We are excited to announce that, as part of its long-term digital strategy, the IIS’s Department of Curriculum Studies has started a phased roll-out of the IIS Digital Curriculum (IISDC) e-book platform.
The IISDC aims to make the curriculum materials published by the IIS available as e-books to pre-school, Ta‘lim and Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) teachers, and to students, parents and members of the Ismaili community in general. The e-book platform is intended to facilitate teaching under the current pandemic and also, crucially, to widen access to the curriculum in remote areas.
According to Alnoor Nathani, the Design and Production Manager for the platform, and Shameer-Ali Prasla, Digital Education Officer, “The IISDC opens up exciting possibilities for the creative use of the curriculum materials. In the coming years, we look forward to increasing the technical sophistication of the digital platform to make the educational process even more engaging and fulfilling for students, teachers, parents and other members of the Ismaili community.”
The curriculum developed by the IIS presents a graded programme of instruction which examines Islam as both faith and civilisation, historically and today. Its overall aim is to educate young Ismailis in the faith, ethics, history and cultures of Muslim societies, and the Ismaili Muslim community in particular.
The curriculum draws on modern principles of education, with the intention of making learning a creative and engaging experience for young minds, as well as seeking to bridge religious and secular education. The teaching and learning materials include student readers and textbooks, guides for teachers and parents, and learning resources such as activity books, posters and picture cards.
The new digital curriculum platform adopts a multilingual approach, aiming to make the e-books available in ten languages on a phased basis. The user interface in English, French, Portuguese and Gujarati has been completed, with the interface in another six languages under development.
The IISDC platform benefits from multiple navigation features, annotation tools, and search facilities within and across e-books. It will also offer downloadable offline apps for Windows and Mac OS operating systems. Apps for Android and iOS, currently under development, will allow the e-books to be downloaded onto the user’s personal devices for offline reading. A custom registration app has also been developed to assist ITREBs to create and manage user accounts.
The IISDC has been pilot tested with the help of STEP and Ta‘lim teachers in different regions. Their comments and suggestions have been instrumental in refining the e-book platform. The DCS would like to thank all the ITREBs, STEP and Ta‘lim teachers, and TKN volunteers for their assistance and support in bringing this vital new educational tool to the Jamat.
Further details on accessing the e-book platform can be obtained from ITREBs.