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The Open School for Arabic and Islamic Studies OSAIS




                        1                          Student Handbook
Content

1) Introduction
2) Aims
3) The Open School Policies and Procedures
4) Studying with OSAIS
5) Subjects
6) Enrolment Requirements
7) Admission Assessment
8) OSAIS Academic Year
9) Fees and Financial Support
10) Communication / Correspondence / Contact Us
11) Course Materials
12) Course requirements
13) Online
14) Examination
15) Certification
16) General Shura
17) FAQ’s




                                             2    Student Handbook
                                             ‫بسم اهلل الرحمن الرحيم‬
                   ‫الحمد هلل و الصالة و السالم علي رسول اهلل و علي ءاله و صحبه و من اهتدي بهداه‬


1.0   INTRODUCTION

1.1   In the early 1410's H (1990’s), the fruits of a meeting of scholars heralded the Open School for
      Arabic and Islamic Studies (OSAIS). It recognised that a new generation of Muslims had
      particular educational and spiritual needs, while all the more being active in UK life, including
      pursuing Higher Education. The concern amongst prominent UK based scholars was how to
      best disseminate Islamic knowledge to this generation, for many whom English was a second
      language.

1.2   In keeping with the methods of our virtuous predecessors, the School adopts an analogous
      scheme in both its teaching material and ethos, whilst utilising the current burgeoning
      telecommunications, and recognising the time challenges faced by many wishing to seek
      knowledge.

2.0   AIMS

2.1   The School wishes to see the students adopt the noble Sunnat of Rasool Allaah (S), and take
      from the Tarteeb Al-Sahaabat (methodology of the Companions) and the Sabeel Kahyr Al-
      Quroon (first three and best generations).

2.2   On fulfilling course requirements, students are encouraged to not only convey what they had
      been taught from classical texts, but also safeguard and adopt the same manner of teaching.
      Hence, students initially ‘learn to teach’ and then ‘teach to learn’.

3.0   THE OPEN SCHOOL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

3.1   This School policy applies to all students of The Open School. It aims to encourage and
      improve conduct and performance of all students as well as help the student to fulfil the exam
      requirements.

3.2   Authority of the School Council: The School Council (herein referred to as the Council) is a
      body made up of senior tutors and elders who are concerned for both the School and the
      students’ welfare.

3.3   Publicity for the School Policy: Policies made by the Council are published on the Open School
      website, www.theopenschool.org.




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3.4   Changes to the Policy: The Council may alter the policy and rules or the way in which it
      applies them at any given time. Changes will not usually affect courses for which students are
      registered at the time of the change. The Council will give reasonable notice of changes to the
      policy and rules, and the date they take effect.

4.0   STUDYING WITH OSAIS

4.1   OSAIS offers three methods of study:
      A. Student Teacher Scheme (STS): A classroom based, fixed term foundation course relating to
         a specific subject that is taught by a senior student under the supervision and guidance of a
         Senior Tutor.
      B. Standard Course: A classroom and online based course relating to a specific subject taught
         by a Senior Tutor comprising of a fixed number of levels, with each level being taught over
         an academic term. In order to be eligible for this type of course all students are required to
         have completed the relevant STS course.
      C. Intensive Course: A classroom based course relating to various subjects and topics taught
         by a Senior Tutor. The duration of these courses vary and include; single day, a weekend
         and/or a week

5.0   SUBJECTS

5.1   Those that have no intention to carry on a long term programme may choose up to three
      subjects per academic year. All rules and regulations of the set syllabus are applicable to
      short term study. Successful completion of subjects’ level may be accepted in further
      study of a Long Term Syllabus, if equivalent.

6.0   ENROLMENT REQUIREMENTS

6.1   An application form must be completed to enrol with OSAIS. An application form can
      either be downloaded (www.theopenschool.org), or alternatively requested by writing
      to OSAIS, PO Box 21, Manchester M16 9FL.

