- chairman of
      the Association of Muslim Schools Mr.Idrees Mears, a native revert totally
      rejects the teaching of Urdu and other languages. The same opinion was expressed
      by the head of state funded Islamia School as well as by the ex- Chairman of the
      Nida Trust. They are not in a position to understand the needs and demands of
      the bilingual children because they are themselves monolinguals. It is a well
      known fact that social and emotional education comes with ones own language,
      literature and poetry. Pakistani children suffer more than other children. They
      speak different languages at home and when they go to the Masajid they are
      exposed to Urdu and Arabic. At schools they are exposed to English and at the
      age of 11 are exposed to European languages. Now European languages are
      introduced at Primary level, but Urdu is totally ignored and discouraged by the
      state as well as by the Muslim schools. English, Arabic and Urdu must be
      introduced at nursery level so that the children can grow up with three
      languages. We have already lost three generation and the fourth one is in the
      process of losing its linguistic and cultural identity by not learning Urdu. The
      Muslim community is suffering because of social and cultural problems of high
      rate of divorce, run away young girls, low academic achievements, drug
      addiction, drinking, teenage pregnancies, disrespect for their parents and
      elders, forced marriages and honour killings. It is all because our youth are
      cut off from their cultural roots and languages. I blame state schools because
      they have never been serious in the teaching of Urdu, Arabic and other community
      languages.     An American research reveals in 2005 that bilingual
      learners with no education in their first language take longer to learn English
      and a bilingual learner with a good education in their own language do best of
      all. Muslim schools are committing the same mistake by ignoring community
      languages. Even OFSTED is not serious about the importance of bilingualism and
      bilingual education. Their priority is the teaching of English language. No body
      is denying the importance of English as an economic language but equally
      important is the first languages of the children for social and emotional
      literacy.   The Muslim community has been passing through a phase of
      fourth Crusades. The battleground is the field of education, where the young
      generation will be educated properly with the Holly Quran in one hand and
      Sciences in other hand to serve the British society and the world at large. A
      true Muslim is a citizen of the world, which has become a small global village.
      We are going to prepare our youth to achieve that objective in the long run. A
      true Muslim believes in Prophet Moses and the Prophet Jesus and without them one
      cannot be a Muslim. My suggestion is that in all state, independent and
      Christian based school special attention should be given to the teaching of
      Comparative Religion and Islam should be taught by qualified Muslim Teachers to
      make the children aware the closeness of Islam to Christianity and Judaism which
      will help them to think about Islam, as “A Pragmatic and Modern Way of Life,”
      during their life time.   British schooling and the British society is the home of
      institutional racism. The result is that Muslim children are unable to develop
      self-confidence and self-esteem, therefore, majority of them leave schools with
      low grades. Racism is deeply rooted in British society. Every native child is
      born with a gene or virus of racism, therefore, no law could change the
      attitudes of racism towards those who are different. It is not only the common
      man, even member of the royal family is involved in racism. The father of a
      Pakistani office cadet who was called a "***" by Prince Harry has profoundly
      condemned his actions. He had felt proud when he met the Queen and the Prince of
      Wales at his son's passing out parade at Sandhurst in 2006 but now felt upset
      after learning about the Prince's comments. Queen Victoria invited an Imam from
      India to teach her Urdu language. He was highly respected by the Queen but other
      members of the royal family had no respect for him. He was forced to go back to
      India. His portrait is still in one of the royal places.   Children should be taught about the contribution Muslims
      have made to civilisation in order to combat threats of extremism and
      discrimination. It will help native children to develop positive attitudes
      towards Muslims. It will bring divided communities closer together, by teaching
      children about debt west owe to Muslims - coffee and pinhole camera to the three
      - course dinner and advancement in maths. The teaching will bring together
      science, history,RE, citizenship and community cohesion - some of the most
      pressing problems for the minister responsible for the curriculum. One of the
      major reasons for the alienation of British Muslims is a lack of clear identity.
      It is crucial for the British society to understand the hugely positive impact
      that Islamic inventors have had upon the world, and for Muslims to take pride in
      it. At present there is a widespread mis-conception among many people worldwide
      that the state of science and technology during the period known as "The Dark
      Ages" was that of stagnation and decline. The Muslim civilisation flourished and
      contributed to thousands of essential inventions that still affect western life
      style. The open recognition of the contribution of the Muslims should be
      reflected in the National Curriculum. The mainstream history of scientific ideas
      has failed to acknowledge numerous Islamic scientists and their great efforts
      and achievements throughout the centuries.   A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found
      that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children out
      numbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are
      becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities.
      Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening
      over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of
      institutional racism. My statement regarding Muslim schools where there is no
      place for non-Muslim child or a teacher is based on educational process and not
      on racism. Muslim children need Muslim teachers during their developmental
      periods. For higher studies and research, Muslim teacher is not a
      priority.   I have been campaigning for Muslim schools since early 70s
      because there is no place for foreign cultures, languages and faiths in state
      schools. Muslim children are victim of racial abuse and discrimination. Neither
      Muslim community nor the DFE paid any attention to my proposal. Muslim community
      kept on setting up Masajid for worshiping and for the education of their
      children. Masajid help Muslim children to recite the Holy Quran without
      understanding and teach them how to perform their prayers. DFE introduced
      Multicultural education for the integration and assimilation of the Muslims.   I regard Muslim schools not just Faith schools but more or
      less bilingual schools. I set up the first Muslim school in Forest Gate London
      in 1981. Special attention was given to Standard English, Arabic and Urdu
      languages along with National Curriculum. But due to its closure, it could not
      become a model school for others to follow. Islamia School, founded by Yusuf
      Islam became the model school where there is no place for the teaching of Urdu
      and other community languages and only Arabic is taught.   The sound knowledge of ones owns language would appear to
      help – not hinder the acquisition of a second language and bilingual children
      may even have cognitive advantages and that the ability to speak more than one
      language is going to be increasingly important for the world of the future.
      Therefore, Muslim children and young Muslims have potentially a major
      educational advantage, although sadly this is not being developed well at
      present. British policy makers now recognise bilingualism as an educational
      asset rather than a problem. Education plays a central role in the transmission
      of languages from one generation to the next. The teaching of mother tongues is
      essential in terms of culture and identity. Arabic is a religious language for
      the Muslims but for Pakistanis, Urdu is also essential for culture and identity.
      Blind Muslim children in Bradford are learning to read Arabic and Urdu Braille,
      by a blind teacher who travelled from Pakistan. Now blind Muslim children are
      not going to miss out on culture, religion, language and the social aspects and
      integration into their own community and identity.   Majority of Muslim children are from Pakistan, Bangladesh
      and India They need to learn Arabic and Urdu to keep in touch with their
      cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Urdu is a
      lingua frankua of the Muslim communities from the sub-continent. The young
      generation learn Urdu from Indian/Pakistani films, more than two dozens TV
      Channels and couple of radio stations broadcasting round the clock in
      Urdu/Hindi. They can speak and understand but are unable to read and write Urdu
      literature and poetry. Bilingualism and bilingual education should be part and
      parcel of each and every Muslim school. The problem is that most of Muslim
      schools are running by British educated Muslims who are made monolinguals by
      state schools. They do not feel the charm of bilingualism. They have never been
      given the chance to learn Arabic and Urdu along with English. An English man is
      proud of his language, culture and faith or no faith. In the same way a Muslim
      should be proud of his faith, languages and cultures. In my opinion at least
      three hours a day must be given for the teaching of English, Arabic, Urdu and
      other community languages from nursery level. The teaching of Standard English
      will help them to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and
      research to serve humanity.   According to a recent report, Muslim schools performed
      best overall, although they constitute only a fraction of the country's 7000
      schools. Muslim schools do well because of their Islamic ethos and a focus on
      traditional discipline and teaching methods. They teach children what is right
      and what is wrong, because young children need structured guidance.   Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any
      other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a
      mainstream curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms
      of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state
      funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim
      parents and children. Now the time has come that parents and community should
      take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the
      diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private
      sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because
      parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be
      trusted.   The British Government is planning to make it easier to
      schools to “opt out” from the Local Authorities. Muslim children in state
      schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause
      dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality, and the lack of a true
      understanding of Islam can ultimately make them more susceptible to the
      teachings of fundamentalists like Christians during the middle ages and Jews in
      recent times in Palestine. Fundamentalism is nothing to do with Islam and
      Muslim; you are either a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Muslim children suffer from
      identity crises because their parents teach them Islam and their schools teach
      them something else. There must be a positive co-relation between school and
      home, otherwise, children will suffer academically, spiritually , socially and
      emotionally. They are also unable to develop self-confidence and
      self-esteem.   You better teach your children in your own schools and let
      migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands.
