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School Commencement Date UPDATE

Posted by Ali Arabaci on 6 February 2020
5 February 2020

Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

Re: 2020 School Commencement Date UPDATE Dear Parents/Caregivers,

On the 24th of January, a letter was sent out informing parents that the school commencement date had been postponed to the 17th of February due to facilities works and construction. Since this letter, we have received final confirmation from the contractors that the earliest works can be completed is Friday, the 6th of March. As a result, Kindergarten to Year 10 students will be commencing school on the 9th of March, 2020. A temporary arrangement has been made for the Year 11 students in which they will be commencing school on the 10th of February.

We understand that this is a five week delay from the original school commencement date for the Kindergarten to Year 10 students, and are aware that having to arrange child minding services on such short notice can be very frustrating and financially taxing.

I would like to inform our parents with confidence, however, that the delayed school commencement will in no way have an impact on the learning outcomes of our students. The time that has currently been lost will be compensated throughout the academic year by adhering to a 39 week calendar (which is the standard practice for Western division schools such as Irfan College) with the following amendments:

-  There will no term break between Term 1 and 2
-  Term 2 break will be one week in duration
-  Term 3 break will be one week in duration

Please find the start and finish dates of the school term amendments mentioned above:

Term 1 & 2 Monday 9 March to Friday 10 July
Term 3 Monday 20 July to Friday 2 October
Term 4 Monday 12 October to Wednesday 16 December

The 2020 academic year will finish as per the existing calendar on the 16th of December, bi'idhnillah. These calendar amendments have been reflected on the Sentral Parent Portal App for our parents' perusal.

We are also aware that these changes may impact extended leave absences that have been confirmed from 2019. Please communicate the impact of these changes with the College Curriculum Coordinators to discuss ways in which this can be mitigated.

As mentioned in my previous letter, the reason we are in this predicament is due to the late approval received from Fairfield City Council for the Development Application (DA) made to Council to increase our student numbers to accommodate for Year 11 and 12. The approval came late November and all the contractors contacted after the approval informed us that they were already engaged with other schools and sites over the school holidays, and that the earliest availability for the commencement of construction was the 4th of February, which corresponded to our school start date.

The College Executive Team is confident that it has done everything within their capacity to prevent such an inconvenience from eventuating, and this is what provides us with relief. Our faith enjoins us to believe that all matters are decreed by Allah (swt). Having done what we can, the rest of the matter has been deferred to Allah (swt). I believe that every single one of us is currently being tested with this development, and our response will determine how we fare with this trial. Allah (swt) states in the Holy Qur'an:

'[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving' 67:2

Central to the life of this world is the concept of imtihan (trial), and undoubtedly this development is an immense imtihan for our whole school community. This incident reminded me of the Prophet (saw)'s experience at Hudaybiyah. From the outward, it seemed that the Muslims were at a disadvantage with the agreed terms of the treaty. Companions (ra) started questioning the Prophet (saw) out of their frustration including some of his (saw) closest companions, such as 'Umar (ra). However, the latter stages of the Seerah demonstrates to us that Hudaybiyah was a complete success which was shortly followed by Fath Makkah (the conquest of Mecca). At the outset, Hudaybiyah appeared disadvantageous to the Muslims, though the outcome and long term benefit was evidently in the favour of the Muslim community. Allah (swt) states in the Qur'an:

'... But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.' 2:216

Having done everything within our capacity to avoid such a disruption to our school operations, and yet be confronted with such a situation, I believe is part of Allah's greater plan and wisdom, and Allah (swt) knows best. Being tested as a school on so many fronts for so many years, in my opinion, is a sign that we are in the Providence of Allah (swt), and that our efforts and investments into our students and community will soon render fruit, insha'Allah.

As your brother and school Principal, I kindly ask that you be patient and persevere through this trial and not fall into discord amongst ourselves as we are all the imtihan of one another.

I would have wanted to host a school community meeting to welcome the grievances of our parents, however the school hall currently has no electricity due to the relocations that will take place. In the meantime, please find below my College email address and contact number. I would appreciate our parents contacting me rather than acquiring information about these developments from other sources:

Email: a.arabaci@irfancollege.nsw.edu.au

College Office: (02) 9826 2885

On behalf of my Executive team and staff, I am genuinely sorry for this delay and the inconvenience it has caused our parents as a result.

Yours truly,

Mr Ali Arabaci

College Principal

Author:Ali Arabaci

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