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PEDAGOGICAL CHALLENGES IN BURTON MADARSSAH
The most important chapter of any dissertation comprised of all the information regarding the proposed research topic is the literature review. This chapter gives a clear insight and relevant information regarding the proposed study’s research questions, aims, and objectives. The information for the literature is gathered from different sources such as relevant academic journals, books, articles, and news. Thus, the information provided in this chapter is relevant and evidence-based, and it is also backed up by the statements and research of different researchers and scholars. The literature review of this dissertation will discuss in detail “The issues encountered during the change from the in-person classroom environment to online learning environments: A case study of the Burton Madrassa in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown”. The information on the discussion will also be based on the aims, objectives, and research questions of this study, giving more strength to the literature. Thus, relevant information about the pedagogical challenges faced by Islamic Madrassa, such as the adaptability of the teachers to online platforms that are being used to teach Islamic education to the students, and at the end of the literature, relevant recommendations will be given regarding the effective measures and instructional strategy that are needed to be taught for improving online teaching in Burton Madrassa education during Coronavirus pandemic.
Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on Islamic Education System
According to Islam et al. (2020) coronavirus pandemic disrupted the educational system all around the globe, and many changes have been brought in the education system to compel against the issues that the pandemic has caused to both teachers and students. Coronavirus is widespread and has severe consequences for the one who gets infected; that is why every country around the globe went under lockdown to ensure the safety of the people. This is the reason which is why all the schools and educational institutions shut down for a long time just to prevent the students from getting infected by the deadly virus prevailing all over the world Best, (2020). However, the virus, instead of simmering down, continued to spread even after the precautions, and the world has to settle with that by considering the situation as “A New Normal”, and that is why every industry, along with the educational institutions, settled for the new normal by moving from physical classes to online classes. Thus, according to Ma’Ruf et al. (2020), it has been observed that the education realm completely changed after the decision was made regarding the closure of schools and all the educational institutions around the globe, and it made them move towards online teaching. This decision was primarily taken so that social distancing, which is the need of the hour, can be implemented so that people can avoid interacting with each other and the widespread Coronavirus can be avoided.
Thus, online learning and teaching practices were a suitable option so that education would continue by any means (Cornock, 2020). Furthermore, after reviewing the decision of switching to online platforms, it was obtained that online teaching is a good option for both teachers and students because it is more convenient in regards to the accessibility of education, it is time-saving, and the resources that are being used are cheaper than that of physical education. However, according to Islam et al. (2020), the online classes and lectures can also be recorded so that they can be accessed in the future so that the teachers can improve their strategies that used for the lectures and the students can access the lectures anytime they want (Hidayat, 2017).
According to Islam et al. (2020), Islamic societies are continuously trying to improve their education system with advanced technologies, but due to lack of resources such as internet connection, learning devices that are of high quality, integration of modern and advanced technology, and a few numbers of students, many Islamic schools such as Burton Madrassa are facing many issues while shifting from physical to online classes. The Muslims faced a similar situation where the revival of Islamic education seemed inevitable, resulting in the formation of the madrassa. Thus, the efforts of making the Islamic educational institutions improved resulted in the emergence of Madrassas. According to Mansir (2021), madrassa is called “darassa”, meaning a place to sit for learning. The history of Madrassas is long and prevailing. That is why a madrassa is considered one of the oldest education institutions in Islam where students receive education regarding the religion and, most specifically, learn the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah Haque et al., (2020).
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the modern educational institutions and the Islamic educational institutions were also affected negatively, which is why the decision of online teaching of Islamic education was made so that the gap van be filled, and there is no laid back in the Islamic education. According to Islam et al. (2020), there are many challenges that the teachers and students faced in regards to online learning, such as the interaction of the students with the advanced technology and modern-day tools, the level of comfort or satisfaction with online learning similar to the level of physical learning. Thus, in a recent study conducted by Akseer et al. (2020), it has been found that the learners are facing many challenges because they are not getting the environment of a classroom where they were only focused on the studies. However,while taking virtual classes at home, students are not completely focused on the lecture, distracted by other things at the comfort of their home.
