New Textbooks, New Challenges

bismillah

Islamic Studies as a subject is very dear to our hearts. It doesn’t matter whether you are a teacher or a parent or a student, Islam is important and extremely significant to all of us.

Important, not because you learn it as a subject in school. Important, not because you teach it as its’ subject teacher. It is significant and vital for our very existence.

It is a life-oriented subject. Not something you teach for time-pass or you learn it just because you live in U.A.E and that you are forced to study this subject in school!!

Right from the inception, the Government of the U.A.E has been very keen in imparting Islamic Education to all Muslim students studying in all schools in the UAE. 

As expatriates we must be grateful to the Ministry of Education for providing the golden opportunity of teaching-learning Islam in the U.A.E.

Muslims parents are fortunate that their children learn about Islam in this country, and that too in the best possible way. Many parents regret that they didn’t get such opportunities during their school days back home.

In the beginning – and for a very long period of time – the series of books entitled ‘Islamic Studies’ authored by Maulvi Abdul Aziz were taught in UAE schools. Then, in 2010, there was a change in the books and the curriculum. And we all know that ‘I Love Islam’ series and ‘Learning Islam’ books were followed, and are still followed in many schools.

Now, in 2017, the Ministry of Education has come up with its’ own publication, for grades 1 to 12, by the name Islamic Education.

The books are translated from the existing books in Arabic language meant for Arabic-speaking students. In fact, the Ministry of Education has been publishing and supplying Islamic Education books in Arabic since the very beginning.

Now, the content of Islamic Education is same irrespective of Arabic or non-Arabic speakers. This is the fruit of the Government’s commitment to bring about unification of the subject and its content. It will also provide an opportunity for the teachers (Arabic and non-Arabic speakers) to discuss and share their knowledge, expertise and experiences for the common good of the student community.

As UAE seeks to raise the standard of education – through Vision 2021 – the new books reflect U.A.E’s commitment to contribute in the development of creative and innovative thinking.

Congratulation to the team of scholars who wrote the books in an excellent manner, adopting the finest educational standards in achieving the desired learning outcomes.

The textbooks comprise of two parts. Each part has 3 units. So there are 6 units per grade, per academic year.

The books are colourful and very pleasing to the learners. And why not? UAE always strives to give its best. Many lessons have colour-coded passages that are purposefully done in order to highlight the differences between one point and the other.

The books are of very high standard. The approach is novel. There is a lot of providence for the students to fine-tune their thinking and analytical skills. They will undergo a transformation in their very approach to the subject. They will experience new learning methods which are interesting and challenging as well.

The teachers will find it hard to deliver the content unless they are competent in the subject, and are willing to go out of the way to impart this vital subject to their students.

The structure of this book is based on units: Each unit includes various subjects representing the fields and themes of the Curriculum in an integrated manner, including Divine RevelationIslamic faith, Islamic values and Morals, Rules and Purposes of Islam, Biography of the Prophet and Personalities, Identity and Contemporary issues. 

The books translate curriculum criteria into comprehensive contents and states learning objectives at the beginning of each lesson under the heading “In this lesson, I will learn to”.

Lessons consist of an introduction (I take the initiative to learn)a body (I use my skills to learn), and a conclusion (I organize my imprint)

The content of the lessons demand that there should be more periods per week to complete the lessons. One cannot do justice to lessons if the Timetable provides just 2 periods in a week!!

There is no supplementary workbook. All exercises/student activities are meticulously given in the textbook itself. The activities are of three types: general activities for all students (I answer by myself), enriching activities for outstanding students (Enriching My Experience), and applied activities (I assess myself)

Questions/exercise are concise and there is no enough space for the students to write lengthy answers. When this is the case, it becomes challenging for the students and teachers to find/discuss answers with the students. It is easy to write a long essay but it is not easy to put things briefly, precisely and in a concise manner. For writing concise answers, you not only need to understand the lesson well but you also need a good command over English language.

Low and Middle Achievers will need teacher’s guidance to complete the exercises. However, it will be in the interest of achieving the learning outcomes if the teachers let their students think and do the answers on their own.

Teachers with not-so-good English knowledge will have to do a lot of home work to cope up with the strands incorporated in the new curriculum. Unfortunately there exists a mindset among a section of teachers teaching Islamic Studies that language is not important, subject is important. To me, this is a ridiculous thinking!

It will be interesting to see how teachers come up with ideas to make a standard question paper based on the new books. Teachers with less experience may struggle to adopt a framework and to come up with an all-encompassing pattern or blueprint. It will be easy if teachers make a section-wise question paper based on the approach adopted in the student activity/exercises.