6.2   The application form should be posted with a single registration fee of £7.00 (cheques
      made payable to OSAIS) and posted to OSAIS, PO Box 21, Manchester M16 9FL

6.3   Upon processing the application form and registration fees, a Student Identification
      (SID) Number will be issued. This S ID number should be quoted in all correspondence
      with the School.

6.4   All new students will be directed to a Student Teacher (ST) led Foundation Level ‘Ilm
      Al-Tajweed Course. Application for any other course is subject to enrolment in, and/or

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      satisfactory completion of, Foundation Level ‘Ilm Al-Tajweed. For applicable fees for
      ‘Ilm Al-Tajweed or any other course, please refer to the Finance section (see below).

6.5   It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the required textbooks, either through OSAIS,
      or through his/her own resources.

7.0   ADMISSION ASSESSMENT

7.1   All courses will have a pre-admission examination to assess the students current level
      as well provide baseline information with which to gauge and compare future progress.
      This test is designed to determine ability. There is no mark or grade on this test, but it
      will be kept in the School record as monitor of progress.

8.0   OSAIS ACADEMIC YEAR

8.1   OSAIS academic year runs by the Hijri calendar and is divided into two terms. The
      School is closed for two weeks during the Hajj season, and is also closed during
      Ramadaan Mubarak. The School allows an extended summer break, in July and
      August.

9.0   FEES AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT

9.1   The Council sets fees and other charges for each level of each subject.

9.2   Paying fees: The student must pay all fees and other charges when asked to do so. The School
      will inform the student regarding the amount payable and the method of payment. Upon
      registering for the course a student is to pay a minimum of 50% of the fee and cannot start
      lesson 1 unless this has been paid. The remaining 50% must be paid by the 5th lesson, with
      reminders being sent after the 2nd and 4th lessons respectively. If the fee is not paid by the 5th
      lesson then the student is unable to continue and must restart the level. If a student decided to
      restart the level, then the full fee must again be paid.

9.3   Amount: Tuition fees vary for each course. You pay individually for each course you take.
      Students are generally required to pay a minimum of 50% of the fee prior to the start of lesson
      1. The remaining 50% must be paid by the 5th lesson.

9.4   Refunding fees: The refund policy as published on the website is that if a student enrols on a
      level and is unable to attend more than one lesson, up to 75% of the fee will be refunded, and
      depending upon how much was paid upon enrolling. If a student attends two or more lessons
      and is subsequently unable to attend, no refund is due.



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9.5   Penalties for not paying fees and charges: The Council has the right to cancel course
      placements, registration and refuse registration for further study to anyone who is in debt to
      the School. The School will not award any certificate to a student who is in debt to the School.

9.6   Means: Students can pay using the following means:

      A. Cheques are made payable to “OSAIS” and on its reverse side you should write your SID
         and course name. The cheque can be handed to the tutor in person or posted to OSAIS, PO
         Box 21, Manchester M16 9FL.
      B. Cash should not be sent by post and only handed to the tutor in person. Placed along with
         the cash in an envelope, the student detail i.e. his/her SID and course name.
      C. Standing Order: Monthly standing orders can be made to the following bank details: Sort
         Code: 20-54-58, Account Number: 40775886. The reference for the standing order should be
         the student SID and relevant course code. The School should be notified in writing that a
         standing order is being set up and a copy of the original standing order form should also be
         sent to the School. Those paying by Standing Order should ensure the final payment clears
         one lesson before the exam.

9.7   Methods: Students can pay in one lump sum or on an instalment basis. If the latter is preferred
      then it is recommended to pay via Standing Order as detailed above.

9.8   Discounts: Discounts are available for students either A or B in the following instances
      A. Multiple Courses:
             First course:                   Full fee
             Second course:                  Discount 15%
             Third course or more:           Discount 25%
      B.      Household Discount: instances where both spouses and/or multiple siblings who
      reside at the same address will be eligible for the following:
             First student:                  Full fee
             Second student:                 Discount 15%
             Third student or more:          Discount 25%

9.9   Financial Difficulties: The school is very keen to help any of its students experiencing
      difficulties. If they happen to be of a financial nature, then in full confidence, the school should
      be contacted at theopenschool@hotmail.com . Exception to the payment of the full fees can be
      taken in cases where it can be demonstrated that the student is unable to pay in full. A
      maximum of 50% of the course fee can be discounted. Such matters would not prejudice the
      students’ studies.




