The new Gymnasium started the previous academic year with 40 pupils, and this year their number increased to 120. Such gain wasn’t determined by first-grades only: there are freshmen at senior school as well. In the sixth form for instance, numbers of freshmen and old-timers are equal.
After reciting the Qur’an and joint performing of the National Anthem, Headmistress of the Gymnasium Ms.Vira Fryndak and Director of Islamic Cultural Centre (housing the Gymnasium) Mr.Ismail Kady spoke to the schoolchildren and their parents, congratulating them upon the new academic year and wishing them to have the best academical achievements possible.
There was a little holdback with the First Bell ceremony, as the Bell itself was stolen… by the pirates! And the children started negotiations, wishing to get the Bell back and finish the ceremony properly. Overall, they agreed that the pirates return the bell in exchange for the right to attend the lessons along with the kids. And that was for a very good reason, as the form tutors prepared interesting presentations for their pupils. The first lesson was dedicated to patriotic education; the schoolchildren learned about Ukraine’s National Symbols, on means of showing respect for their country. They were told that there’s no such thing as “I’m no-one important and can’t change anything for the better”, that changes in the society start with each and every individual, no matter how small this individual may still be.
The Capital’s first Muslim Gymnasium teaches the children within the Ministry of Education approved programme. There are some differences from ordinary schools, though: there are additional subjects such as Arabic as the second foreign language (the first one is English), halal meals, small classes of kids and greater attention from the tutors for every pupil.
By the way, despite the Gymnasium is a Muslim one, it is open for people of any religion, both the pupils and the teachers. For instance, a Christian couple brought their child to the first grade here for they knew the Gymnasium was Muslim, and they wanted their son to be educated somewhere where high morals is important and where they didn’t need to worry that their son will drink beer and smoke with his classmates around the school’s corner when they grow older. At that, they didn’t ask to excuse their son from specific Islamic classes, as they believe that knowing the basis of Islam will do him good.
As for the teachers, their religion was by no means a criteria for being given the job. Besides having high professional qualification, the teachers are expected to help each child fulfil one’s personal and creative potential. For that reason, about half of the teachers are Non-Muslims.
A new uniform was made obligatory this year: a navy-blue jumper over a light blouse for girls and a navy-blue waistcoat combined with black trousers, light shirt and a navy-blue jacket for boys. The matter of wearing or not wearing either a kerchief or a headscarf of matching style and colour is up to the schoolgirls and their parents to decide.