Without mind-mapping and an effective lesson plan, a teacher cannot do any justice to his or her job of teaching this life-changing subject.

The bottom-line is that the new textbooks are application-oriented. You apply the knowledge you learn, firstly in the form of answers to the exercises given and, secondly, you apply your knowledge in different walks of your life. After all that is the purpose of learning Islam as a subject.

‘Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.’               Surah al An’aam 6:162

The parents will definitely have a sigh of relief as the new books are cost-effective. We can expect that the parents will buy the books as they are priced reasonably.

In any case, teachers must motivate the students/parents not to go for photocopying of the books. Photocopying is akin to compromising on the interest of students. It will also defeat the purpose of the colour-coded approach.

The books are not available in the open market, they can be purchased only through respective schools via the Ministry’s electronic outlet.

May Allah reward the committee of authors for their exemplary work in producing the textbooks of highest standard.

May Allah make the books beneficial to all the students and teachers.

Baarakallaahu Feekum.

Request to teachers of Islamic Education in UAE:

Kindly give your inputs and suggestions how best to use the books in an innovative way.

Jazakumullaahu Khayra.

 

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44 thoughts on “New Textbooks, New Challenges

  1. Asslam o alykum warhamtullahi wabarakatuhu,
    I always learnt a lot from this website, MashaaAllah! It is highly appreciated that whatever is going to be happen in the sector of education especially in Islamic Studies, you always give the information and guide the people in a beautiful way.May Allah give you the best reward in dunia and Akhira! Ameen. I am very excited about the new islamic books, InshaAllah we all will learn a lot from the new books. I wish to work with you Sir! You always boost my iman. JazakAllah u khairun for the guidance.

    • wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
      Thank you for your kind words. Jazakillaahu Khayra.
      May Allah bless you and your family both in this world and the Hereafter.
      InshaaAllah, I will also learn from you if you can share your teaching ideas, especially how you motivate your students and guide them to follow Islam in their personal life.
      You are welcome to send your write-up and I will publish it as a separate post inshaaAllah.

      I Will let you know when there arises any vacancy in our school, inshaaAllah.
      We need spirited teachers like you, alhamdulillah.

      Baarakallaah.

      • Asalam wa alaikum

        Respected sir
        Till now no one has share any thing regrading new books exercises because some f teachers find it little difficult if its possible if your team and you can upload regarding Exercises in book it would be very help full if any 1 any teacher can help.

  2. Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

    Jazakallahu Khayra, Sir for your hard work and dedicated service. No words to express our thanks.
    May Allah reward you in abundance.

  3. Assalaamu ‘alaykum Brother Muqeet. Your work is amazing and very impressive. May Allaah bless your efforts and make it a source of guidance for teachers and students alike.
    I can’t seem to find your contact details anywhere. I have a podcast called the MakkahCentric Education podcast and would love to share your work or interview you on the show. How can I get in touch?

  4. Assalam o Alaikum,
    Came across the article. it gave good insight. Thank for the hard work.
    In teaching Islamic Studies, I always deem 2 things important to share.
    1. Behavior Manners( ultimate outcome) Long term projects; systematic pass on of knowledge as 4th right of Quran/guidance, Islamic books review as project /researches. In-depth look into the lives of reformers/Add to dictionary/ martyrs other than the text etc.
    2. Skills——-. QURAN and Hadeeth text; it is refereed in write ups but seldom taken literarily, there is Quran memorizing and recitation in the break up of marks as skill, but often serves the purpose of filling in the blanks. and Hadeeth text is hardly touched.
    According to me, the lack of above two, is a reason of not achieving the ultimate goal and the same lack renders the subject associated as being too easy and less interesting.
    I think we Islamic educators have to incorporate in a meaningful way.
    Regards,
    Asia Madani

  5. Assalamu alykum brother,

    May Allah accept all of your good deeds

    I was wondering if you have any scheme of work or annual plans or worksheet or any resources based on the new book for MOE

    Jazakum Allah khayran.
    Douaa Nejmah Islamic Teacher in private school in Dubai
    ———–.

    • wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullah.
      Aameen.
      Jazakillahu khayra for your duaa.
      We are just making a beginning with the new books.
      InshaaAllah resources will be added as we keep progressing.
      It will take lot of time though.

      PS: Please visit Teacher’s Page/Lesson Plans and Scheme of work page for updates.
      Thanks.

