As an institution that is an integral part of both the Muslim community and the larger Singapore society, the madrasah and the education it provides rightly deserve attention at a time of rapid and complex economic, social and religious changes and developments globally and locally.
This book aims to understand the current state and complexity of madrasah education in Singapore, and to identify some key issues affecting the field in particular and education and society in general. It also aims to serve as an intellectual contribution to the ongoing debates and concerns in the field and which affect the interests of Muslim and national communities.
Consistent with its aims, the book is issue- as well as policy-driven, with a focus on broad policy implications and where policy meets community and culture. It is targeted at leaders, policy-makers, scholars, educationists, teachers, parents, students and the general public alike. Its chapters cover the madrasah’s historical evolution; recent and current debates and state-community negotiations over key issues such as compulsory education, students’ performance and madrasah’s autonomy; the aims of madrasah education and their attendant problems and perceptions; evaluative critiques of madrasah education in diverse contexts and lessons derived; public policy management of the proposed change to compulsory education; a case example of a madrasah; and the concepts of knowledge and education and institutions of learning in Islam.
Given the vast changes taking place in the wider educational and social landscapes of Singapore, this volume is an important and timely contribution towards understanding and managing change of this important educational institution.