Tarbiyah Learning, the full-time Islamic school, is starting out the school year in brand new classrooms in Masjid Jami Omar, located in Ottawa's West end.
Muslim Link interviewed Tarbiyah's principal Ghazala Choudhury about the move and what parents and students can expect if they enroll in the school this year.
1. What programs (academic levels) are currently offered at Tarbiyah Learning?
Tarbiyah Learning currently offers all elementary grade levels from Kindergarten to Grade 8.
2. What sets the approach to Islamic Education at Tarbiyah Learning apart from other Islamic Schools?
Although we have a set Islamic Studies, Quran and Arabic curriculum, one aspect which sets us apart is that the Islamic Studies is taught to the students by their homeroom teachers. This way, the curriculum is more relevant to students and also integrated with other subjects, allowing students to see the importance of Islam in everything they do.
3. Tell us about your relationship with Masjid Jami Omar. What does this relationship add to the Tarbiyah Learning experience for students?
We are very excited to be moving into some of the new Jami Omar classrooms this year. We are currently renting six classrooms from Jami Omar and this will help us to accommodate more students. The classrooms are beautiful and spacious, with access to the gymnasium and masjid. This will greatly enhance the learning experience for our students. We are grateful to Jami Omar in renting these classrooms to our students!
4. How has Tarbiyah Learning improved since its beginning? How has it risen to the challenges that full-time Islamic Schools face?
Tarbiyah has grown since being founded as a homeschooling network in Ottawa in 2011. We are now under the Ontario Ministry of Education and a full time Ontario private school. Full-time Islamic schools do face some challenges, mostly financial, but we have been blessed to have an amazing community who has been very supportive of the initiative and also supported us financially over the years. Our student population has also increased and this has helped too. Overall, Tarbiyah's approach to teaching is a bit different from other Islamic schools. Making student connections, having smaller class sizes and providing each student with individualized teaching have been aspects with have all helped us to face common challenges.
5. Please add any Frequently Asked Questions you get from parents that you would like to address in this article.
We are frequently asked about our Quran program, which is a daily program that runs for an hour every morning. We also have a full time hifdh program that begins earlier every day. We teach the Ontario curriculum and add the subjects of Quran (memorization, reading, tajweed and tafseer), Arabic and Islamic Studies. We also have the 'Canadian Islamic Leadership Program' which is offered to students from grades 5 through 8 and features workshops by experienced guest lecturers from within the Muslim community, who also serve as positive role models for our students. The concepts taught are reinforced throughout the year in the classroom and beyond, giving students the opportunity not only to learn important concepts but actively apply them as well.
Chelby Marie Daigle is Muslim Link’s Editor in Chief and Coordinator. Under her direction, Muslim Link adopted its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy so that the website strives to reflect the complexity of Muslim communities in Canada. She knows that she fails to do justice to this complexity every day but she will continue to try to improve as she recognizes the frustration of being both marginalized in the mainstream and also marginalized in Muslim communities. As Coordinator, she works to build relationships with Muslim and mainstream organizations and manages the website's social media, event listings, and directories. She organizes regular Muslim Link gatherings. She also works closely with the Publisher to find ways to keep Muslim Link sustainable. Find her on Twitter @ChelbyDaigle