Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Teaching Islam at Victorian public schools

Teaching Islam at Victorian public schools

As-Salamu Allaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barkathu, 

Many of you would not be aware that the Muslim community is entitled by law to teach Islam at Victorian public (govt) schools, both primary and secondary. The law allows for the teaching of Special Religious Instruction (SRI) by faith groups at government schools, and this has been the case for decades. It is estimated that there are between 20,000 - 25,000 Muslim students at public schools, and only a tiny fraction are receiving Islamic SRI. Unfortunately, you can count on one hand the number of public schools where Islamic SRI is being offered.

It would be safe to assume that a large percentage of these 20,0000 - 25,000 children would have very little opportunity to learn about Islam. In reality, Islamic SRI would represent the only means through which these children can be taught about the basics of their faith, including Islam's main tenets, values, and practices. 

There are several reasons for this absence of Islamic SRI at public schools, with the two main ones being the general lack of community awareness, and the lack of infrastructure to be able to deliver Islamic SRI. We are now trying hard to address these two issues. A number of committed people are working on this program, but we want to start offering Islamic SRI from today and we need a lot of help.

There are several ways that you can support and participate in this very important initiative : 

Register to become a volunteer Islamic SRI Instructor - if you can spare 30mins per week to teach at a local school then you satisfy the main criterion. You will be provided with all the lesson material.

Spread the word amongst your friends and colleagues - feel free to forward this email or direct people to the website.

Help out with the program - anything from recruiting Instructors and arranging for their training & accreditation to liaising with schools to schedule SRI classes.

Nominate your local school - by nominating a school, we can begin to undertake the necessary steps required to offer Islamic SRI at that school.

Please let me know if you require more information. Alternatively, you can check out the website

Jazaakum Allahu khayran



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