With many Islamic preschools in Malaysia offering Pendidikan Islam, how do you choose a suitable preschool for your child? And what makes Q-dees’ Pendidikan Islam curriculum the best choice for early childhood Islamic education?
Islam is not just a religion, it is a way of life; hence, it is important for Muslim children to learn and practice Islamic values with its traditions early on in life. That is what the Islamic studies, also known as Pendidikan Islam in Malaysia, is all about.
By incorporating Islamic philosophy as its base, Pendidikan Islam not only develops the physical, emotional, and cognitive skills of children in early childhood but also cultivates their spirituality and character.
Let’s start by discussing the qualities to consider when choosing an Islamic preschool in Malaysia.
Qualities to Consider When Choosing a Top Islamic Preschool in Malaysia
Most Islamic kindergartens and preschools in Malaysia are private or non-governmental organisations.
Because of this, private preschool develops its own Pendidikan Islam curriculum, offering different educational methodologies and teaching methods.
Since there is no predetermined syllabus or teaching method, what are the qualities that determine a suitable Islamic preschool for your child?
1 – Effective Learning Methodology
The Pendidikan Islam curriculum at preschool is developed by incorporating Islamic elements into early childhood education. Different preschools develop their own unique set of teaching methodologies that they combine with Islamic education as well.
For example, some preschools adopt an Islamic-Montessori curriculum which conducts upon the basis of both the religious philosophy of Islam and the self-learning theology of Montessori.
While there is no wrong or right teaching methodology, we recommend that you choose a preschool with a teaching methodology that aligns with your own parental values and beliefs.
A way to find this out is always to pay the preschools a visit and ask about their teaching methodology. Find out about how lessons are delivered and the type of activities that will be conducted during classes.
2 – Adheres to Malaysia’s National Preschool Curriculum (KSPK) Standard
Although required to adhere to Malaysia’s National Preschool Curriculum (KSPK) standard, most preschools will add their own philosophy to the curriculum. Therefore, it is advisable that you look into the contents of the Islamic syllabus offered by the preschool that you want to send your child to.
Q-dees’ Pendidikan Islam follows the KSPK standard by including the five components in Islam education, namely:
- Aqidah (Creeds),
- Sirah (Islamic stories),
- Ibadah (Prayer),
- Asas Bahasa Al Quran dan Jawi (Reading and writing Arabic and Jawi),
- Akhlak. (Manners and traditions).
Introduction to the five components in Pendidikan Islam at Q-dees. Click here to enquire about Islamic classes at Q-dees
These subjects are taught with sufficient detail and clarity both through lessons and hands-on practice, making it fun and engaging for children from the age of 4 to 6 to understand.
Because of the sanctity of language in the Al Quran, you should also enquire about the languages that the preschool uses to teach Pendidikan Islam.
Generally, based on the standard by KSPK, preschool students are expected to know the pillars of Iman, Islam, Sirah of the Prophet, and able to pronounce the Shahadatayn.
Students will also be taught to emulate some of the Prophet’s Akhlak and understand the basics of the Qur’anic language and Jawi alphabets, on top of being able to recite short Surahs.
Some Islamic preschools in Malaysia use English as their main language for teaching Pendidikan Islam while others use our national language, Malay, as their primary mode of communication. Ideally, Arabic, which is the language of the Quran, should be spoken and read in Islamic education.
Enquire about the Pendidikan Islam programme at Q-dees: https://www.q-dees.com/starters/
3 – Integrated vs Separated Syllabus Structure
Typically, there are two ways an Islamic preschool in Malaysia structures their Islamic syllabus: Separated class or integrated schedules.
Separate class schedules would mean religious and non-religious classes are separated. Usually, non-religious subjects are taught in the morning while Pendidikan Islam classes are taught in the afternoon.
There are advantages and disadvantages of separating core-subject and religious classes.
- Increases your child’s awareness of the importance and teachings of Islam.
- Helps form better connections to Islamic topics, by setting time to focus on understanding Islam as a whole.
- Children may be less attentive since Islamic classes are usually held at the end of the day.
On the other hand, an integrated syllabus means the preschool mixes Islamic studies together with core subjects like English, Math, and Science with Islamic studies in their schedule. Therefore, Islamic subjects are taught during classes throughout the session at preschool.
Again, there are advantages and disadvantages to an integrated Islamic syllabus.
- Allows children to practice Islamic teachings throughout the day.
- Teaches children that religious subjects are just as important as other core subjects.
- Preschool fees may be more affordable as there’s no need for an extra subject.
- The lack of a focused class may cause children to miss some important details.
Both scheduling methods have their advantages and disadvantages, but this does not make one method superior to the other.
What usually matters more is how well-planned the preschool curriculum is and the effectiveness of the teaching method for children.
When you visit a preschool offering Pendidikan Islam, ask for a sample weekly class schedule. This would give you a clearer picture of their day-to-day activities and how the classes are fit in.
Generally, regardless of the syllabus structure, an Islamic preschool would include activities that educate children about Islamic teachings, such as:
- To perform Salaams and Aqidah recitations at the start of Pendidikan Islam classes.
- Designated times for prayer.
4 – Qualified Teachers
Aside from ensuring the preschool follows the national guidelines set by MOE, also known as, Kurikulum Standard Prasekolah Kebangsaan (KSPK), the next thing to consider is the credibility of the teachers conducting Pendidikan Islam classes and educators who developed the syllabus.
This is why the curriculum for Pendidikan Islam at Q-dees is developed by experts, namely, Abd Fatah bin Salehuddin, who is a lecturer at International Islamic College with wide experience in Islamic studies and early childhood education. He was also appointed by the International Islamic University Malaysia as a coach for the KSPK (Kurikulum Standard Prasekolah Kebangsaan) for preschool teachers in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
Conversely, preschool teachers who teach Pendidikan Islam will need a substantial understanding of Islamic practices, have patience and loving compassion for children.
Common Misconception: Will Pendidikan Islam compromise non-Islamic teachings?
Not at all!
In fact, Islam promotes the concept of Wasatiyyah which means “moderation in every manner”.
Therefore, Pendidikan Islam would have a harmonious balance between religious and secular classes. By connecting links between religious and secular classes, children gain a broadened, enhanced, and holistic perspective rather than a singular perception of the world.
When it comes to finding the right preschool that provides proper Islamic education for your child, keep in mind to go through the qualities mentioned above.
So long as the preschool follows the standard set by Malaysia’s National Preschool Curriculum and has the right teachers to teach the philosophies and teachings of Islam in an engaging way, your child will grow spiritually and academically.
We love to hear your thoughts. What is the main factor that influences your decision when choosing an Islamic preschool in Malaysia? Comment below.
Find out if the Q-dees centre near you provides Pendidikan Islam education: Visit a Q-dees centre near you