What sets International Islamic Schools apart from other International Schools?

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Apr 19, 2019, 08:27 AM

     An International Islamic School differs from your run-of-the-mill International School. An International Islamic School offers in-depth study of the Quran and Islam as a religion. Some International Schools offer Islamic courses, but a few take it further by introducing Quran studies and an Islamic take on world history.

     First, to clear some common misconceptions, Arabic is not offered as part of the Islamic courses, but rather as a linguistic course. Thus, a school that offers Arabic does not define it as an International Islamic School. Second, when a school adopts the Arabic curriculum, it stands a higher chance of being defined as an International Islamic School. Along the same vein, schools that host different international curricula in addition to Islamic curriculum are still considered International Islamic Schools.

     An International Islamic School merges the values of Islam and global-mindedness to develop faithful, kind, humane and competent students. In Malaysia, such schools mainly employ English-medium curricula, and parents send their children to these schools to build a strong aptitude for international consciousness that is rooted in the religious beliefs of Islam.

     While Islam is a pillar of education in these schools, students are encouraged to approach non-Muslims and non-Muslim ideologies with a sense of open-mindednes, acceptance and tolerance. Some schools accept non-Muslim students into their ranks due to their excellence in other aspects that ensure a sound international education. These schools are often built near mosques or have one on their grounds, both for ease of performing prayers and to aid the Islamic learning process.

     Unlike what most think, International Islamic Schools do not employ rigid or overly strict teaching methods. Rote learning is often cast aside in favour of holistic student development and information retention. While it is true that Quran studies and Islamic History need some form of memorisation for students to grasp the subject matter, these lessons are delivered with examples rooted in real-world occurrences and values, so students find them relatable and absorbable.

     In an interview with Sidra Khurram, the principal of International Islamic School Malaysia (IISM), she stated that IISM’s focus is on character-building. Equipping children with the means to get good grades is one thing, but teaching them positive values such as love, humanity and kindness is the long game. Students who graduate from IISM are mindful people with a global outlook who are taught to employ Islamic values in daily life.

     The increase in the number of International Islamic Schools is testament to how faith and religion are not archaic concepts to cast aside. Rather, they can be strong centres around which students can form their own individualities, thoughts and values. In a world being rapidly overtaken by modern technology and developments we couldn’t even fathom 20 years ago, it can be important for the future generation to receive an education based on principles that have withstood the test of time.

     With the vast Islamic economy and healthy growth of Islam, rest assured that your child, with an international Islamic education, will be furnished with the tools they need to navigate the world as capable, responsible and accountable global citizens.

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