Posted by Ali Arabaci
on 17 July 2020
Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
Dear Irfan Families,
I pray this reaches you in the best of health and iman. Alhamdulillah, with the grace and permission of Allah (swt) we have been able to complete a challenging, yet rewarding first semester.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly been one of the greatest challenges of 2020 having an impact on all segments of society. What seemed like an episode that was once under control in Australia is now reaching record numbers in Victoria. This reminds us that we cannot afford to be lax or complacent with the novel virus. It requires vigilance and a conscience and collective effort to do our bit in protecting the most vulnerable of our community, our elderly and sick. I kindly request our parents and students to continue with good hygiene practices and social disctancing, even though numbers are low in NSW. I strongly advise that our family GP's are consulted if our children are displaying flu-like symptoms, be it a fever, sore throat or a cough. Please also refrain from sending your child to school if they are displaying flu-like symptoms and only send them to school once they have been issued with a medical certificate from your GP.
Our administration has been working on improving the academic standing and progress of our students. We acknowledge that COVID-19 and remote learning has had an impact on the academic progress of our students. However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind our parents about the importance of a healthy cooperation between the school, parent and student. All three components must be working in a synchronised manner towards a common goal, namely to provide our children with a well-rounded education. The education, or 'Tarbiyah' of our students, goes well beyond the curriclum and environment provided at school. Our parents need to ensure that there is an alignment at home with the vision, expectations, routines and discipline fostered at school. If there is a lack in these areas, it will inevitably result in the disengagement of our children and the production of a bewildered generation of Muslim youth, who lack the values, knolwedge and skill to tackle the real and complex challenges of the 21st century.
In Term 2, an inspection was conducted by the NSW Education Standards Authority regarding the registration and accreditation of Stage 6 (Year 11 and 12). Alhamdulillah, the inspection was finalised with an approval and renewal of registration and accreditation. As a result, Irfan College will be facilitating its first graduating cohort next year, inshaAllah. The next inspection by NESA will be conducted in 2024 and will be focusing on the entirety of schooling years, K-12.
Earlier this year, our parent body was informed of the changes to the bus fees in 2021 and 2022. I understand that this increase will impact many households who currently utilise the bus service. Irfan College has been absorbing the subsidy provided to parents since its establishment in 2013. As our College is moving towards reaching its maximum capacity and catering for the full years of schooling, we would like to ensure that the necessary investments are being made to provide our stakeholders with the quality service they deserve. There are many facilities that our College requires, and with the amendment to the bus fees, we hope that these objectives will be achieved. I would like to thank our parents and school community for their continued support and commitment to our College vision.
Capital Works and Facilities Upgrades
Islamic Integration Project
Alhamdulillah, with the delayed school commencment at the beginning of the year, there was a range of capital works and facilities upgrades to our College. These include a modular assembly and prayer hall, Library, Technology lab, Computer lab, Languages and Year 11 room. We will have the final installment of the works completed at the end of the year with the addition of a Year 12 classroom.
Alhamdulillah, our Islamic Integration Project has been progressing well with the addition of two staff members to the project, Dr Samir Mahmoud and Ms Eman Aweida. Dr Samir is an internationally renowned scholar who is a regular teacher at Cambridge Muslim College in England and is currently focusing on developing Irfan's Philosophy of Education. Ms Eman is focusing on Primary integration predominantly with developing teacher resources such as units of work.
Community Engagement is an integral part of our College's vision and mission, and as part of this investment, Irfan College is proud to announce that it will be receiving a $22,000 scholarship from the Centre of Islamic Thought and Education (CITE) at the University of South Australia. This scholarship will go towards funding a portion of the Graduate Certificate of Islamic Education program fees facilitated by CITE. Alhamdulillah, three of our teaching staff will be commencing the program in 2021 as a result of this scholarship. We ask Allah (swt) to accept and bless this effort and make it of benefit to our community.
Most of our parents would have already heard that NAPLAN 2020 has been cancelled due to COVID-19. We will keep our parents updated as more information is released regarding NAPLAN for 2021.
I would like to thank all of our College community for their dedication and continued belief in our vision. I pray that Allah (swt) keeps our College safe from any form of wabaa' and balaa', and a productive Semester 2.