MJC launches historic programme

Picture: AP

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) launched a historic Haafith Academic Support programme, in collaboration with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), the MJC’s Department of Quraanic Affairs, Awqaf (SA) and Haafith schools of Cape Town at the MJC offices on Wednesday July 18.

Haafith schools are institutions that teach the memorisation of the Quraan.

The programme aims to provide education to haafith students on Saturdays, with classes being taught by retired teachers who dedicate their time to teach the required subjects – making pupils eligible to return to the school environment in the appropriate grade.

The programme also requires parents to complete a special home-schooling form arranged between the MJC and the WCED. This will ensure pupils remain registered with the WCED through the Centralised Educational Management Information System (CEMIS) number.

The MJC would also assist Haafith schools in the curriculum, the upskilling of teachers, administrative functions and infrastructure requirements as per municipal by-laws. Haafith schools who are compliant with the above are issued with a compliance certificate, valid for one year.

“This ground-breaking project – a first for South Africa – comes at no cost to the Haafith schools, parents and learners. We thank Awqaf (SA) for sponsoring this project and we welcome further financial assistance from other sponsors to further expand the programme,” said MJC’s Head of Education, Sheikh Riad Fataar.

Spokesperson of the WCED, Bronagh Hammond, said the department recently came across “schools” that were being housed in mosques, known as Haafith “schools”.

“The WCED were concerned as many of the pupils attending these schools are of compulsory school-going age, and because the Haafith institutions are not registered as independent schools, the pupils at these institutions would have no academic record attached to their name, making it difficult for them to re-enter the public schooling system, or to obtain the relevant qualifications needed for further study at higher education institutions.

“The WCED therefore initiated meetings with the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) to see if they could address this challenge, and others. The MJC undertook to set up an education office which would register all Haafith institutions,” Ms Hammond said.

She added that the process would require that the parents of pupils attending these institutions comply with all the WCED’s regulatory prescripts.

“It would be the MJC that would ensure that the necessary municipal by-laws and health conditions are adhered to, that the learners would be registered under Home Education with the WCED, and that ongoing academic support is provided.

“Staff would be provided with extensive training and development by the MJC, and would also be provided to improve their qualifications. The WCED is assisting the MJC where possible to ensure that the relevant compliance requirements are adhered to,” Ms Hammond said.

The Haafith schools which received compliance certificates include:

Al Furqaan Hifth School, Madrasatu Nur Hifth School, Tayyibah Al Nashr Institute, Darul Qur’aan Institute, Dairatul Ilm Haafith School, Markaz Iqraa il Quraan, Al Tartil Hifth Institute, Crescent Hifth School, Zain bin Thabiet Ghaafieth Academy, Dar al-Shifaa’ Haafith School, Dar al-Tarbiyah Quraan Institute, Ibn Al-Jazary Institute, Jam’eyyatul Qurra Male and Female Hifth Institute, and Madrasa Ahlil Quraan Male and Female Haafith School.

The MJC invites Haafith schools to sign up as soon as possible.