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10.0   COMMUNICATION / CORRESPONDENCE / CONTACT US

10.1   All written documents and/or correspondence between OSAIS and the student is in the
       English Language, either using email theopenschool@hotmail.com or by post (OSAIS, PO Box
       21, Manchester M16 9FL). Where applicable, the Student SID must be quoted in all
       correspondence with the School.

11.0   COURSE MATERIALS

11.1   Course material includes all or some of the following:
       A.    Learner’s Guide for each course/subject. This is downloadable from the website
       (www.theopenschool.org).
       B.    Assignments, open-book exams, specimen of final exams.
       D.    List of all required course textbooks.
       E.    List of recommended optional resource material

12.0   COURSE REQUIREMENTS

12.1   Once enrolled, with an approved payment method, and completed or registered for the course
       ‘Ilm Al-Tajweed, the following are minimum requirements regardless of whether studying in
       person or on-line.

12.2   Attendance: The School endeavours to inculcate integrity and vigilance in all its students. The
       school believes in the importance of 100% attendance. Part of any course requirement is a
       minimum attendance/homework level of 80%. Failure to fulfil these conditions could result in
       the Exam Board not issuing an Exam Seat Number. Students cannot sit exams without an
       Exam Seat Number.

12.3   Each level of a subject consists of a taught lesson every fortnight and a ST lesson every fortnight
       and a register is kept for both.

12.4   Students may be allowed one absence per term from a taught lesson and one absence from the
       ST lesson. Any further absences would cause the student to be ineligible for the exam and s/he
       will have to restart the level. In general, the student is responsible for catching up any missed
       lesson and/or homework. To avoid absenteeism, the School advises all its students to take
       holidays out of semester times.

12.5   In the event of absences, the student will take the following action:
       o First absence – Student to give written notification, with or without explanation.
       o Second absence – Student to give written notification, with explanation (form attached).
       o Third absence – Student to fill in the appropriate form and set a time for discussion with a
           senior tutor regarding what action is to be taken. The School will then be forwarded the

                                                   7                                          Student Handbook
           outcome of this discussion and investigate whether the absence is due to a genuine
           extreme unavoidable circumstance (i.e. those that would prevent the student from
           attending e.g. severe illness on the day or recovering from severe illness; a close family
           member being in a severe condition, severe illness or needing direct attendance during the
           week of the lesson and thus dramatically affecting the student’s preparation for the lesson).

12.6   Punctuality: The school believes that punctuality is an essential and important aspect of
       studying. In the event of arrival to class late, the following action will be taken:
       o First late arrival – personal reminder
       o Second late arrival – written explanation must be signed and submitted to Tutor/ST
       o Third late arrival – may lead to discussion with the Tutor/ST and written notification sent
           to the School Counsel for decision.

12.7   Homework: The school appreciates that there can on occasion be unforeseen extenuating
       circumstances preventing students fulfilling aforementioned course requirements. In such
       instances, the student must notify the course coordinator who will notify the School, or if
       applicable the Student Teacher, with the reason(s) behind absence(s)/incomplete homework.
       The student will then be advised accordingly.

12.8   Homework accounts for 40% of the final mark for each level of a subject. Note: Please check
       the regulations for each course as detailed in About Your Course. Please refer to the course
       regulations.

12.9   Each level contains 8 pieces of homework; therefore each piece of homework is worth 5% of the
       final grade. Whether the homework is complete and on time is considered when being marked
       with each carrying 1%. The other 3% will be for the level of performance. Each piece of
       homework that is not on time, 1% out of 5% will be deducted, and so on.

