The Islamic School of Canberra, based in Weston, ACT, seems to have finally turned the corner after struggling to establish itself in the ACT Muslim community.
Initially established in Watson in north Canberra, the school, owned by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), moved to a former CIT site in Weston in 2010.
Whilst the new premises gave the school much needed room and a vision for expansion, there was still some challenges in attracting and retaining students and teachers.
In 2014 however with the engagement of Susan Christiansen as principal and active involvement of School Board member Mohammed Berjaoui and dedicated teachers, the school started to stabilise with the overwhelming majority of teachers continuing on to the new year and an increase in the number of enrolments.
The school is now planning to grow through the commencement of building of additional classrooms as well as a multi-purpose hall.
In the meantime, the school is looking at how better it can use its current facilities.
With the coordination of the Parents and Friends Association (PFA-ISC), a cleanup day saw a healthy turn out on Saturday 14 March to tidy, mop and reinvigorate a large unused building on the site known as BLOCK E. The active involvement of the PFA-ISC in the life of the school has created synergy between the management, staff and parents of the school.
The PFA-ISC met on 20 March for its Annual General Meeting, electing Kalim Khan as its President for the next year.
Under this new leadership there are plans for further engagement and coordination to enhance school life for staff, students and parents. There are still challenges ahead – the school is applying for establishing Year 8 in the near future and needs community support.
For further information, contact the school on ISCACT@bigpond.net.au.
The Parents and Friends Association can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org