Why do International Schools in Saudi Arabia neglect Islamic Studies?

As the International Schools in the Kingdom are getting ready to commence the new academic year, some of the parents have made a request that the schools in which their children study, should improve the quality of education in Islam Studies.

Even though the Education Ministry has stated that all of the international schools in the Kingdom must teach about Islamic Civilization, there are several parents who are still concerned and have lodged complaints that these international schools are still facing serious shortcomings in their Islamic Studies education.

A father of two children, Mohammad Tayab has stated that the curriculum of the international schools are meeting the high expectations that the parents have in both Arabic and English language.

However, these schools have been lacking in the department of Islamic education to their students. The father of two added that he has had to hire a private tutor for his children to learn about Islamic studies and the Holy Quran.

Mohammad Tayab also added that Islamic education is vital for the students and said that these international schools should be putting in more effort to promote a better understanding of Islam and the role played by Muslims throughout History.

He stated that since the parents are paying high fees for their children’s education, they want them to learn all of the subjects.

In some cases, these international schools have simply added the Islamic education to their curriculum to meet the requirements set by the Ministry of Education; however, they have done little to nothing to develop the teachings of Islamic studies, as they have other subjects like Arabic or English.

Since a huge amount of Arab expatriates, as well as Saudis, attend these International schools, the parents of these children feel that it is vital for their children to learn about the religion Islam.

A resident of Jeddah, Manal Al Redwan stated that earlier the schools used to be teaching the students on the History of Islam and the proper way of reading the Holy Quran, however, the schools these days are doing no such thing.

Even she admits to having hired a private tutor for her children to learn Islamic studies. The fee per child is SAR 500 per month for her private tutor.

She added that even though the subject is part of the curriculum, the quality of education and the attention given to the subject is simply inadequate.

She says that she has noticed several of these International schools do not even have properly qualified teachers to teach Islamic Studies.

Mrs. Fatima, vice principal of an international school located in Jeddah has stated that the problem is with the skills of the teachers who have been assigned these subjects and not their knowledge of the subject matter.

Many of the Islamic studies teachers have degrees from very reputable universities around the world; however, they are unable to convey the lesson properly to the students.

Source: Arab News