12.10 Homework takes the form of reading, written and oral, and will be subject to deadlines;
      students are encouraged to keep a homework diary. Please refer to the ‘Miscellaneous’ section
      where examples of homework diaries can be found. The students will be instructed as to
      where and whom they should send their homework.

12.11 The written homework can be handwritten or typed, and then either posted or emailed as a
      scanned or word document. If intending to email a scanned version of the homework, it
      should be written in black ink and clearly legible.

13.12 Oral homework should take into account the following instructions.
      A. Practice adequately before recording. Those wishing to submit the homework as an audio
          file, the recording must only on standard audio cassettes, not onto mini-discs or dicta-
          phone cassettes.


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       B. Listen to your recording after a few words ensuring it is clear. If applicable, once complete,
          rewind the tape to the starting point, and write your student SID number, the side used (A
          or B), date and description of what had been recorded. For example, MI33-549, Side A, 01-
          01-1425, pages 2 to 4 Qaa’idat.
       C. The oral homework should reach your tutor either by email or post at least two days before
          the next lesson. If sending by post the cost of postage can be reduced by sending the
          cassette without a case.

12.13 All students are required to observe the correct and appropriate etiquette that befits a student
      of knowledge. Due respect should be given to the sacred knowledge by showing respect to the
      Tutor, the learning materials, especially those that contain the names of Allaah, and also to
      other students. Attendance and punctuality is essential as well as attentiveness in class, and not
      allowing any distractions to occur (i.e. all mobile phones and pagers should be switched off in
      class, unless one has express permission to keep such devices on if for example ‘on-call’).

12.14 Students should bear in mind that in attending a lesson, we leave behind a lesson for others. If
      possible, local Students should try to come on foot. Otherwise, the number of cars parked
      outside should be minimised by giving others a lift. Wherever the OSAIS classes are being
      held, the students should have utmost concern and respect for the neighbours. Students
      should not arrive more than ten minutes before the lesson, and should not group outside the
      classroom. Care should be taken as to where and how students park their vehicles.

12.15 Students should enter, as well as leave, the classroom in small numbers (i.e. 3-4 at a time) and
      should come prepared in a calm, reflective manner, with Wudoo’, and attired in appropriate
      Libaas; and rules of Hijaab are strictly applied.

12.16 Students should make Du’aa for the lesson to be Mubarak and beneficial, and ask Allaah Ta’ala
      for the Tawfeek to learn.

12.17 Once seated (preferably in the Tashahud position) on the floor in the Madrasat or on-line
      venue, that you will notice to be clean, simple and respectable, with no pictures or photos on
      the wall, students should practice observing silence in order to prepare spiritually before start
      of lesson.

12.18 The lessons cannot be recorded in any audiovisual format.

13.0   ONLINE

13.1   In addition to the above, on-line students should take care of a few other procedural steps.
       A. Upon entering the ‘theopenschool’ password-protected Paltalk® room 10 minutes before start
           of class, the School’s on-line administrator will:


                                                  9                                         Student Handbook
            i.   Perform a sound check. For the sound test, you will be invited to confirm whether
            you are receiving the sound by tying YES or NO.
                   a) If there is no or poor quality sound, you can do one or all of the following:
                   b) Turn volume to full on your computer. If you are an XP user this can be done
                       by: start>control panel>sound, speech and audio devices>adjust the speaker
                       volume>you will then see a window ‘sound and audio devices properties’ with
                       the ‘volume’ tab selected and there is a slide to adjust volume)
                   c) Turn Volume to full on text box
                   d) Turn speaker volume up (and if it has woofer/bass control, minimise this)
           ii.     Recap on ‘house-keeping’ rules in order to facilitate better attention and minimise
                   distractions.
       B. Using the text box, students will be instructed to submit their name and student SID.
       C. A few reminders on how to aid better concentration and minimise distractions will be
            given and they could include the following:
            i.     Have your notes and stationary to hand.
           ii.     Unless you have clarified it with the school, owing to some genuine reason, mobile
                   phones and pagers should be switched off.
          iii.     Ensure you know where we are in the notes.
          iv.      Once logged on and you have entered the schools room, always minimise Paltalk
                   window and instead have the electronic copy of the course notes as the main
                   window.
           v.      Once class is underway, do not write in the text box unless requested by the School
                   (for example, when it prompts on-line students to submit questions) or if you are
                   experiencing a technical problem.
          vi.      If you miss quotes or homework questions, please allow the lesson to complete and
                   we will try to answer any query. Otherwise contact your fellow students. Before
                   class, you should have obtained the relevant contact details of other appropriate on-
                   line or classroom-based students.
         vii.      If the sound is disconnected for over 1 minute, and you are otherwise confident it
                   was not due to a technical problem on your side, please re-load the programme and
                   log-in again.

