Friday, December 11, 2009

Our Dilemma Continues....Part 2

Our search did not stop at IQKL. Although we know that the chances for Faiz to join his sister in MTS is rather slim, we nonetheless submit his application to be admitted into any one of the controlled schools under Yayasan Islam Kelantan (YIK). There are four "sekolah kawalan" under YIK. MTS, Maahad Tahfiz Al-Quran Wal-Qiraat (MTAQ), Maahad Muhammadi Lelaki and Perempuan, MMP and MML.

The applications for these four schools increased every year but the places remain limited although MTS has opened two branches for the boys in Kok Lanas and Berangan. They can offer only 240 places against more than 800 applications received. We know right from the start that Faiz will not stand a chance to join Dini. Our next hope would be at MTAQ as MML does not offer tahfiz and is not a fully boarding school. The last time we were there during Aidil Adha, we struggled to submit the form to Faiz's ustaz who is in Tanah Merah. It took us five hours just to send the form when on normal days, the journey would not take more than two hours. We were determine to give it a go as learning tahfiz in Kelantan has been our number one priority and Faiz's first choice.

MTAQ is located at Pulai Chondong and was set up in 1992. This was the first school established by YIK after Kelantan fell into the Opposition's hand and it was Tok Guru Nik Aziz's noble intention. Thus far, it has produced more than 400 huffaz around the country and they are in various profession. The special thing about MTAQ is its curriculum. Unlike MTS, they learn another important aspect of the Quran which is Qiraat. Because of that, the students do not sit for PMR. Instead, they will take SMU (Sijil Menengah Agama) and SMTQ (Sijil Menengah Tahfiz Quran) when they are in Form 4 and SPM in Form 5.

While waiting for the SPM result, they will remain in school to prepare for another exam i.e STTQ (Sijil Tinggi Tahfiz Quran) in June. STTQ received recognition from Shoubra Al-Azhar in 2005 and MTAQ is the ONLY school in the country that has obtained recognition from Shoubra. Infact, many universities in the Middle East recognised their curriculum evidenced from the number of students admitted to these universities in the last few years. In 2009, 134 of their ex-students studied in Egypt, 11 in Arab Saudi and 11 in Jordan. Of course they were some in UK, US, Australia, Ireland, France and Yemen. About 200 of their ex-students pursued their education at the local universities majority in the IIUM and UM.

Why MTAQ? All the ustaz that taught Faiz and our other children "mengaji" graduated from this school since at that time, MTS was still not around. They are Ustaz Nuri, Ustaz Zamri, Ustaz Fazrin and Ustaz Fatihi and they are all Al-Hafiz. They taught our children when they were studying in IIUM pursuing professional and religious courses. Since the inception of MTS, the demand for MTAQ slowly reduced as people are more inclined to get their kids to take up Science. MTAQ also offers science subjects to those interested. We were told that MTAQ has been awarded for at least 5 years "Sekolah Cemerlang Negara" under Religious Schools Category having obtained 100% in the SPM with 40% to 60% of its students obtained Gred A in all the subjects. It is just a pity that this success was kept in abeyance from the public knowledge.

We are hoping that Faiz's application will be considered and until such time, we shall continue praying that Allah SWT will grant him the opportunity to learn Al-Quran and be guided by it all his life, insyaAllah.

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