Channel: Edris Khamissa
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Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. My name is Denise camisa. I'm a consultant in Education and Human Development from South Africa. And Alhamdulillah. Today, I have in my presence, Akram, Khan Chima, ob, the UK, and men have vast experience, and being an educationist, myself, and I want to interact with my brother to look at, firstly, why we should celebrate the successes of our schools. And what do you think our schools should be doing differently? cram? I mean, you know, if you look at the UK, and you have travel and Alhamdulillah, you have many schools preceptor.
What is your observation in the UK? How many Muslim schools are they?
In the UK, Muslim schools have started with good Muslims who are worried about what they saw as the project and the process of education for their children. And some of them just a very small minority, who were mostly people who attended mosques. And they got together they were not educationist. And they started with this idea of we want to protect our daughters from this big bad world out there, that the secularists you know, that these people who will take our children away from our culture, our traditions, our values, and they started like that in 1980s. And very quickly, as the schools developed, and educators got involved, they moved away from that protecting their
daughters to giving them good education, which is different.
And the response became, what is this good education? How can we improve, and over the years Subhanallah, what I've noticed is that people who have engaged, they have come from different backgrounds, some not even qualified, very lowly paid really compared to qualified and highly experienced teachers in the mainstream education system. And because they were not pressurized as independent schools, community funded with no government involvement, they developed quite fast. And into the 90s, we saw quality coming up shoestring budgets, and yet quality because they weren't
required to do the national curriculum. They just wanted to respond to their boys and girls, their own children. So the quality came through, the thinking came through, and slowly qualified teachers came on board, there was more money, a little more thoughtfulness from the community themselves, little more fundraising and so on.
And over the years, we've now got well over 240 Muslim schools in the UK, Mashallah. And some of the best schools in UK today.
Some of them are government funded.
And most of them are still independent. And some some of them but like, Greg Hewitt, in lis listed aleksa school, they want to remain, quite categorically remain independent, they don't want any strings attached with the government. I admire that, you know, Manchester school, as you know, mentioned a good school and kid Grammar School. Again, they want to remain independent, I really admire them, because they, they want to remain thinking they want to remain their own bosses, they want to be focused or remain focused on the needs meeting the realistic needs of their own children. So that's what's developed over the years, there's still a long way to go, a long way to go. When I
say the results are good, I meant the results and examinations.
And various league tables, the primary schools, second schools, they do very well. But that additional, moral spiritual, those values that Islam is so focused on, you know, that the Quran is so focused on that the seminar for so lots of others, that is still missing that long way to go get a long way. But as independent schools, what I have said to them over the years is remain independent. We won't take the government funding, if you want to give the citizens of this country, you pay the taxes, your rights are there, and carry on responding to responding to the needs of your children carry on thinking, but don't just replicate what you're doing in your schools, in terms of
what's happening in the mainstream, secular schools because that's of no value to anybody. In fact, I want to just come in there. I think also, it'd be very remiss of us not to acknowledge the country.
