Islamic Elementary School Opens in Tokyo
SNA (Tokyo) — The International Islamia School Otsuka opens in Tokyo, offering children trilingual education in English, Japanese, and Arabic. The following video includes an interview with the Principal.
An Unique Trilingual Education
Principal: This is unique. This institute is the first which really merges the two teachings, the English curriculum and an Islamic-based curriculum. In addition, there are the three languages. That’s unique. That is, the English language, Arabic language, and the Japanese language — we give equal preference to all three languages. The English language is the formal language at the school. Also, we provide Japanese language education at the levels found in Japanese schools. We have expert Japanese teachers. In addition we give Arabic as an Islamic language. As far as I know there is no other school teaching these three languages at the same time.
Serving the Muslim Community
Principal: As I said in my talk, it will go smoothly until senior high school. Every year we will add one or two grades higher. For example, this year we have only Grade One and Two. Next year it will go to Three and Four, depending on the students. At least we will increase to Grade Three, which means that within ten years we will reach the Senior High School level. In Otsuka, at the masjid (mosque) there are at least 60 or 70 families here. Of course these families have kids, and they want to raise their kids with certain Islamic values. I would say that something like 60-70% of the parents wanted some kind of Islamic-based education, along with the other education. We don’t mean only Islamic education. We need both. As a scientist I want there to be other scientists to have Islamic knowledge. That is my motivation to be involved in these activities.
Covering the Financial Costs
Principal: This is a rental building. If we want official documents from the Japanese government, we need a bigger place, we need a bigger playground. Making all of that is not easy, both in terms of the availability as well as the cost. In entities like this Islamic institution, we don’t have the time to make enough money. But we expect help from embassies and other foreign countries to make the huge sum of money, so that we can have a Japanese-recognized institute. Initially we went to the parents and made requests to the embassies asking for donations. Right now we are receiving donations both from inside Japan as well as from one of the embassies. Hopefully running costs will be reduced as income from students rises. That is, the tuition fees. But the initial investment, like the deposit for the building, we collected donations from good Muslim people who were really happy to give money.