Saturday, January 24, 2009

442)The European Union Ismaili Council continues to take steps to formalize and institutionalize Life Long Learning; Quotes of Aga Khan IV and others.

"........World and faith are inseparable in Islam. Faith and learning are also profoundly interconnected. The Holy Qur’an sees the discovery of knowledge as a spiritual responsibility, enabling us to better understand and more ably serve God’s creation.Our traditional teachings remind us of our individual obligation to seek knowledge unto the ends of the earth......"(Aga Khan IV, May 2oth 2008, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

"....AND SHOULD'NT IB SCIENCE STUDENTS not learn about Ibn al-Haytham, the Muslim scholar who developed modern optics, as well as his predecessors Euclid and Ptolemy, whose ideas he challenged.....The legacy which I am describing actually goes back more than a thousand years, to the time when our forefathers, the Fatimid Imam-Caliphs of Egypt, founded Al-Azhar University and the Academy of Knowledge in Cairo. For many centuries, a commitment to learning was a central element in far-flung Islamic cultures. That commitment has continued in my own Imamat through the founding of the Aga Khan University and the University of Central Asia and through the recent establishment of a new Aga Khan Academies Program."(Aga Khan IV, "The Peterson Lecture" on the International Baccalaureate, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 18 April 2008)

"The Qur’an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God’s creation"(Closing Address by His Highness Aga Khan IV at the "Musée-Musées" Round Table Louvre Museum, Paris, France, October 17th 2007)

"Of the Abrahamic faiths, Islam is probably the one that places the greatest emphasis on knowledge. The purpose is to understand God's creation, and therefore it is a faith which is eminently logical. Islam is a faith of reason"(Aga Khan IV, Spiegel Magazine interview, Germany, Oct 9th 2006)

"Our interpretation of Islam places enormous value on knowledge. Knowledge is the reflection of faith if it is used properly. Seek out that knowledge and use it properly"(Aga Khan IV, Toronto, Canada, 8th June 2005)

“In the ebb and flow of history, “knowledge is a shield against the blows of time”. It dispels “the torment of ignorance” and nourishes “peace to blossom forth in the soul”.”(Extract from a speech by Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness Aga Khan IV, quoting Nasir Khusraw in a speech made at the Foundation Stone-laying Ceremony of the Ismaili Centre Dushanbe, Tajikistan, August 30, 2003)

"My profession is to be forever journeying, to travel about the Universe so that I may know all its conditions."(Ibn Sina, aka Avicenna, 11th century Muslim Philosopher, Physician and Scientist, author of the Canon of Medicine, circa 1037CE)

"Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"Seek knowledge, even in China"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"The ink of the scholar is better than the blood of the martyr"(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)

"All human beings, by their nature, desire to know."(Aristotle, The Metaphysics, circa 322BC)

The above are 11 quotes and excerpts taken from Blogpost Four Hundred, a collection of about 100 quotes on the subjects of Knowledge, Intellect, Creation, Education, Science and Religion: article:
Beginning a journey: The Certificate in Lifelong Learning

In its Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, the European Union notes that “the advent of a knowledge-based society requires improved means of communicating and using knowledge and opportunities for lifelong learning.” In response, regional and local programmes have arisen to help Europeans take advantage of these opportunities.

The Ismaili Council for the European Union (ICEU) began their initiatives in lifelong learning in 1996 with the Learning Community Project that set about to transform the European Jamat with regards to continuous learning. Drawing lessons from that project, the ICEU has now initiated the Lifelong Learning Programme which aims to turn learning into a continuous and natural process in the life of every Ismaili in Europe.

Among the first major projects of the programme is the Certificate in Lifelong Learning, a partnership with the London School of Economics targeted at Jamati members.

The certificate

Over 300 learners from across Europe are presently enrolled in the Certificate Programme. Not only does it provide valuable recognition for their learning efforts, but the programme also encourages learners to consider areas of knowledge that they may not have previously explored.
To qualify for the certificate, each learner undertakes an initial workshop titled The Journey of Self Discovery and completes seven course units relating to Jamati institutional initiatives or those of external organisations. One of courses must have a European dimension to highlight the languages, cultures and people of Europe.

After completion of the workshop and course units, learners reflect on their journey in a short essay in which they discuss how the programme invigorated them to continue the process of lifelong learning. Participants receive an ICEU Certificate in Lifelong Learning awarded by the London School of Economics upon graduation.

The workshop

The core of the Certificate programme is the Journey of Self Discovery workshop. It orients candidates on the Islamic underpinnings of learning, while also helping participants discover their personal learning styles and uncover the tools to support them in the process.

The workshop also explains the European mandate of lifelong learning and its importance in the fast-growing knowledge society. At the same time, it encourages learners to reflect on their motivational drivers and personal learning goals, while creating a personalised learning development plan.

The courses

After completing the workshop, participants pursue courses that are offered by both their local Jamati institutions and other academic and training organisations.

To support this initiative, the ICEU Lifelong Learning Programme actively reviews and accredits new training programmes and modules, expanding the breadth and depth of choice available to learners. Participants can also request accreditation for courses that they have a personal interest in. All learners receive a Passport of Learning to record how the courses have contributed to their personal growth.

The partners

Learning Partners receive training to support learners on their journey to achieving the Certificate in Lifelong Learning. Throughout the process, learners benefit from the motivation of their peers and the ICEU. In addition, the ICEU Lifelong Learning programme also trains individuals known as learning partners, who act as key points of support and reinforcement.

The learning partners — all of whom are or have been participants in the programme and have a minimum of five years experience in Jamati service, as well as professional facilitation skills in training and coaching — are trained in presentation, group dynamics and modelling experiential learning. They provide individual support to learners, and facilitate workshops.

The journey

The Certificate is the first step in a longer journey of lifelong learning. Mawlana Hazar Imam's speech at the Annual Meeting of the International Baccalaureate in Atlanta on 18 April 2008 elaborated on the reinvigoration of the concept of lifelong learning in the global collective consciousness:

“In an age of accelerating change, when even the most sophisticated skills are quickly outdated, we will find many allies in the developing world who are coming to understand that the most important skill anyone can learn is the ability to go on learning.”

In that vein, the ICEU Lifelong Learning Programme continues to move forward with unique programmatic initiatives to help foster a spirit of lifelong learning within the European Jamat.
For more information about the ICEU Lifelong Learning programme, the Certificate in Lifelong Learning, or the Learning Partners, please contact a member of the lifelong learning team.


Easy Nash

The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql)(Prophet Muhammad, circa 632CE)