      British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own
      society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community
      does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility,
      anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage
      pregnancies and abortion.  Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant
      maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the
      future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend
      state schools deemed to be "sink schools"? In education, there should be a
      choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and
      early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a
      "school hijacker" by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east
      London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and
      diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are
      different. Muslim schools, in spite of meager resources, have excelled to a
      further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for
      five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in
      Birmingham and Hackney.  Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of
      the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism,
      multiculturalism and bullying.   There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools
      where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted
      out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent
      education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others
      and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give
      young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching
      of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role
      in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have
      better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline,
      structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim
      teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their
      needs and demands. IA London School of Islamics Trust
    • By jsb1
      There is a new app launched on android market named 'Shajar Stories'...
      This app is a story app for muslim children (age 3 - 12 yrs) based upon hadith (sayings / teachings) of Rasulullah (SAW)...the sayings of prophet Muhammed (PBUH) are deep in meanings and this story app tends to communicate the crux of the sayings and teachings in a story form reflecting the invaluable meanings of each phrase of hadith. The stories are illustrative (audio-visual) and very entertaining for kids...
      Search and download 'Shajar Stories' on google play store...
      Hope you all like...
    • By Ahmed59
      Parents and Expatriate/Local Hire Teachers:  Stay away from Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Salwa, Kuwait!     It’s my opinion that you should stay away from Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Salwa, Kuwait. These are some of the things that I disliked about the school:     1. The turn-over rate is very high for new “Westerners.” I think the reason for this is the administration does not provide the appropriate classroom support. Instead, the climate at the school is one in which some administrators are critical of teachers. In fact, the Director, Dr. Afaf El-Gemayel said in a meeting with new staff members, “If you look hard enough, all student problems are the teacher’s fault.” As a result of this attitude, the probability of surviving for very long at this school is low. Given the low probability of surviving at this school, it is not worth the financial, emotional, and time investment to go here.     2. The administration is constantly popping into classrooms to observe teachers. In some cases, they will go into a teacher’s classroom five or more days straight . . . And, then they will still come back to do more observations at-will. It is very uncomfortable and nerve-racking for the teachers who are being watched. The administration says that they are doing it to “help” the teachers, but it feels more like they are doing it to “push” them out of the school. It seems barbaric.     3. On a regular basis, the school “docks” people’s pay. As a Westerner, this was abhorrent to me—the idea that you could work a day and then lose that day’s pay based on the judgment call of an administrator. (My belief is that if someone has done something egregious enough, suspend them without pay. But to have people work and not pay them seems too self serving.)     4. The school does not live up to financial commitments. You may or may not receive money owed you. Just because an administrator says in an e-mail that she will reimburse you for expenses, does not mean that she will. Also, I heard stories about how this school refused to pay summer salaries and “indemnity” pay owed to some teachers.     5. The housing the school provided smelled. I think it was a combination of cigarette smoke and feces (no joke) from poor plumbing. When I returned to the “West,” I had to wash all of my clothes because they smelled.     6. During the interview process, Dr. El-Gemayel said that the school had all the necessary classroom resources. The classroom decorations that were supplied to a colleague of mine were old and dirty, and several important resources were not available for the start of school.     7. Even though the school is not licensed to teach special education students, the school has numerous low-level classes called “Special English.” Guess what the “Special” stands for? These classes have many students that should be evaluated for special education services. It appears to me that the administration does not want these students evaluated because if the results determined that these students needed special education services, then the students would have to leave the school, and the school would stand to lose a lot of tuition money. So, when teachers have trouble managing and teaching these students, the administration acts like the problem is with the teacher rather than acknowledging these students need services beyond the scope of a regular educational classroom.     Although I recommend staying away from this school, if you are even considering working there, make sure that you get the following before making a final decision:     1. A copy of the contract.     2. A copy of the staff manual. If it’s the same staff manual that I received, you’ll find a list of things teachers should not do and the consequences—including the number of days pay that will be lost.     3. Your assignment and schedule in writing. (There were teachers who were told that they would be doing one thing, and when they arrived they were told that they would be doing something else.)     