The Arabic language is one of the significant languages continentally and globally. It is spoken by several Arabo-African nations as well as communities beyond these nations. While it has been the language of trade for centuries in Southwest Asia and North Africa, it continues to be an important language for several other reasons.
Besides Arabic’s crucial significance for commercial purposes, its value has been incalculable religious. Since the Qur’an – accepted as Allah’s exact unaltered words – was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (s) in Arabic, its status was automatically elevated to a sacred language. And it is for this reason that Muslims – over numerous generations – passionately encouraged one another to learn the language.
Considering the new developments as regards the value and the use of the language, one cannot over emphasize the role that Arabic continues to play in advancing knowledge and transforming communities.
Awqaf SA and UUCA (United Ulama Council of South Africa) have set out two sets of objectives that underline the rationale for this first RoundTable discussion regarding Arabic.
UUCSA and Awqaf-SA’s Strategic Objectives:
- Advancing the Teaching and Learning of Arabic as the Muslim Lingua Franca in and outside South Africa.
- Permitting Muslims to have a working knowledge of Arabic.
- Enabling them to read and understand the Qur’an; and
- Ensuring that all students of Islamic studies (including the huffath) become fluent in the use of Arabic within their non-Arabic speaking environments.
Arabic Roundtable Aims
- Understand the purpose of learning and teaching Arabic.
- Map the status of Arabic studies in the South African Muslim community.
- Investigate the challenges in teaching the language.
- Survey those who have the qualifications to teach the language.
- Check whether they have relevant teaching experience.
- Assess the available material resources.
- Establish support requirements.
- Evaluate the previous curricula at institutions.
- Consider whether the current curricula meet the community’s requirements.
- Look at curricula used at the four levels: Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced, and Tertiary Phases.
- Discuss appropriate prescribed Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL) texts.
- Calculate how much time is currently being allocated to Arabic teaching at the different levels and the diverse institutions.
- Compare the curricula at both the state schools and private schools.
- Create the necessary learning environments to learn and study the language.
- Offer summer and winter schools to enhance the use of Arabic for specific purposes such as reading and understanding classical works published in Islamic studies.
- It should, firstly, establish a Committee that acts as a monitoring agent that observes and records the progress of the implementation of resolutions.
- The second is that the Committee issues an Annual Report to various stakeholders to highlight the development on this front.
- The third is that while the Committee is housed under and be accountable to the UUCSA Secretariat that it factors in the various stakeholders’ interests.
Saturday, 28 May 2022
14:00 – 16:00
Venue: Al Ghazali College, Erasmia
To attend the Arabic Language Roundtable