14.0   EXAMINATIONS

14.1   The Council sets the rules of eligibility to sit the examination for all subjects offered by the
       School. Eligibility requirements to sit the examination are set out in the course details and are
       published on the website.

14.2   Term Exam: A closed-book final exam will take place at the completion of the term of
       study covering the entire term of study. The written portion carries 50% and the oral
       exam counts for 50% of the final mark for ‘Ilm Al-Tajweed; 75% for written exam and
       25% for the oral exam of other subjects.

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14.2   Eligibility to sit the exam is subject to the Exam Board issuing the student with an exam seat
       number.

14.3   The exam seat number is issued subject to students satisfying a minimum attendance (at least
       80%) and homework requirements, and clearing any outstanding fees by the penultimate
       lesson.

14.4   The examination venue will be near the School’s Manchester base, with confirmation of the
       address and all other relevant details to be emailed to the students two weeks before the exam.

14.5   Examinations will test a student’s understanding of current and, if applicable previous, level(s)
       of the subject being studied.

14.6   Sealed envelopes containing the oral examination questions, including relevant instructions on
       how to perform it, will be distributed during the written exam.

14.7   Conditions of Re-sit: In the event of failing an exam, either due to non-attendance or otherwise,
       the student may be able to re-sit the exam once only. The School must be informed of non-
       attendance at least 2 weeks prior to the re-sit exam except in the case of a family bereavement
       or sickness and in the case of sickness; the student must sign the sickness declaration along
       with a witness. In the case of unauthorised absence for the re-sit exam, the student must restart
       and complete the level before continuing to the next level.

14.8   Failure of examinations will not hinder progression to further levels, but students have to re-sit
       the examination. Re-sit exams are subject to a nominal fee of £10 for written and £10 for oral.
       Students that have failed the exam are allowed to re-sit the level exam only once in order to
       pass the level. Students will not be allowed to take an exam for the next level until the previous
       level is passed.

14.9   The School must be notified with an explanatory note if a student is unable to attend the exam.
       Unauthorised absence from an examination is regarded as a significant matter, and the result
       will be recorded as a ‘FAIL’. The examination will have to be re-sat. See above.

15.0   CERTIFICATION

15.1   Upon successful completion of all requirements of the course, the student will be awarded a
       certificate indicating the level of his/her attainment.

16.0   GENERAL SHURA

16.1   The School values the contributions of its students and indeed has a General Shura
       (consultation) to accommodate your views, ideas and activities.

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16.2   Membership: Members are made up of OSAIS Level 3 and above students (brothers and
       sisters) who understand and adhere to the School’s Principles and Etiquettes of General Shura.
       Their academic performances do not otherwise influence selection.

16.3   Students who wish to contribute but otherwise do not meet above condition; can be invited to
       the General Shura (GS). Thereafter the School may invite them to accept ‘membership status’.

16.4   Students who do not meet above condition but are recognised by the School, ST, and/or a GS
       member(s) as capable of being on the GS can also be invited. The student can then decide if
       s/he wishes to accept ‘membership status’.

