Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah in Toa Payoh will have a new campus come 2020. The new 5-storey school block will be equipped with up-to-date IT infrastructure and facilities, teaching classrooms, and two science laboratories. It will also have ancillary facilities such as a multi-purpose hall, library, elevator access, assembly area, and sports court to better support the students. The redevelopment of the madrasah was first announced at the Committee of Supply (COS) debate in 2017, with details updated in this year’s COS debate on 8 March 2018.
Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah is one of three madrasahs under the Joint Madrasah System (JMS). The system, implemented in 2009, was introduced to assist madrasahs in the continuous upgrading of their systems, while continuing to preserve their past history, vision and mission to produce asatizah as well as Islamic scholars. Madrasah Al-Arabiah’s emphasis is on academic subjects, which include the Pure Sciences and Additional Mathematics. These will easily enable its students to move on to national post-secondary institutions, such as the junior colleges and polytechnics and later, national universities.
To illustrate the school’s aspiration of science and technology, augmented reality (AR) was incorporated in the project launch. Guest-of-Honour Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim and other guests viewed a 3D image of the new campus by downloading and launching an AR app from their mobile devices. Students were also encouraged to download the app as well and “bring their school” wherever they go via the app on their mobile phones.
Principal of Madrasah Al-Arabiah, Mr Herman Cher Ma’in expressed hope that the new campus will be beneficial for not only students, but also the teachers.
“With the up-to-date and future-ready facilities, it will help the students to pursue their aspirations in the area of STEM. The new campus is also meeting the needs of teachers. The new facility will also have the teaching and learning lab where teachers can engage in research and finding how students can learn better with emerging pedagogies. So I hope in that sense it won’t only uplift the students quality, but also uplift teacher’s competency as well.”
Speaking to the media after the project launch, Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, who is also Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, said that Madrasah Al-Arabiah has evolved from its humble beginning into a modern madrasah that has infused STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in its curriculum, producing future ready students while remaining rooted in Islamic values. Dr Yaacob also added that the accomplishments of Madrasah Al-Arabiah is also a reflection of the success of the Malay Muslim community.