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Study of Koran obligatory at Leaving Cert Arabic

Clanrickard

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Concern over requirement to study Koran as part of Leaving Cert Arabic exam

the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), said the Koran was included on the basis of its linguistic and literary value and not because of its association with religion.It said the requirement for questions based on the Koran are explicitly stated in the syllabus.
In the Arabic exam, candidates are presented with three texts: an extract from the Koran, a portion of Arabic verse and an extract from a work of modern Arabic prose.
The questions related to the Koran are mandatory for all candidates, while candidates may choose from a portion of verse and modern prose.
How the hell did this happen? A Syrian Christian whose daughter is taking Arabic has complained. It is like making a study of the King James bible mandatory for leaving cert English.
 


silverharp

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Maybe they outsourced it to the Clonskeagh Mosque? it is certainly unusual or unique probably to have direct religious texts in a foreign language exam in the West. Also I'd imagine it gives an advantage to Muslim Arabs when there are Christian and Jewish Arab speakers.
Time for a re think
 

HereWeGoAgain

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Maybe they outsourced it to the Clonskeagh Mosque? it is certainly unusual or unique probably to have direct religious texts in a foreign language exam in the West. Also I'd imagine it gives an advantage to Muslim Arabs when there are Christian and Jewish Arab speakers.
Time for a re think

Arabic Leaving Certificate

The ICCI provides weekly classes covering the entire Arabic Leaving Certificate course. Taking into consideration that most of the students have been brought up in a non-Arabic speaking environment, we also give a preparatory course explaining a wide range of linguistic arts and grammar.

For further information on learning Arabic as a Leaving Certificate subject, please contact Dr. Ali Selim at: aliselim@islamireland.ie or telephone him at 01-2080000 (extension 105)</p>
Dr. Ali Selim attends functions and interviews with Sheikh Halawa as his interpreter. See Talking Heads youtube interview

Dr Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin’s Clonskeagh and a lecturer in the Mater Dei Institute and Trinity College, has called for “a revolution of inclusivity” in Irish schools and “an upheaval in Irish educational perspectives”.
This was necessary to accommodate the needs of a society which is now “home to a variety of Christian denominations, as well as people of other faiths and of none”, he says in his book Islam and Education in Ireland, to be published next week.
Estimating that of approximately 65,000 Muslims in Ireland today as many as 20,000 would be in the under-18 school-going age, he relates difficulties these young people face when it comes to admission to schools, as well as their problems with PE classes, relationship and sexuality education, music and drama classes, and practice of their faith during school hours.
Links
Call for State schools to accommodate Islamic beliefs
Education
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVo6H44yZYI
 

ruserious

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I would have said The Koran would be on par with Shakespeare. Lots of drama and fantasy beings.
 

silverharp

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The Arabic of the Koran is generally said to be essential for the study of Arabic.
There is modern Arabic and classical Arabic , I'd imagine a non Muslim would be more interested in modern
 

petaljam

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The Arabic of the Koran is generally said to be essential for the study of Arabic.
Says who, exactly?

Do non Muslim Arabic speakers also say it, by any chance? Only the mother who originally complained certainly seemed surprised at the idea, and I gather she did all her schooling in an Arabic-speaking country.
 

sic transit

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There is modern Arabic and classical Arabic , I'd imagine a non Muslim would be more interested in modern
Language study is all of it, especially in a school system. If as they claim, it is of literary value then it's no different than Shakespeare although one would imagine such study might be optional because of its nature.
 

HereWeGoAgain

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The syllabus - Arabic in Leaving Cert

Leaving Certificate Arabic was offered in Ireland
for the first time in June 1997, at Ordinary and
Higher levels. The current syllabus is based on the
Arabic curriculum taught at secondary school level
in the state system of an Arabic-speaking country.
The curriculum includes a number of prescribed texts,
both religious and secular
.
5. Description of papers
The question papers will be set entirely in Arabic. There will be one 3 hour paper at Ordinary level, and one 3 hour paper at Higher level. Both papers will consist of four parts.