16.5   Members are responsible for adhering to the School’s advice on etiquettes of attending Shura.

16.6   Function:

       A. It will outline in general the steps required to meet and further the aims and objectives of
          the School.

       B. It will agree on initiatives and targets that are consistent with the School’s Tarteeb.

       C. It can establish specialist or sub-committees.

16.7   Meetings:
       A. Members will be invited to attend the twice yearly General Shura.
       B. Members will be given at least three weeks notification of the Shura date.
       C. Members will email their Mashwara relating to the agenda to the Planning Committee no
          later than 4 days before the Shura.
       D. Any member who misses two consecutive shura without a reasonable cause and/or fails to
          notify the School, will be invited to consider his/her continued GS membership.
       E. An unscheduled shura can convene if approved by the School Rector, is request by a third
          of the General Shura members or majority of the Central Shura members.
       F. At all meetings the members will be asked to fully discuss the agenda, but the Rector is
          entitled to make the final decision.
       G. The Shura can be accessed on-line by non-local members, providing they have the express
          approval of the Central Shura’s Planning committee.
       H. Minutes of the Shura will be recorded as (anonymous) general sentiments/ideas and
          specific actions points/conclusion.



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17.0   FAQ’s

       Students are requested to read through the Handbook and the FAQ’s before contacting the
       School, as this will cut down on unnecessary correspondence.

New Students

17.1   Is there any pre-requisite to enrol in a new course?
       The School requests all new students to commence with the Holy Qur'aan, in particular with
       'Ilm Al-Tajweed due to its paramount importance for Salaat and Islamic 'Ilm.

17.2   I am studying a subject elsewhere and will continue to study / attend there; should I apply for
       the same with your School?
       No, please continue your studies there.

17.3   How many courses can a student apply for?
       Up to 3 courses / subjects per term; any more need approval from the Academic Services who
       will consider the student's circumstances and ability to be committed student who will take on
       the load of such long structured study.

17.4   How many terms in a year?
       There are 2 terms.

17.5   How many levels are there for the course?
       Levels may go from 3-6; depending on the subject. Some courses need a pre-practice as
       introduction.

17.6   What is expected from students who learn with you?
       Students – may Allaah bless them – are expected to apply what they learn in their day to day's
       life. In other words, to bring Tarteeb of the Sahaabat i.e. the conduct of the companions (R)
       back to life, through their concern and mercy for all the creation of Allaah (T).

17.7   Will the students be allowed to teach what they learn?
       The students are always to be made aware from the first lesson that they learn-to-teach.
       Nevertheless, they receive the required training and are under the professors' guidance with
       the other side of the School mission i.e. teach-to-learn.

17.8   Is there any light study for those who can not commit themselves to successive levels of a
       subject?
       Yes, quite few in different topic and subject. More details can be found in the School Web Page.

17.9   How do I enrol with the school?

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       Please email (theopenschool@hotmail.com) to receive; or download from
       (www.theopenschool.org); the application form. The completed form and the first-time initial
       £7.00 registration fee should be sent to The Open School (OSAIS), P. O. Box 21, Manchester M16
       9FL.

17.10 What are the attendance requirements?
      You are expected to attend all the lessons of both your tutor and ST (as appropriate). However,
      in the unforeseen circumstances of absence, you must inform your class co-ordinator and,
      Students Services via the School email address. More than one absent per term will cause
      concern for your academic progress and eligibility to take the exam.
17.11 I haven’t heard yet from The School/ST?
      Our sincere apologies, perhaps the email did not reach us. We will endeavour to answer your
      query as soon as possible.

Registered Student

17.12 I am already a student with The Open School (OSAIS) current courses; do I still have to
      complete an application form to enrol for the new course / subject?
      No, unless you require updating your personal details and/or address. However, in order to
      ensure your place is booked, you are asked to contact The School as soon as possible, prior to
      the course start.

Before The Lessons

17.13 Do I need to study any material before the course?
      It is recommended to read about the course subject from your own sources and references, and
      prepare any questions. It will make the study more beneficial and productive.

17.14 If I have previous studies in the subject, can I join the current class despite missing previous
      levels?
      In such cases the students will join after completing a pre-admission exam. Please contact The
      School for further information.