Reach. And the initiative abroad, the use of Islam is starting the first school. That really was an impetus for this to start. And I've come to the UK on numerous occasions. And I subscribe to what you are saying that there are many schools that are doing great work. There are many schools that are trying to respond to the challenges. Many schools have a shoestring budget, and they are trying very, very hard. And notwithstanding all those challenges and obstacles, they are doing commendable work. But like you, I really believe that our schools can go to another level, a level of as you always speak about holistic education, a level in which to introduce creativity, a level in which we
develop leadership, with our children, a level in which our educators are dynamic, they take into consideration the experience of all of children. If you look at South Africa, I mean, we I come from Alhamdulillah, excellent schools. I mean, I know of some schools in the metric exit examination, where the students had an average of three distinctions per learner. And the compared with the very, very best, there is also dynamic leadership there. They have a dynamic association of Muslim schools. And my younger brother, you know, Allah bless him. He tells me threes, you know, when I listen to you, you are an eloquent ambassador for schools. But why are you our harshest critic,
also, you know, I think it's important that once we celebrate, we are not here to massage anyone's egos. We don't have an axe to grind. But what we are saying is that we now need we have gone through the challenge phase, we are on the other level, we need to make sure that we have a dynamic curriculum, that we inspire our educators. And like all educators, they must realize that the landscape has changed radically. And I have no doubt that through your good offices and your good work, the Association of Muslim schools, and through people like the NIDA trust, very impressed with these young people who are really doing great work. They're people like Barbara and Faisal Ali, all
of them. I know, you introduce me to them. And I'm inspired by the commitment and the passion. And we say to everyone, let us put our heads together, let us no one has a monopoly of knowledge. And I have no doubt that sometimes it takes one moment of inspiration to take your school for mediocrity to excellence. Absolutely. I mean, what what is very impressive for me, and I get a great deal of satisfaction and looking at meeting with people like Mona Mohammed, and Manchester, people like, you know, fuzzier ahead. And these are people who are hitting her head teachers, directors, who are now thorough professionals, and who can stand up to any competitive professional, you know, level of
commitment and dedication to the work that they're doing. And I have met them when when I met them when they came into the country, some of them, you know, monarch came as a, as an Arabic teacher from Egypt. Now she's director of a wonderful institution, she's got a
thorough grasp of what it means to manage what it means to direct what it means to head, the staff, promote the staff, develop the staff, and have a continuous personal professional development program, a curriculum development program, she is into all those in with gusto. with, you know, with such creativity and such passion, you know, that's what satisfying, we've got a number of other young head teachers who have gone through the National Training Center for teachers, and they've come back with great passion. And I'm really excited. The way that now the development is accelerating. And we're looking forward to this year's annual conference, the MS is now giving
awards to the best school each year, the best teacher each year and so on, just to incentivize to provide that motivation to everybody, non teaching staff as well, and to the proprietors. You know, it's wonderful to see that development. I have to say, though, I'm still worried about some people thinking that creating a separate environment is separate school. A separate school is a way forward. I don't think that it is the only justification to me to establish a Muslim school separately, independently, if you don't want those strings attached, if you can, if you think that that will
Allow you creatively, to develop faster, rather than do what the government requires half the time looking over your shoulder. So I don't I don't think that the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was the sort of person who would encourage us to be separate. He's the sort of person who would push us towards those who don't know, those who need the message, don't those whom we have, we carry the responsibility to create an awareness of what the colorable law, you know, is all about what the way of a Muslim is all about. I think that is beginning to happen. But some Muslim schools, unfortunately, our bubbles, they're into voluntary apartheid, and that I don't like I really don't
like them to be, you know, hiding behind this curtain and saying, who we are, we are okay. But, you know, what I want them to realize is that part of Britain, they are British citizens, and therefore they owe it to Britain, to do their best, so that they can create awareness with all comers, and show them Welcome. Welcome into our schools, into our homes into any aspect of our community, welcome. Don't be fearful, we have nothing to hide, come see what Islam is all about. We are living it. This is our faith. This is our way of life. Come and see for yourself, what you like to take from us. The grace of Allah, if you want to commit yourself to the will of Allah, that is up to the
grace of Allah will provide you that it is not for us to push our religion down the throat of anybody, we are only welcoming you into our little community schools, in order to help you to understand that, you know, we are just like you, we are trying to do our best to meet the needs of our children and our future generations so that we can increase the standards of our nation, we can actually promote excellence in every respect, in fact, a crown the
appoint, you see, but the whole issue is that the last thing we want is to create a ghetto mentality. We don't our schools to be insular or isolationist. And I find that you know, Alhamdulillah I think all schools are making a genuine effort to interact with the wider community. Our Nabi sallallahu, wasallam, came as a mercy on to all mankind. And the idea is that our learners must realize an important thing. You're part of a rainbow nation, we need to celebrate who we are. And we can only celebrate it not by preaching, but celebrated through our conduct. And it is my earnest prayer, that wherever we are, whichever part of the world we are, that we make a significant
contribution to the country. We make a significant contribution to the thinking in terms of education, because I like to believe that we have amongst us many dynamic leaders and be able to inspire others to do the right thing to do not only the right thing, but to make a significant contribution, because this is what Islam demands of us are from always a joy to interact with you Allah bless you, as salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. Salama,