Even more than financial support, madrasahs also need the sharing of community expertise in the institution’s efforts to educate the next generation of Muslims with the best possible education.
That is the view of the asatizah at Madrasah Irsyad Zuhri Al-Islamiah, Ustaz Idham Halid Romli, 48, when met recently.
According to him, among the expert assistance that the madrasah welcomes include volunteers to help students prepare for national exams, such as the Ace PSLE Exams group, or APEX, the Aspire and Achieve through Mentorship (AAM) group for students sitting for O and A level examinations. and also partnerships between teachers in national schools and teachers in madrasas.
This is because “partnerships between madrasahs and outsiders provide motivation to build better educational institutions for the community.”
“The strong support of the community is needed so that education in the madrasah remains relevant and can grow well,” said Ustaz Idham who has taught for 23 years at the madrasah.
All six full-time madrasahs in the republic receive an injection of funds from the community through several channels such as the Madrasah Fund, Wakaf Ilmu, collection of zakat paid at mosques and the Singapore Islamic Religious Council (Muis), a religious education component from the Mosque Construction and Climbing Fund (MBMF). ) as well as general public donations.
These funds are used to support the development of students, asatizah and teachers as well as the infrastructure and facilities of madrasah buildings.
The government also provides grants to strengthen secular subjects taught in madrasas.
“The cost of operating the madrasah is borne (almost entirely) by the community. If we burden the students, we can’t afford it, ”said Ustaz Idham.
According to him, the cost of educating each student in a madrasah is estimated between $ 400 – $ 500 per month.
“The school fee requested is only around $ 130. If we burden everything on students, not many will be able to get an education in madrasah, ”added Ustaz Idham.
Thus, he emphasized the importance of community support to sustain madrasah institutions in Singapore, especially with the emergence of various educational approaches based on the latest technology, which sometimes requires high costs.
“In (Madrasah) Irsyad, Alhamdulillah with the contribution of the community, all classrooms have technological facilities that have been improved, such as projectors and touch screens to make the learning experience in the classroom more interactive for students,” said Ustaz Idham.
In the meantime, he also welcomed the role played by Muis by providing funding and expertise so that madrasahs can “progress to a higher level.”
Among others, Muis has helped strengthen the leadership and curriculum of the madrasah, develop the teaching staff in the madrasah, as well as upgrade their salary scale.
“For example, Muis sent all madrasah teachers to take special diploma courses in education at the National Institute of Education (NIE),” said Ustaz Idham.
In fact, many madrasah teachers and asatizah continue their education to higher courses, such as masters and doctor of philosophy (PhD), to provide a better quality of education to madrasah students.
For example, Ustaz Idham, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sharia from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, also holds a Master’s in Sharia Law from the University of Malaya, Malaysia, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Arabic from Maulana Malik Ibrahim State Islamic University. (UIN) in Malang, Indonesia.
“Madrasah is not only an educational institution but also a human development institution. It guarantees that the Muslims of Singapore continue to have superior religious leadership, up -to -date and in line with the context of the plural society in Singapore, ”said Ustaz Idham.