17.15 Can I tape the lessons?
      No, but the Class co-ordinator may tape them for the whole class.

17.16 Can I take notes of the lessons?
      Yes… please! This will be an important assistance for you and your course-mates; when you sit
      to revise.

17.17 Will I obtain an electronic copy of the study material prior to the course?
      Yes, you will be emailed the lessons – Learners' Guide; upon accepting your application.

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17.18 Do you recommend any other books for my further study of the subjects?
      Your tutor will advise you accordingly.

17.19 Can I pass on the study material to my friends or family?
      The study materials are for personal use only, however, your immediate family may take
      benefit from them. If, on the other hand, under certain circumstances you wish for the study
      material and notes to be looked at by another, then ask for permission from Your School.

Homework

17.20 Is there any homework?
      Yes, there is always homework, usually of three kinds: written, oral and reading.

17.21 How many hours of study and homework may be expected?
      Generally, 1-2 hours a week per subject.

17.22 How important is homework for the final exam marks?
      Homework counts 25% of the total marks.

17.23 Who will help if I need help with homework?
      You and your course-mates will set a study group; with your tutor instructions. You may have
      a Student Teacher (ST). Your tutor will be always there to assist.

17.24 In case of the monthly excuse for sisters; what will they have to do with oral homework i.e.
      reciting Surats?
      As they usually have thirteen days between lessons i.e. enough time to tape the Surats (approx
      15 minutes); they should not let this excuse to stop them or delay their work. However, if the
      excuse continues all the days between the lessons; different arrangement will be made. It is
      essential to get feedback about students’ homework 72 hours before the next lesson in order to
      offer new instructions.

17.25 How do I contact my tutor / Ustaz during non-class hours?
      You will email your class co-ordinator; who will arrange your questions/enquires and pass
      them on to the relevant person/dept.

17.26 Will Hazrat Sheikh help to answer questions not related to the course e.g. Fatwa or personal
      guidance?
      Sheikh does not make himself available for such questions; unless there is a real need for them.
      Please ask him following the lesson.



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Fees

17.27 How much are the fees for the course?
      Fees may vary from one course to another and from one level to another. Please check the
      information in the 'About Your Course' sheet.

17.28 What do the fees cover?
      Course administration, tuition, and course material.

17.29 How do I pay my fees?
      Payment may be made by cash, cheque, standing order or instalment. Please make all cheques
      payable to OSAIS. You can either post payment using the OSAIS address or bring it with you to
      the class. Please state clearly (on the back) student name, OSAIS Student Identification (SID)
      number (if applicable), along with the course code being paid for (the course code can be found
      on the advertising poster or 'About Your Course' sheet).

17.30 Do I have to pay the fees before starting the course?
      Yes, you will need to pay 50% of the fees is due at least 1 week before start of the course. The
      remained should be paid no later than the second lesson.

17.31 Can I pay the course fees on the first lesson; not before?
      Yes, however you should contact financial dept to have their prior approval.

17.32 What discounts are available for students?
      Yes, according to the following schedule:
      •       Household members:
              -      15% for the second member,
              -      25% for remaining household
      •       Multiple Courses :
              -      15% for the second course,
              -      25% for remaining courses

17.33 What if I have financial difficulty?
      Please contact the financial services in writing or by email; in no way will it hinder your
      studies. Each request will be individually considered in confidence and will be communicated
      in writing.

17.34 Can students pay in a group?
      Yes, this is fine. Please contact your Student Teacher (ST) or Co-ordinator, who may collect fees
      and pay as a group. Please include names, SID and course code with the payment to be posted
      to the School, or handed in to your class co-ordinator after the lesson.


                                                 16                                         Student Handbook
17.35 Can I post my payment to the School?
      Yes, with the exception of cash payments. Please post to the School address along with the full
      details including names, SID and course code; allowing at least 3 working days for a reply and
      receipt.

