The challenges of producing Islamic scholars via al-Azhar curriculum in religious schools in the Malaysian national education system

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Abstract

This article aims to discuss the challenges faced by the owners and administrators of religious schools throughout Malaysia in producing Islamic scholars through the national education system. Historical evidence shows that most of the Islamic scholars produced are from outside the national education system, such as madrasa, peoples' religious school (Sekolah Agama Rakyat or SAR), state's religious school (Sekolah Agama Negeri or SAN) and a few from the Federal owned schools. The first three schools' education system is yet to be legally inside the national education system. The methodologies employed in this research are interviews and document analysis. Findings illustrate that several efforts have been made to include these institutions within the mainstream education system, nonetheless, not only the schools had to deal with various constraints, these efforts undermined the aspirations, identity and the mechanism of producing Islamic scholars. The major aspect in producing Islamic scholars depends on the implementation of specific curriculum as the core and not the teachers, administration, environment, co-curriculum or any other processes. The core curriculum of Islamic school is the curriculum of the religious subjects of al-Azhar. Implementation of this curriculum in the main stream education is in dilemma due to differences in approach, understanding and purpose in fulfilling each own educational policy. The author recommends that al-Azhar subjects be given recognition and be part of the National Curriculum as complementary curriculum to the existing one. This recognition is vital in ensuring the successful implementation of al-Azhar curriculum and the operation of religious schools be given its due course, especially in the aspects of legal and financial resources to be at par with those being received by schools in other education streams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1043
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Natural and Applied Sciences
Volume6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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curriculum
Curriculum
Curricula
education
Education
Agama
educational policy
Malaysia
Jurisprudence
Administrative Personnel
teachers
interviews
Interviews
Research

Keywords

  • al-Azhar curriculum
  • Islamic religious school
  • Islamic scholars
  • National education system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "This article aims to discuss the challenges faced by the owners and administrators of religious schools throughout Malaysia in producing Islamic scholars through the national education system. Historical evidence shows that most of the Islamic scholars produced are from outside the national education system, such as madrasa, peoples' religious school (Sekolah Agama Rakyat or SAR), state's religious school (Sekolah Agama Negeri or SAN) and a few from the Federal owned schools. The first three schools' education system is yet to be legally inside the national education system. The methodologies employed in this research are interviews and document analysis. Findings illustrate that several efforts have been made to include these institutions within the mainstream education system, nonetheless, not only the schools had to deal with various constraints, these efforts undermined the aspirations, identity and the mechanism of producing Islamic scholars. The major aspect in producing Islamic scholars depends on the implementation of specific curriculum as the core and not the teachers, administration, environment, co-curriculum or any other processes. The core curriculum of Islamic school is the curriculum of the religious subjects of al-Azhar. Implementation of this curriculum in the main stream education is in dilemma due to differences in approach, understanding and purpose in fulfilling each own educational policy. The author recommends that al-Azhar subjects be given recognition and be part of the National Curriculum as complementary curriculum to the existing one. This recognition is vital in ensuring the successful implementation of al-Azhar curriculum and the operation of religious schools be given its due course, especially in the aspects of legal and financial resources to be at par with those being received by schools in other education streams.",
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