The Arabic Committee of the Association of Muslim Schools (SA) held their annual Conference of teachers of Arabic at the Orient Islamic School, Durban on the 15 and 16 February 2018.
The conference which was attended by 40 teachers of Arabic from KZN, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape focused on preparing candidates who take Arabic as a subject for the National Senior Certificate examinations as well as on the latest teaching approaches in making Arabic accessible for learners in Muslim schools.
Among the speakers at the conference were Moulana Hashim Kathrada, from Tshwane Muslim School and chairman of the AMS Arabic Committee, Ms Robyn Mowat of the Independent Examinations Board, Hafez Reedwaan Ismail, Mufti Ebrahim Baccus, Moulana Ebrahim Jhazbhay, Moulana Mohammed Seedat, Moulana Imran Khamissa, Sheik Shaukat Dawood and Sheik Ali Yusuf
One of the key issues addressed at the conference was the decline in the numbers of candidates taking Arabic at the Matriculation level. The reasons for this included the change in the format of the National Curriculum, with Arabic competing with other subjects as an option in the set of seven subjects which learners need to offer at the FET level. Other factors included a lack of interest in learners and the indifference of parents as well as major stakeholders.
Sheik Shaukat Dawood, Head of Arabic at Al Falaah College and one of the organisers of the conference said
“ It is the responsibility of all in general, but the parents in particular, to ensure that our learners grab the opportunity of learning Arabic at school up to matric and beyond. We must all develop an attachment to the Arabic language in our hearts and ensure that we succeed in our aims and objectives for the benefit of future generations. We will be doing our children a disservice in denying them the opportunity to learn Arabic and exposing them to its beauty.”