  6. Assalamu alaikum
    is it necessary to follow the new textbooks in this academic year?
    we have already started the year with I love Islam textbook and I am worried if we change now parents won’t buy the new textbook and when the inspection comes students sit without books.
    Pls. give me a reply

    • wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullah.
      When we are.directed to follow the new books, we become duty bound to do so.
      Sharjah schools will introduce shortly inshaaAllah.
      Books are not costly so parents will not have a problem.
      If you are working at any Sharjah school then you have to start from the new books. CBSE schools will do so in March/April after their end of year exams.

      • salaam, I’m in Abu Dhabi and I’m just new there as an Islamic studies teacher in Iranian private school.the new edition I think is so difficult for the students because they can’t understand English well and the new edition is so difficult and based on English activities etc is that compulsory to teach the student a new edition?or please tell me’ you to upload the new worksheet there or not from time to time?is that possible or not?

  7. Salaam

    in our school we didn’t start using the new one,
    I’m so worried about the new books, since the old books was a amazing and all my exams and materials were ready .
    but now I have to start form the scratch.

    I hope we all will work together to build archive to be used by every one

  8. Assalam o alaikum w w dear brother wee are very happy about this decision and we pray to Allah to make this effort useful and helpful to forward the message of Allah and Prophet Muhammad pbuh. to the people. thank you.

  9. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmathullahi wa bakatuhu

    is it necessary only islamic studies trs. should teach moral education?

    non-Muslims can also teach new moral education book?

    how many periods we need weekly for that subject?

    pls. advise

    JazakAllah

    • wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuhu.
      It is not necessary that only Islamic Studies teachers should teach Moral Education. Anyone who has knowledge of the subject can teach.

      This year we have allotted only one period per week per grade.
      In 2017-18 it is upto Grade 9 only.
      Next academic year you have to extend up to Grade 10. Then to Grade 11.

      Hope this clarifies.

  10. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmathullahi wa bakatuhu

    i have islamiat approval from ministry of education sharjah from2010

    and from ministry of education Dubai from2000

    if i move from my present school should i appear again for ministry approval?

    pls. advise

    May Allah(swt) bless you in sha Allah…

  11. Assalamualaikum wa rahmathullahi thaala wabarakathuhu do u have questions and answers for each lesson in each unit according to the new syllabus? If u have please post it may allah give u jannathul firdowe . Ameen.

    • Wa alaikumus Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.
      Everyone is undergoing tough time.
      It is too early to ask for answers for each lesson, each unit.
      Allah Kareem.

  12. Plz share answer key for Islamic studies grade 3-I love Islam.Early Muslims suffer and
    The boycott against the Muslims . Jazakallah khair

  13. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmathullahi wa bakatuhu
    Is there any new syllabus for new textbk?
    We should teach from the first lesson or second term portion?
    Lessons are divided for the terms?

  14. Assalamu Alaikum Dears,

    It is really sad to say that officially we haven’t got any information from Ministry of Education about the new book titled ‘ The Islamic Education’. Can any one update the authentic information about the same which may follow by the school in the Academic Year 2018-19, as we are just a step ahead it need to be verified and the books also need to avail soon. And as per the schedule given for Islamic Studies it is just 2 periods in a week which might be insufficient to complete such a vast highly informative lessons rather than being it for name sake completion. So kindly update the exact portions and split plan if any one have done so far.. and more importantly whether this books are not be followed or not.. Thanking you all for your sincere efforts and look forward for the same..
    جزاكم الله في الدنيا والاخرة

    • Wa alaikumus salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.
      It takes a lot of effort and stress to bring about a total change in the curriculum. It is understandable that due to some reasons possibly this official intimation issue has still not reached all schools through official ministerial communication.
      When we received the new books in December 2017, we called the Sharjah Educational Zone and asked about the portion to be covered for 2nd term (which commenced from January 2018) They replied saying that we have to start teaching from the new books right from the second term, and that we need to cover as much portion as possible. They also said that the end of the year Ministry exam to be held in June in Sharjah will be from the new books. So we started teaching and completed Unit 3 of Part 1 according to the syllabus followed by the Arabic speakers.
      Also, let me tell you that we also received Part 2 of the books and inshaaAllah will be starting those books from the 3rd term.
      Regarding the term-wise syllabus break-up, we are still awaiting for the official circular.
      As for the Dubai schools are concerned, they have not got any intimation from the KHDA which is the deciding authority in Dubai.
      In Abu Dhabi, RAK and other places, teaching from the new books have already begun.
      May Allah make things for us.
      Baarakallaahu Feekum.

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