In the meantime, they also have a responsibility to ensure that the religious practices of the Muslim community are well taken care of, without compromising the religious practices of other communities.
This is because in a multi -religious society in Singapore, maintaining religious harmony is an important element in preaching.
Giving the view, the advisor of Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah, Ustaz Mokson Mahori, said the challenges required a new approach to education, and his madrasah had already taken steps to meet those needs.
This includes the introduction of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program and the Azhar 2.0 program which aims to equip asatizah in the future with broader knowledge and skills, to guide the community to face further challenges.
Found recently, Ustaz Mokson, who was the head of the madrasah between 1992 and 1998, said that “when ustaz and ustazah deliver religious teachings, the teachings must take into account the existence of other communities and the customs of those communities in Singapore.”
“If that can’t be done properly, I’m worried something will happen that we don’t want,” said Ustaz Mokson, who has been teaching at Madrasah Aljunied since 1987 – more than three decades ago.
In relation to IB, it is a learning program in which students perform a number of tasks-including touching on current issues more comprehensively-throughout the two-year program that determines their final grade.
“Alhamdulillah, although the IB curriculum is more dense (compared to the regular curriculum) the students all showed good performance,” said Ustaz Mokson.
Touching on the other roles of asatizah, Ustaz Mokson added that, unlike teachers in national schools, asatizah also have a responsibility in conveying the message to the community.
In fact, he hopes that every madrasah graduate, regardless of their chosen career path, will not forget their responsibilities as a preacher who is able to lead the community to face the challenges of life that are increasingly complex and varied.
“Madrasah is an institution whose sustainability depends on the support of the community. Every madrasah graduate should be aware that he has a responsibility (to give back) to himself, his family and society.
“So the help and support of the community (given to madrasah institutions) will go back to the community,” said Ustaz Mokson, who is also a member of the Asatizah Recognition Board (ARB).
Asked about the development of Singapore’s asatizah, Ustaz Mokson said he had seen many positive changes due to community support for the institution, including support for training and financial programs from the Singapore Islamic Religious Council (Muis).
He added that most of the assistance and support “has upgraded the skills of the asatizah in the field of education.”
“Madrasah is very proud of the support from all parties. We hope that this support can continue in addition to the prayers given, we can continue our responsibilities and commitments as educators, “said Ustaz Mokson.
Full-time madrasah education background-Ustaz Mokson received his primary education at Madrasah Al-Islah on Pepys Road, next to the former Al-Islah Mosque there, and later at Madrasah Aljunied and Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt-Ustaz Mokson said much has changed in the local madrasah sector.
However, he explained that the objective of the madrasah as a religious education farm for the nation’s children still remains relevant today in order to meet the religious needs of the community.
Giving an example, he said when compulsory education (CE) was tried to be incorporated into Singapore’s full -time madrasah education system, many in the community aroused uneasy sentiments. But the Muslim community accepts it as a challenge; not an obstacle.
The adoption of CE into the madrasah education system is also a positive example of where asatizah mobilize to adapt to meet a change, and how it can be harnessed to meet the future needs of a society that is expected to become more complex and challenging in the future.
This, said Ustaz Mokson, has made madrasahs more relevant today and more competitive, and was also celebrated by the parents of the local Muslim community.
Asked about the secret behind his involvement as an educator in the madrasah sector which spans more than three decades, Ustaz Mokson said the responsibility of asatizah as an educator and community preacher made him reluctant to leave the field.
“The spirit or soul of education is ingrained in me. As long as my services are needed, for the progress of the education of madrasah children and the community, God willing, I am ready to serve, ”said Ustaz Mokson.