Madrasah gets $7.5m to extend lease

Funds will help 60-year-old school preserve its legacy, strengthen leadership team: Muis

A 60-year-old madrasah in Sims Avenue, whose lease will run out in about a month, has received a $7.5 million lifeline to extend its lease for 30 years.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) is providing Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah these funds under the Comprehensive Assistance Package.

This support is to preserve the legacy of the school and strengthen its management and leadership team, said Muis.

The deal was signed at the madrasah yesterday, witnessed by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim.

At the debate on his ministry's budget in Parliament last month, Dr Yaacob said the provision of such funding signals Muis' ongoing commitment to further professionalise and strengthen the madrasah sector. There are six full-time madrasahs in Singapore, offering their students religious and secular subjects.

Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah started its first religious classes in 1958 in a kampung house in Paya Lebar. It later bought a 30-year lease for a new building in Sims Avenue. Its lease will run out in June. The $7.5 million provided by Muis will allow it to purchase another 30-year lease.

Today, Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah has about 500 students at primary, secondary and pre-university levels. The school offers its students O-level and A-level certification, as well as a religious studies certificate.

Said Mr Ambiah Katama, co-chairman of Madrasah Wak Tanjong management committee: "A review of staff salaries will be undertaken to improve the remuneration of teachers. A structured training and professional development framework for staff will also be developed."

  • 30
    Number of years Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah's lease has been extended by.

  • 500
    ​Approximate number of students in the primary, secondary and pre-university levels at the school.

Besides offering funding for infrastructure and professional development of leaders in Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah, Muis gave the other schools various forms of support last year.

For instance, Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah will be introducing the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme next year.

Its teachers have been trained in the programme and have gone for study trips to IB schools in Shanghai, Mumbai and Dubai.

Last year, Muis disbursed $1.49 million to secular and religious teachers in all six madrasahs.

It also set aside $10 million for the development of Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah's new building in Toa Payoh; it will be ready by next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 29, 2018, with the headline 'Madrasah gets $7.5m to extend lease'. Print Edition | Subscribe