Because of this, it has been observed byQuevillon (2021) that many students failed to accomplish the assigned task because their concepts were not cleared due to a lack of communication and interaction with the course teacher. Thus, it is evident that both of these elements are an essential part of the learning process.According to Hidayat (2017), it has been observed that there is a significant gap between the students who are opting for online Islamic studies. Some students have all the essential facilities to afford the latest gadgets and equipment to attend online classes with ease, and they are considered privileged, whereas some students from a poor background cannot access online classes easily. This distinction can be made among teachers because some teachers do not have enough technical resources because they belong to low-income families, so they cannot conduct online classes at the ease of their homes.
It has also been observed byHaque et al. (2020) that almost 25% of the students in the United States do not even have access to computers to attend online classes. However, students who are learning online have been noticed thoroughly, and it has been found with the help of the finding of this research that they have shown positive results of retaining the information they are receiving from the teachers. Thus, according to Chatterjee et al. (2020), it has been observed that there is a drastic difference between the learning in both online and physical classes as students attending physical classes can grasp only 10% of the course material. On the other hand, the ones who are attending online classes has been seen retaining 25% to 60% of the course material that is very beneficial for the; however, in a recent study conducted by Quevillon (2021), it has been obtained that only students who have access to all the resources are capable of retaining the course material at a significant level. In this regard, not all students are getting the concept of online classes and are less interested in education.
The Pedagogical Challenges in Madrassa Education
According toSuryaman et al. (2020), over the last two decades in the history of Islamic Madrassa, it has been obtained that many pedagogical challenges are deeply embedded because of many different types of phenomena. The issues in Islamic studies, especially in the context of secular education at Madrassas, seemed to grow at a significant level with time. The ideology of the secular democracy was undermined with the rise of the rightest forces that in a limited time appeared to limit the capitalising, migration, and globalisation of the anti-Islamic sentiments(Hidayat, 2017). That is why the Islamic educational institutes, especially madrassas, faced pedagogical challenges during the pandemic that are very important to be highlighted at a global level. However, before going into the deep discussion of the pedagogy, there is a need to thoroughly understand madrassas’ concepts. According toQuevillon (2021), the madrassa education system came for many different reasons, and it was introduced initially during the period of Safavids in Persia.
Thus, the main purpose of building the madrassas was to reproduce and spread Islamic knowledge among the learners under one roof and form a contributed organisation system to spread knowledge and awareness regarding Islamic studies and teachings (Ma’Ruf et al., 2020).According to Best (2020), the network of Islamic Madrassa rose due to the threats of Western nations to the proponents of Islam, which is why the networks of Madrassas interconnected with the teachers who could deliver extensive knowledge to the learners regarding Islamic studies as well as Shaykhs. Thus, the madrassas system has grown significantly after the Western nations’ threats to strengthen the Islamic Nation and widespread Islamic studies that also reached non-Muslim majority countries.
According to a study conducted by(Mansir 2021), there are 2000 Islamic Madrassas in the UK in which almost 250,000 Muslim students are obtaining Islamic studies. Thus, the madrassa system in the UK is quite influential, and people from different religions are also found to be interested in Islamic teachings Chatterjee et al., (2020). However, the biggest concern regarding the quality of Islamic teachings in the UK and other non-Muslim majority countries is that most of the teachers teaching at a madrassa are the imams who have gained Islamic education and knowledge abroad, and there is a big question about the authenticity of their concepts and teachings. This concern is raised at almost every madrassa’s platform because their madrassas contribute to the learning and development of many children and adults, and that is why the knowledge and information shared by the tutors must be accurate and according to the teachings of Islam (Best, 2020). Hence the volume of Islamic education delivered to the students in the UK needs assessment of pedagogical methods to locate effectiveness.
