Raising the Quality of Muslim Learning: Broadening the Curriculum
Keywords:reform, integrated curriculum, Islamisation of knowledge, education
Two efforts have taken place in the Muslim world in recent decades - 1977 to 1996 - to reform education. The first initiative was launched by the OIC. A parallel attempt was launched by the IIIT. The latter was in certain aspects a response to the former. While the two efforts shared a common aim – the reform of Muslim education - they adopted different approaches to realise this objective. The differences between the two approaches are due to different perceptions about the reasons for the decline of Muslim education, and how it may be overcome. The OIC initiative traced the problems in Islamic education to a dualism which separated religious studies from contemporary subjects. This approach was content with integrating “contemporary” subjects in established Islamic studies. The Islamisation movement, by contrast, insisted that contemporary subjects needed to be “Islamised” before being introduced into the curricula of Islamic institutions of learning. In retrospect, the integration approach has proven enduring and resilient compared to the Islamisation approach. Currently, it is being implemented successfully in the Gulf region and in nations such as Malaysia.