Madrasah Students Equipped to Join Mainstream Education System

Madrasah Students Equipped to Join Mainstream Education System

Date
Friday, 09 March 2012

Media Type
Edvantage.com



SINGAPORE - The six full-time madrasahs here serve not only to nurture religious teachers for the Malay community, but also to ensure that students are equipped to join the mainstream education system if they choose to do so, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim affairs and Minister for Information, Communcation and the Arts (MICA), Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

Dr Ibrahim was speaking at the committee of supply 2012 debates in parliament today.

He added that academic subjects such as Math and Science are integrated into the religious curriculum and taught in English.

The teaching of core academic subjects is "so that they grow up to be contributing citizens, comfortable in this modern world", said Dr  Ibrahim.

Financial support for madrasahs and students

Dr  Ibrahim assured that Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, or MUIS, ensures financial support for all students in full-time madrasahs, which operate as private schools.

He also maintained that the madrasahs themselves receive support in the form of top-up allowances for teachers’ salaries, grants based on student numbers, and funding for various expenditure for facilities or events.

In an effort to raise the professionalism of madrasahs, all madrasah teachers would have acquired professional teaching qualification under the National Institute of Education (NIE).

More to benefit from revised Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy scheme

Dr Ibrahim also provided updates on the Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (TTFS), which had gone under a review last year.

The scheme is an education subsidy for Malay students to cover their tuition fees at tertiary institutions.

It now bases its eligibility on a per capita income (PCI), rather than just household income, to enable families with more children to qualify, and is expected to draw about 7,000 applications from new and existing students by July, said Dr Ibrahim.

Mendaki also enhanced the Mendaki Tuition Scheme (MTS) at the beginning of this year, which then saw an overwhelming surge in applications.

"The student enrolment is now about 8,500, compared to about 6,000 before the enhancements. First, the tutor-student ratio for upper primary classes has been reduced from 1:12 to 1:8. Second, MTS students are given materials designed according to their differentiated learning abilities. Pupils are thus better able to learn and progress at a pace suitable for them. Third, the home-school-community partnership has been strengthened to encourage more students to enrol in the MTS, particularly those weaker in English, Mathematics or Science,"  said Dr Ibrahim.

He also urged parents to tap on the "quality and affordability" of the scheme to benefit their children.

Click here to view article

Source: Edvantage.com, sph