SRI for Parents

Is Islamic SRI allowed at my child's school?

If your child attends a Victorian state school, the simple answer is YES! Where there is demand for SRI by parents of students and accredited religious Instructors are available, the school is required to facilitate the provision of SRI within standard school hours as long as duty of care obligations can be met. SRI consists of weekly 30 minutes classes, and the Program Material will typically vary from year level to year level.

Islamic SRI is offered at only a handful of Victorian state primary schools. This is due to many reasons, including a general lack of awareness in the Muslim community that the teaching of Islam in schools is allowed. By contrast, Islamic SRI ('Scripture') classes have been offered at government schools for over twenty-five years in NSW, teaching nearly 20,000 students every week about Islam.

Based upon extrapolations from the 2006 Australian Census figures, it is estimated that there are between 20,000 - 25,000 Muslim children attending Victorian government schools (primary and secondary). For many of these children, Islamic SRI would represent the only opportunity to be taught about the basics of their faith, including its main tenets, values, and practices. Many families may not be able to send their children to Islamic schools or may prefer government schools, but still wish for their children to have an opportunity to learn about Islam in a well structured class-based context. 

Is SRI compulsory for my child?

SRI is not compulsory, and parents that wish for their child to be taught the tenets of a religion must register their child in a SRI program. The school must appropriately supervise those children not attending SRI, and must ensure that the children are engaged in positive independent learning such as self-study or revision. Schools cannot run classes from the curriculum whilst SRI classes are being conducted. 

Parents must consent for their child to attend SRI classes at school by completing the SRI Parent Consent Form CFMD141, and can use this consent form to select the faith that they wish their child to be taught. The consent forms are available from the school or can be downloaded from the website of the Department of Education & Early Childhood Development (DEECD). Parents are asked by the school to complete the consent form when they enroll their child or when SRI is introduced at the school. Schools should be asking parents to complete SRI consent forms on a yearly basis.

Importantly, parents can request that the school facilitate Islamic SRI by speaking to the school Principal or SRI Coordinator.

What does Islamic SRI teach?

The Program Material has been developed by school teachers and principals, and is designed for Muslim children living in the West. The Program Material contains age appropriate lessons covering year levels 1 - 6, and includes topics based upon Aqeedah (faith or creed), Fiqh (jurisprudence), the Holy Quran, Hadith & Sunnah (authentic sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (pbuh)), the Seerah (life of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh), the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh), the Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all), Islamic History, Islamic morals, ethics, and values, and many other topics. 

Who teaches SRI?

Islamic SRI will be taught by volunteer Instructors, including parents from the local community. All Instructors must be accredited by Arkan Toledo, and subsequently approved by DEECD. Arkan Toledo will screen volunteers that register to become SRI Instructors to assess their suitability, and will also provide appropriate training as required. Instructors will need to have a Working with Children Check (WWCC) completed by the Department of Justice. Arkan Toledo will facilitate this process, and ensure that the Instructor has a valid WWCC.

Do you want to be an Instructor?

It is encouraged that parents of school age children consider becoming an Islamic SRI Instructor at their child's school or indeed other schools. The process for becoming an Instructor is simple and straightforward, and the time commitment required is no more than 30 minutes per week. Instructors can register to teach as many classes as they like per week, but the minimum requirement is one 30 minute class per week during the school term. To register to become a volunteer Instructor, click here.