As per the study conducted byAkseer et al. (2020), the main teachings being capitalised in the Madrassa of the UK are the Quran and Islamic education. It has also been observed that many madrassas contribute to the teachings of many other things such as Urdu, English, and Arabic that are also beneficial for the students. Many madrassas are also encompassing national curriculum subjects as per the Institute of Public Policy Research. Thus, there is a specific criterion for teachers to get a job for teaching in a madrassa, and only if they are competent with the requirements, they are hired for the job. However, not all madrassa requires Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), but it has been obtained byBest (2020) that almost 14% of the madrassas require teachers who have (QTS).
Hence, theological training is required for the rest, 57% of the teachers,to teach in a madrassa, and there is the significant importance of the theological training among the teachers because this is how quality education can be provided to the students through trained teachers. Nonetheless, it is also very important to mention that the funding required to maintain the expenses of madrassas is not adequate to keep the Islamic educational system smooth and uninterrupted. That is why the process through which the teachers receive training delays (Akseer et al., 2020).According to Chatterjee et al. (2020), the coronavirus pandemic severely impacted the Islamic educational system, and it tends to become the most severe and potent threat to the world of education, whether Islamic or any else. Thus, more than 2.3 billion children and young students, including adults, were out of schools from more than 200 nations worldwide, putting the global education system into crisis. However, after the pandemic impacted the educational world, the use of technology remarkablyincreased because schools adopted virtual teaching and the Madrassas in the UK and every country in the world after the observance of Coronavirus(Suryaman et al., 2020).
The use of technology is ten-folded not only in the education sector but also in every other sector around the globe, such as business, education, and sports, so that the day-to-day operations can be carried out that are disrupted due to the surge of the virus over the globe. The online education system has helped reduce the probability of contracting the virus because people are restricted to interact with each other; otherwise, they may get infected. Due to the online classroom system, students and teachers can effectively interact without even meeting in person. Technology is being advanced, and it has made life and everyday operations a lot easier;however, due to less funding to madrassas, not all madrassas are equipped with technological devices so that teachers may conduct online classes (Ma’Ruf et al., 2020).
According to Islam et al. (2020), several restrictions were faced by the education sector during the coronavirus pandemic that caused the shift of functions and operations of educational institutions, including the madrassa online. There are so many benefits of online education, and some of them are also discussed below, but despite the many benefits, there are also many challenges and issues that the teachers and students are facing that had affected the overall educational entities. Thus, the coronavirus pandemic affected the madrassas the most in many different ways, and the most significant issue faced by the teachers is being accessible to advanced technologies. Thus, the issues faced by madrassas are also because of the diversified teaching styles and the practices that have been effective badly due to the pandemic caused by Covid-19 (Mansir, 2021). Thus, it has been observed that a rationale solution has been made to support online teaching by keeping in mind the measures being implemented amid the pandemic.
Thus, online platforms such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Classrooms, and Moodle can be very helpful for the teachers and the students effectively serve the purpose of online education and execute the desired outcomes in an education setting. Thus, the improvements of the teachers to provide adequate Islamic teachings are facilitated by the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), one of the key Islamic institutions in the UK. Thus, it is the duty of (MINAB) to maintain the standard of Islamic education by providing extensive education to the teachers. However, recent studies have shown that the online teaching approach is also considered an effective approach as per MINAB that allows better education up to 30%, and it is 40% less time consuming and 30% cheaper (Suryaman et al., 2020).
Therefore, a suitable research methodology is adopted based on the highlighted facts and information in this section which will aid the researcher to generate meaningful insight about the pedagogical challenge of adaptability to the online platform. In this regard, some of the recommendations are presented below.