Part 1
Part 1 will consist of a prose extract followed by four
multiple-choice questions which will test the candidates'
understanding of the main points of the structure
and the argument, and two open-ended questions
which will test other aspects of the extract, like
the use of language and the author's attitude towards
the subject matter.

Part 2
Part 2 will consist of three sections. The first section,
to be answered by all candidates, will comprise an
extract from the Koran, followed by two questions.

The second and third sections, between which the
candidates will be asked to choose, will consist respectively
of a portion of classical Arabic verse, followed
by two questions, and an extract from a work of
modern Arabic prose, followed by 2 questions. In
both cases, one question will bear directly on the text
presented, while the other question will be of a more
contextual nature.

Part 3
Part 3 will be a test of usage. Tasks will test candidates'
control of grammatical structures and awareness
of register and style. Five questions will be set.

Part 4
Part 4 will test candidates' skill in continuous writing.
A selection of six titles will be provided calling for an
imaginative, narrative or argumentative response in
appropriate style. Candidates will be required to
choose one title and will be advised to write 300-400
words.
Link - pdf file https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Curriculum-and-Syllabus/Senior-Cycle-/Syllabuses-and-Guidelines/
LEAVING CERTIFICATE ARABIC INTERIM SYLLABUS
(ORDINARY LEVEL AND HIGHER LEVEL)
 

silverharp

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Just as most kids would be (barely) interested in books that have very little useful language in them. Language study is all of it. If as they claim, it is of literary value then it's no different than Shakespeare although one would imagine such study might be optional because of its nature.
it is an argument but I think doing this gives Muslim Arabs an advantage, there ought to be an assumption that a non Muslim should not be at a disadvantage taking the exam. I'm not so worried that a Christian Arab will be "triggered"
 

petaljam

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Yes, you're right. But then I imagine that Leaving Cert Arabic is set for those studying Arabic as a second language.
I don't understand your point here? i'd have thought that learning a modern language using a 1500 year-old religious text would make getting a basic command of the language infinitely more difficult, so I can't see why anyone would want to do that at Leaving Cert level.

Also, I don't believe it's true that Arabic has any shortage of literary texts, there is lots of ancient Arabic poetry and writing, and lots of people writing in Arabic today. it's almost certainly just religious propaganda to claim that the Quran is uniquely fundamental to understanding the language.
 

petaljam

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Language study is all of it, especially in a school system. If as they claim, it is of literary value then it's no different than Shakespeare although one would imagine such study might be optional because of its nature.
But that's why it's not like studying Shakespeare, it's much closer to studying the King James' version of the bible (which I have heard many English people describe as a literary masterpiece too by the way. We don't study it because, well, it's a religious text. QED)
 

sic transit

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it is an argument but I think doing this gives Muslim Arabs an advantage, there ought to be an assumption that a non Muslim should not be at a disadvantage taking the exam. I'm not so worried that a Christian Arab will be "triggered"
It is a state exam and therefore far more likely to be academic. That would logically include historical literary texts. Like many languages learners can be tested in Arabic to evaluate their skill level.
 

Sister Mercedes

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My understanding is that students also study the Koran (along with the Bible) for Religion. Surely that's the proper class for it, and it also gives the parents an option to opt-out.
 

sic transit

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But that's why it's not like studying Shakespeare, it's much closer to studying the King James' version of the bible (which I have heard many English people describe as a literary masterpiece too by the way. We don't study it because, well, it's a religious text. QED)
We don't study it because we have Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton and a myriad of others. The King James is not within spitting distance of any of that. I don't know about the literary value but I doubt there are too many extant pieces of writing in classical Arabic.
 

petaljam

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We don't study it because we have Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton and a myriad of others. The King James is not within spitting distance of any of that.
They don't study religious texts in any foreign language classes at leaving cert, afaiaa.

Why do you think Arabic is unique in not having a sufficient literary tradition to enable it to be taught to Leaving Cert level without the use of one quite controversial religious text?
 


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