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01) What is PCICS?
The Postgraduate Certificate in Islam in Contemporary Societies (PCICS) is a one-year full-time programme for returning graduates from tertiary Islamic learning institutions who are applying for Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS) Tier 1 (Graduate).
02) What is the purpose of PCICS? Why must all Islamic religious graduates attend PCICS?
Asatizah provide critical spiritual and social support to the Singapore Muslim Community. With Singapore’s changing social and economic landscape, future asatizah must be better equipped to address the emerging challenges and leverage the opportunities in adjacent sectors and beyond. Therefore, individuals who wish to teach Islam in Singapore should be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to apply their Islamic learning to the Singapore context, to function effectively in the local religious sector. Our religious education should produce graduates who are able to contribute to society, and increasingly, this will require them to be multi-skilled, give sound religious guidance which is contextualised to Singapore’s multiracial and multi-religious society This would ensure consistency of standards among religious teachers across the sector.
03) Who should attend PCICS?
Muslim religious students who are currently enrolled in tertiary Islamic colleges (including those who are graduating in 2019) intending to apply for ARS Tier 1 (Graduate) would need to complete PCICS. Returning graduates who do not wish to work in the religious sector will not have to go through the PCICS and apply for ARS. Those who have attended the Islam in Context (ICON) programme would not need to take PCICS.
04) Why implement PCICS now and not earlier? Is this an enhancement of the current ICON programme?
Increasingly, asatizah play an important role in providing the Singapore Muslim Community with sound religious guidance amidst a diverse and vibrant socio-religious landscape. PCICS is an enhancement to the Islam in Context (ICON) programme, introduced in 2017. Past ICON participants found the programme beneficial, but shared that the current ICON can be enhanced to include other important aspects for returning religious graduates like employability and career development. This is also consistent with the findings and recommendations of Committee on Future of Asatizah (COFA).
05) What is the typical schedule of a PCICS student?
PCICS will be a full-time programme, which has a blended learning format to help students balance between study and other commitments, such as work and family. Participants will spend a total of 10 hours on each module – 6 hours of e-learning, 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of tutorial.
06) Would asatizah already recognised by ARS need to take PCICS?
Only returning graduates who apply for ARS Tier 1 (Graduate) from Nov 2019 would need to complete PCICS. Asatizah already recognized by ARS would not need to take PCICS.
07) Would students who take higher education programmes from local Islamic Education Centres and Providers (IECPs) need to attend PCICS?
Yes, graduates of local IECPs with a curriculum and certificate endorsed by a foreign university will also have to attend PCICS.
08) Can current Tier 1 Asatizah benefit from PCICS?
Customised courses based on the PCICS curriculum, including competency skills workshops is available for all asatizah under ARS. Asatizah would be able to better contextualise their knowledge to meet the needs of the Muslim community in Singapore and upgrade their skills.
09) Why is the programme over one-year compared to ICON which was one-month?
PCICS is designed to provide robust postgraduate level modules. The modules are designed to equip asatizah with a graduate certificate, which would have credit units from modules recognised by selected partner institutions should students wish to pursue further certifications with these institutions.
10) Why must students from neighbouring countries (i.e. Malaysia and Indonesia) whose context would be similar to Singapore, go through PCICS?
All overseas students will have to attend PCICS if they want to apply for ARS Tier 1 (Graduate). Although we have students who may study in countries which are geographically near to Singapore (such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei), their socio-religious context differs from Singapore. As such, it is important for graduates from these countries to undergo PCICS to ensure that they acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to apply their Islamic learning to the Singapore context, and the relevant skills to function effectively in the local
11) Will there be internships or work placements during PCICS?
Internship opportunities and work placements will be part of the programme. Students may also apply for the Work Experience Programme (WEP).
12) What kind of certification or qualification can PCICS students expect to receive? Will certificate(s) from overseas partner institutions, NUS and SUSS be issued to PCICS graduates?
Graduates of PCICS will obtain a Postgraduate Certificate by Muis Academy, supported by our local and overseas partner institutions, full ARS recognition and 20 Continuous Professional Education (CPE) hours. Graduates of PCICS will not receive separate
certification from NUS, SUSS or the foreign partner institutions. Students who wish to pursue full qualifications with NUS and SUSS after completing the PCICS can enquire directly with either AU on possible credit exemptions. SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will be providing certification for the skills workshops.
13) Can participants teach Islam while pursuing the PCICS certificate?
Graduates who apply for ARS (Tier 1) will be given provisional ARS recognition (valid for 3 years) upon application, which will allow them to teach Islam while undergoing the PCICS.
14) How will PCICS be conducted?
PCICS is a blended programme. Participants will engage in online learning as well as face-to-face sessions. Participants will spend a total of 10 hours per module – 6 hours of e-learning, 3 hours of lecture and 2 hours of tutorial every fortnight. Upon completion of the programme, participants will receive full ARS recognition and 20 CPE hours.
15) Will PCICS graduates still need to attend Continuous Professional Education (CPE)?
As the Code of Ethics is embedded in the modules, participants will be awarded 20 CPE hours upon the successful completion of PCICS. PCICS participants would need to take additional 10 hours of CPE courses within the three-year period to meet the CPE requirements.