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Role of madrasahs in developing our future asatizah

Response to parliamentary questions on educational and career progression of local madrasah students


Dr Wan Rizal: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs whether there are studies on (i) the career trajectories of local madrasah graduates from previous and existing cohorts and (ii) what kind of jobs the graduates pursue and in which industries.

Dr Wan Rizal: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs (a) whether there are proportional statistics of those in the madrasah student cohorts who pursue the "secular" or non-religious academic pathways in their post-secondary/tertiary education; and (b) of these, how many successfully graduate from our local secular tertiary institutions; and (c) whether there are support structures for madrasah students who wish to transition from religious to secular schooling.


Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs & Minister for Social and Family Development:

  1. Madrasahs play an important role in developing our future Islamic religious scholars and teachers, or what we call in our community, asatizah. Our asatizah provide leadership and religious guidance to our Muslim Community, amidst an increasingly diverse and vibrant socio-religious landscape. Our madrasahs have produced key religious leaders such as our current Mufti and Deputy Muftis.
  2. Madrasah students receive a comprehensive education in Islamic subjects that is complemented by a strong foundation in secular subjects. This dual education equips our madrasah students with the knowledge and skills to apply the practice of Islam to Singapore’s contemporary and plural society, as well as to pursue tertiary Islamic studies later on.
  3. In the past three years, around 35% of students in each madrasah cohort pursue pre-university madrasah education. They form the steady pipeline of religious leaders for the community. Most of these students will further their tertiary education in the Islamic sciences, in areas such as Islamic Jurisprudence and Islamic Theology. They later return as asatizah and contribute to the religious sector as religious scholars and teachers and mosque religious officers. Some of these students may choose to use their Islamic training to pursue careers in adjacent sectors, such as social services, business and research, that complement the religious sector in serving the needs of the Muslim community and the larger Singapore society.
  4. Madrasah education also enables students who want to pursue non-religious career paths. Some madrasah students move on to post-secondary education at Junior Colleges, polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs) after their GCE ‘O’ level examinations. For this group, their career path may depend on the field of study that they opt for at these institutes of higher learning. Madrasah graduates in this group have ventured into a wide range of industries such as media, finance and the creative industries, sometimes adding value to these sectors through their trilingual language competencies.
  5. Muis will continue to work closely with our madrasahs to ensure the curriculum prepares the madrasah students well for future careers in the religious sector.


Last updated on 14 October 2020