According to Nabil Lahir, CEO of LEAMS Education, for the last 40 years, we have been inculcating Islamic values and ethos to the students in our care. This is across all our school - The Oxford School, The Indian Academy, The Apple International School (Qusais) and the recent most The Apple International Community school (Al Karama) all have been embedded with this approach.
It is so important to nurture religious and Islamic consciousness within young minds and we commend the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) effort to reinforce that in the curriculum. We have been facilitating the Islamic studies delivery in both Arabic for our Arab students and in English for our Non-Arab students, alternatively the Arabic as well under MOE guidelines has been delivered as advanced Arabic for our Arab students and beginner Arabic for our Non-Arab students.
So what approach are schools taking to educate young minds and show them the importance of Islamic values and how children can integrate these teachings into their daily lives?
Islamic studies are as important as any other subject and can be included in our curriculum in a myriad of ways - by broadening our understanding of the history, art, etiquette, architecture, relationships, culture and tolerance of other faiths / religion, which has been well exemplified by UAE and its leaders. The country has made strong efforts to accept diversity of people, culture and faith.
In the age of the internet and social media, a traditional approach is definitely irrelevant. Nurturing young minds early on through a holistic approach and group discussions, can be a powerful pedagogy to promote interest and understanding of some challenging questions that I am sure will surface again and again in their lives. As easy it may sound, tackling these difficult questions are a key for students to value themselves as an individual and their community in which they live in.
Just having the resources, tools or approach is not sufficient - a role of a teacher is equally important to guide them and make them relate to today’s fast-paced world. Investing in a teacher’s training and development is also key, to ensure they are fully equipped to lead tomorrow’s young minds.
We understand that Islamic studies is crucial to foster a child - not just spiritual but also their personal growth. Following the guidelines of KHDA and MOE, we have wide pool of resources and tools, rewarding approach and are guided by our qualified and experienced Islamic education faculty that actively engages children to increase their knowledge of Islam and enable them to effectively apply it to their lives.
We give the same importance and access of religious education to pupils with determination as inclusivity and providing equal opportunity is engraved in the schools and the founder’s motto.