In a landmark initiative, the MCB will launch the first in a series of Key Stage linked educational resources to facilitate the teaching of Islam in British Schools on 12 October 2004.
"We believe education is the key to creating a vibrant and understanding society", said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB, adding that `these resources, developed by our team of educationalists, aim to overcome the barriers to the teaching of Islam experienced by so many of our teachers by making available creative, engaging and child-friendly resources on Islam and Muslims."
The event is being attended by Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP, the Secretary of State for Education, who said, "It is only through understanding that this country can move forward as a true multi-faith and multicultural society. We must ensure children grow up with a better understanding of their friends and neighbours. The Muslim Council of Britain's initiative, Books for Schools, brings us much closer towards that goal. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lend my support to this project.'
"We are delighted with the positive response we have received to our materials from our pilot local education authorities. Parents and well wishers are digging deep into their pockets to ensure that their local school is one of the first to receive a Resource Pack', commented Dr Azhar Sheikh, Manager of the MCB's Books for Schools project.
Resource packs are made up of books, artefacts, CDs, videos and accompanying tailor-made teaching aids developed in the UK. The project is funded by donations from Muslim parents and others in the local community who have been inspired by the MCB's vision of reaching out to every school-aged child in the UK.
Note for Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK's representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
There are approximately 45,000 primary and secondary schools in England and Wales.
Books for Schools resources will be available for inspection and purchase at the launch at the Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1 at 4pm on 12 October 2004. To reserve a place at the launch contact the Books for Schools team on 020 8432 0585/0586 or email:
Comments received by the MCB in support of Books for Schools:
Colin Manning, Head Teacher, North Reddish Junior School, Stockport:
"The future will be in the hands of the young people who are in our schools today. The better they understand each other the more secure that future will be. The Books for Schools project can make a significant contribution to that understanding."
Ed Blundell, Director of Education Services, Stockport Local Education Authority:
"In the sensitive times in which we live I believe it is vital that we all strive to understand one another's beliefs and customs in the interests of international peace. An initiative such as Books for Schools can only help this process and I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved with it."
Dr Manazir Ahsan, Islamic Foundation:
"This is a laudable and timely step taken by the Muslim Council of Britain. It will not only help students of all faiths, but also help RE teachers to give an authentic teaching on Islam."
Mick Waters, Chief Education Officer, Manchester City Council:
"I commend the work of the MCB in developing the Books for Schools project
The Books for Schools project will help to provide good resources and enable teaching to be planned and managed within curriculum time to enable broad understanding."
Bev Walker, School Improvement Officer, Salford City Council:
"There is a vital need for good quality RE resources in our schools. Your books and other available resources exemplify the quality that is required."
Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed, Learning Support Manager, Scotland:
"Education is the key to achieving a just and respectful society in which all people children and adults of all colours and creeds are able to live and work together for a better future for us all. These unique resources are very welcome and will I'm confident help to realise this goal."
For further information please contact tel: 07708 065 150 or 07792 607 691