A new model of secondary and pre-university education will be introduced at two madrasahs from 2015, to deliver a first-rate education that is on par with the mainstream schools.
Madrasah Al-Arabiah, which provides an Islamic environment for students to pursue national curriculum subjects, will give students the additional option of a five-year route leading to the N-levels, then O-levels.
Madrasah Aljunied, which offers the religious track for those who want to pursue Islamic education at higher levels, will allow a class of 15 students to skip the O-levels and prepare for the International Baccalaureate. With the IB qualifications, students will have more options for their tertiary education.
These new options are in addition to the current route where students prepare for the O-levels over four years and those aiming to take up religious studies at higher levels, study a two-year pre-university course before heading to Islamic universities such as Egypt's Al-Azhar.
Madrasah Aljunied will also adopt a new paradigm of teaching and learning called the Azhar 2.0 curriculum where the 18 subjects currently offered will be integrated into six subject groupings. This will allow students to go deeper into subject areas. There will be a focus on new and emerging issues for example a new module called "Islam and Society" will expose students to contemporary issues like gender, poverty, environment and economics and human rights will be offered.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, who made the announcement while on a visit to Madrasah Aljunied on Tuesday afternoon, called the changes "a bold attempt to develop a world class madrasah education that is on par and connected with the Singapore education landscape".
He said the enhancements will help to transform the madrasah into institutions that nurture the spirit of thinking, inquiry, creativity and innovation in our future Islamic religious leaders.