By Anees Teladia
The recent incident involving a local madrasa teacher being accused of assaulting a 10-year-old boy for misbehaving in class has raised flags and questions surrounding the treatment of children in madrasas. Corporal punishment has for years been a commonly used method to instil discipline in youth attending madrasa, but such methods are frequently subject to abuse and are often utilised due to a lack of skill in teaching. A local Islamic school, Madrasah Tul Madina, has developed a free training course to address the skill shortage some Islamic educators have.
“I think number one, as madrasa teachers we forget what we are preaching…we should be very careful how we handle another Muslim – whether it’s a youngster or an adult,” said administrator at Madrasah Tul Madina, Moulana Muhammad Kamalie.
“Our call is for madrasa teachers to attend these workshops, upskill themselves and learn how they can do things better. There’s a lot to be learned by educators – wherever and whoever they are.”
Empirically, the status of educators has fallen in South African society and madrasa educators are not exempt. However, despite the fall in status, appropriate and adequate training for educators with a passion for teaching can certainly improve the situation, according to Moulana Kamalie.
“As far as educators are concerned, the status of educators in our particular communities and society has definitely fallen,” said Moulana Kamalie.
“One thing I think madrassa teachers forget is that when you sit in class, you are the first student – you as an educator also learn. You have to be careful and understand children’s psychology – where they come from and what their challenges are. Youngsters come with their baggage…It’s a totally different ball game nowadays.”
“We need to raise our spirits and go forward as educators and madrasas.”
To get in touch with the madrasa and find out more about the free training course for Islamic educators, contact:
- Shaykh Abduragmaan May: 083 948 5436
- The secretary of Madrasah Tul Madina: 021 376 2837
- Moulana Muhammad Kamalie: 081 803 8538