Recommended Effective Measures and Strategies to Improve Online Teaching in Burton Madrassa during Coronavirus Pandemic
According to Akseer et al. (2020), teachers can implement many strategies and techniques while providing online tutoring. Teaching Islamic studies and Quran is not difficult, and it is just like normal teaching that other teachers from different educational backgrounds provide to the students in the online classes. Therefore, the techniques that the teachers of madrassas can use for online teachings can be similar. Furthermore, many applications on the Internet can help Islamic tutors to teach Quran and other Islamic teachings with ease. This may include Zoom Meeting, Google Hangouts as well as Blackboard. These apps, especially Blackboard, are designed for easily taking virtual classes that allow the students and the teachers to share their screens. Thus, the teachers of madrassas can consider the following recommendations to mitigate the challenges they face while providing online classes.
Use of Blackboard (App)
The teachers can use the Blackboard app to display the study material on the computer screen with the help of an easy instruction manual, just like they used to do in the physical classrooms. The students can see the Blackboard and can also access it to write on it if they allow them. This will help them adapt to a new environment while keeping some of the elements of in-person teaching.
Use of Interactive Material
There are many online pages, such as websites, that are loaded with extensive Islamic course materials. These pages can be referred to the students by the teachers so that they can have all the relevant knowledge regarding Islamic teachings. In addition, there are many videos on the Internet, especially on YouTube, regarding the recitation of Quran Majeed that the students can access on a daily basis. The teachers also recommend some videos to the students as homework. Moreover, Burton Madrassa can introduce its Online channel on Youtube, which will help the administration generate funds as students will be able to access the material and other people.
The teachers must effectively manage the online classes’ time as it is the most important factor in online learning. There are many ways in which the teachers can manage the time, such as they can avoid distractions that can affect the learning, a to-do list can be made so that a list of activities can be made to tackle each task. Thus, the teacher can also avoid multitasking while conducting an online class. In this regard, it is appropriate that the question and answer session must be kept during the last few minutes instead of interrupting teachers during the session. This will surely form a systematic way to conduct the online classes.
Involvement of Teacher and Students
Teachers must use interactive content so that the students and teachers must be involved in the teaching and learning activities throughout the online sessions. Thus, the teachers are also required to stay positive and schedule time for learning. These activities can take a quiz, ask students’ real-life experiences, and take feedback on these activities to analyse their outcome.
The teachers must integrate effective communication techniques and be aware of their importance to better learning outcomes for the students. The teachers must be open to questions from the students and answer every query so that there is no confusion among the students because Islamic studies, especially the Quranic studies, require active considerations to avoid any mistakes. Thus, communication is how the teacher can learn from the students and improve their knowledge and skills.
Summary of the Proposed Chapter
To summarise, the proposed chapter aims to conduct the literature review according to the aim and objectives formulated in Chapter 01 of the proposed dissertation. Various Muslim children between the ages of five to fourteen years spend not many hours consistently, especially at the mosque after school to get Islamic directions. In addition, this exhibited that Islamic Supplementary Schooling is viewed as loaded with potential to work with youthful Muslim children in the UK, which can be additionally investigated as the resource to help the young Muslim through the difficulty they normally face. Various Islamic Madrassas use traditional techniques to train Islamic instruction, including rote learning, which chiefly focused on memorisation of the Qur’an. Notwithstanding, the case is extraordinary after the Covid pandemic, as the traditional learning method in Islamic Supplementary Schools cannot be implemented because of social distancing. As was mentioned previously that Several Islamic Supplementary schools utilise traditional methods to teach Islamic education, including rote learning, which mainly focused on memorisation of the Qur’an that enhances the capacity of students to memorise the verses. Thus, in the chapter, firstly, the predicaments of online classes amid Coronavirus pandemic within Islamic madrassah education, secondly, the regulations impact on Islamic madrassah education in the pandemic, thirdly, the barriers to online classes in Islamic Madrassas, and fourthly, measures for improving the efficiency of online classes in madrassah education are discussed and elucidated.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]