When you request these reasonable things, consider how the administration responds. Do they freely offer them to you with a smile, or do they come up with excuses not to provide them? If they don’t provide them, beware!     If you make the mistake of accepting an offer from this school, then make sure you receive copies of your Initial and Final Approval Letters. (These approvals are sent to the school from the Kuwait Ministry of Education.) Also, once you receive copies of these items, contact that Kuwait Ministry of Education to make sure an original copy of your contract, as well as Initial and Final Approval Letters are on file. PLEASE DO THIS BEFORE YOU EVEN BOARD THE PLANE TO KUWAIT! I sought the assistance of the Ministry of Education when I was experiencing difficulty with the school administration. A ministry representative informed me that she couldn’t help me unless she had my original contract and approval letters on file (which she didn’t). Fortunately, the ministry representative was kind enough to refer me to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. (This ministry was a big help.) Unfortunately, I think the school administration purposely delays giving teachers these items so they won’t be able to seek assistance from the Ministry of Education when they’re being mistreated.     _______________________________________________________________________     Here are more reasons to avoid Al-Ghanim Bilingual School in Salwa, Kuwait:     1. Teachers/staff members are required to work on approximately TEN Saturdays during the school year, without being compensated for this extra time. (The Saturday work is usually related to professional development or the accreditation application process.)     2. Al-Ghanim Bilingual School is currently undergoing the accreditation application process with the Council of International Schools (CIS). This school shouldn’t be accredited by any organization—ever! As part of the accreditation application process, staff members and teachers had to complete self-study reports grading and evaluating various aspects of the school and its administration—policies, infrastructure, transparency, ethical treatment of employees. Originally, the school and its administration were given many poor ratings in the self-study reports. The director, Afaf El-Gemayel, threatened staff members and teachers with the loss of summer pay unless the ratings were changed to reflect the school in a more positive light. As a result, the self-study reports were falsified and are now tainted by Afaf El-Gemayel’s need to lie about the state of Al-Ghanim Bilingual School.
    • By IftikharA

      Muslim Academies

      Academies bill will enable a radical overhaul of England's schools, giving every school
      the chance to convert to an academy and giving parents the right to create free
      schools outside the control of LAs.The new schools will drive up standards and
      the education would be in accordance with the needs and demands of the parents.
      It will help native Brits, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities to set
      up their own schools for the education of their children. It is nothing to do
      with integration or segregation. Segregation already exists in British
      schoolings, it is not going to widen. President Obama supports free schools in
      America because they have benefitted the least well off the most. Educating
      children is the priority.

      It is wrong to assert that a small unrepresentative group of Muslim activists tried to Islamises a state primary
      school in Woking. The silent majority of Muslim parents would like to send
      their children to state funded Muslim schools. They are not extremists who want
      to change of ethos of those schools where Muslim children are in majority. It
      is the democratic right of every Muslim parent to see that their children receive
      balanced education, so that when their children grow up, they do not find themselves
      cut off from their cultural roots and linguistic skills. It is a question of
      common sense, humanity and reason that bilingual Muslim children must be
      educated in state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role
      models during their developmental periods. The whole world believes that people
      who speak more than one language is a vital economic asset. Pupils who speak
      more than one language do not cause difficulties. It is the politicians and
      monolingual teachers who are the problems for bilingual pupils. Muslim school
      will help to cultivate the child into a healthy, fully flourishing individual
      with a passion for learning.  There are hundreds of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In
      my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies.

      Muslim schools are not only faith schools; they are more or less bilingual schools. Bilingual Muslim children need to
      learn and be well versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum
      and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. State schools with
      monolingual teachers do not teach Standard English to Migrant children. Bilingual
      Muslim children learn English in the playgrounds and in the streets. They speak
      street language with its own grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The
      teachers let them speak the same accent in the classroom. They have no courage
      to stop them or correct them. This is one of the main reasons why one third of
      children have difficulties with reading when they leave primary schools.  Majority of such children are Muslims. In
      other European countries and in the sub-continent argot and slang are not
      allowed into the classroom. In Britain primary school teachers do not feel that
      it’s their role to interfere with self-expression in any shape or form. They
      encourage children to read poems and stories written in ethnic dialects.

      Muslim faith schools are more or less
      bilingual schools. Priority will be given to the teaching of Standard English,
      Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. All Muslim children will learn and
      be well versed in Standard English and Quranic Arabic and at the same time they
      will learn and be well versed in one of the community language to keep in touch
      with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.
      Majority of children will learn Urdu language because it is a lingua franca of
      the migrants from the sub-continent. And majority of British Muslims are from
      Pakistan and their national language is Urdu.
      Iftikhar Ahmad