Children set for lessons in Islam?

HEADTEACHERS are being advised to 'spice up' their religious education lessons by getting children to dress up in Muslim clothes, learn about the five pillars

HEADTEACHERS are being advised to 'spice up' their religious education lessons by getting children to dress up in Muslim clothes, learn about the five pillars of Islam and make prayer beads.A newsletter, due to be sent out by North Somerset Council to primary and secondary schools, suggests that pupils should be taken to an exhibition in Birmingham where they can learn about the faith, history and practice of Islam.Once there, North Somerset schoolchildren will be able to explore five areas of the religion including family life, Islam and science.They will be given the opportunity to wear traditional hijab headwear and the children will be guided by specially trained Muslim stewards.In the 'faith and history' section, children will be able to learn about important figures in the Koran and in the 'five pillars' part they will be able to understand about a Muslim's pilgrimage to Mecca. In the activities room they will learn how to write their name in Arabic.According to the exhibition's website the idea is to 'help educate people about Islam and to bring a better understanding of Islam to people residing in the United Kingdom.'Charity organisers say during the trip teachers would have the opportunity to buy artefacts including prayer mats and beads.The council newsletter, which was due to be sent out by authority's children's and young people's services department by January 18, lists the idea for the trip under the heading 'Sharing Good Practice' and says it is a way to 'Spice up you RE lessons with a few of the following ideas.'Islamic exhibition co-ordinator, Safeena Hanif, said: "Schools can book two hour sessions over which they can look at a variety of displays and models."The children can explore the five different sections. In the family life section they will have the opportunity to wear Muslim dress including robes, hats and hijab headwear.

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