We had a few schools in mind, integrated curriculum with tahfiz (whether as part of the curriculum or just as option). Al-Amin, Al-Hiraq, Al-Hikmah, Maahad Integrasi Tahfiz Sains & Teknologi (MTIST), IQKL to name a few. To our dissapointment, after the result was announced, Al-Amin and Al-Hiraq already stopped accepting new application. MTIST too had overwhelming applications that they only consider applications with 5A and Mumtaz in PSRA. So, what's left now?
IQKL (Institut Al-Quran Kuala Lumpur) set its minimum entry level at 4a1b. Nevertheless, we went to the school last saturday to submit our application. They held a walk in interview on that day and we were there to try our luck. IQKL was established 13 years ago and it started of as a madrasah and later moved their operation into a bungalow lot at Pinggiran Taman Tun Dr Ismail as a proper secondary school with tahfiz. Last year they moved into their new building sponsored by a well-known foundation. We were impressed when we first set our eyes on the school. Although it is not big and with limited compund, it has all the necessary facilities. When we went there on saturday, we thought we stand a good chance but to our surprise the place was pack with parents and their children, all with the same intention as us that we ended up parking our car outside the school compound!
The interview process started with a written test where the kids are required to answer a few general questions in "jawi". They are given 20 minutes to complete the test. Thereafter, they will be called one by one to test on their tilawah and tajwid. This stage is critical to see their skill in reciting Quran in the right manner. They can't proceed to the next stage if they fail at this stage. The next stage is hafazan where the kids are given half an hour to memorise four ayat or approximately half page of the Quran. They will be place at the musolla to memorise and later called to recite (tasmi') in front of the ustaz. Alhamdulilah, Faiz managed to get through all the stages satisfactory. Many left with dissapointment after the second stage.
While the kids struggled to go through the interview process, the parents were briefed by the Principal (Mudir) on IQKL. We were impressed with Puan Azimah, the Mudir who gave the presentation to us in English! She looks committed and the way she speak tells us that she knows her stuff at her finger tips. I later found out that she previously worked with IBM, no wonder. She has been teaching at IQKL for quite some time and when the school was corporatised, she was offered to take the lead. With the set up and presentation so way forward, I personally felt that this is the modern way of learning where you acquire knowledge to live in this world and prepare yourself for hereafter.
They have places for about 56 students and Puan Azimah told us that they will accept those with 4a1b and 5a who did well in the test. They will only consider 3a2b if there are places available. We know Faiz has done well in the test and we leave it to Allah SWT to determine whether Faiz will be selected to be among the millions of Huffaz in this world who preserve the verses of Quran. Please pray for him. More info at www.iqkl.us or their blog at www.iqkltahfiz.blogspot.com.
Our search for the right school for him continues...in Part 2. Stay tune.