17.36 How much refund can I ask for, in case I have some difficulty and have to withdraw from the
      course?
      Refund will be allowed as follows:
            Notice received 4 weeks before the course starts; 100% full refund
            Notice received 2 weeks before the course starts; 90% full refund
            Notice received by Lesson 1 ; 75% refund
            Notice received by Lesson 2; 50% refund
            Notice received by Lesson 3 or more; no refund

Parking Facilities

17.37 Are there car parking facilities?
      Yes, but only limited. Please contact your ST/Co-ordinator for car parking arrangements and
      instructions. To reduce the impact of limited parking spaces, you may assist by car sharing.
      Please note students park their cars at their own risk, as the School cannot take any
      responsibility or liability for the safety of students' vehicles or property.

Exams

17.38 Is there any exam for the course?
      All The Open School courses have exams.

17.39 What is the advantage of taking an exam?
      By way of preparing and revising, the exams will help influence deep understanding of the
      course material. In addition, the exam will earn you eligibility for the next level of the subject.

17.40 When and where is the exam?
      This is indicated on the 'About Your Course' information sheet. The exam location may be
      announced closer to the exam date.

17.41 When does the school make students aware of the date of exam?
      At the beginning of each term, about 4 months in advance. This should allow sufficient time for
      you to plan.

17.42 Is every student expected to sit the exam?
      Yes, every student who satisfies the exam requirements.


                                                  17                                         Student Handbook
17.43 What are these exam requirements?
      Attendance and Homework: a minimum attendance/homework level of 80%. Failure to fulfil
      these conditions could result in the Exam Board not issuing an Exam Seat Number. Students
      cannot sit exams without an Exam Seat Number.

17.44 How will I know that I am registered to sit the exam?
      By or before the last lesson you will receive your exam seat number.

17.45 What to do if I don't receive exam seat number?
      Please contact your tutor / ST to meet the requirements as soon as possible.

17.46 What about if I fulfil the requirements after the exam?
      You will be scheduled for the re-sit.

17.47 Can I use my notes and/or Learners Guide in the exam?
      No, as it is a ‘closed book’ exam

17.48 Will I be told what questions will be asked in the written and oral exams, and how they will be
      asked?
      Your tutors gives hints during the lessons of the important points that will be focused on in the
      exams; as well as how to answer them. In addition, they will give some guidance concerning
      common mistakes and the best method to answer a question.

17.49 What support is available to prepare for the exam?
      Continuous support is always available via the Student Teacher Scheme (STs); students study
      sessions; and the revision days.

17.50 When preparing for the exam, if needed can I contact the School to clarify any points from the
      Learners Guide?
      Yes. Your class co-ordinator will collect your questions / points and email them to tutor and
      send a copy to the School.

17.51 I’m not quite sure what parts/paragraphs of the Learners Guide will be included in the exam
      or not?
      Your tutor assures students of what is to be expected in the exam during the lesson before the
      last lesson. Please contact your class co-ordinator for confirmation.

17.52 Can I take the exam at a later date?
      No, all students are expected to take the exam on the scheduled day.

17.53 What if I am not really ready to take the exam, out of being busy with my work?


                                                 18                                         Student Handbook
       In this case you should take the exam; you may do better than what you anticipated. If you fail
       the exam, you are still eligible to take the re-sit.

17.54 What if I have to travel or be away due to a commitment on the day of exam?
      We trust that you take study with The School seriously. We understand you are to be made
      aware of the exam date few months in advance. However, if you really can not attend; you
      need to inform the School as soon as possible.

17.55 What are the valid reasons that will not cause me to lose my chance at re-sit?
      •      If you are ill on the day of the exam, and your illness prevents you to do fair to yourself.
      •      If one of your close family members is in a severe condition, i.e. close to death, illness
      that needs your direct attendance during the week of the exam or up to 2 weeks prior to the
      exam that dramatically affected your preparation for the exam.

17.56 Can I get feedback on my exam paper?
      Tutors are to give general feedback on the previous exams by the second or third lesson of the
      new level.

17.57 If I fail an exam, what do I do?
      Firstly, it is important to not assume exclusion from the course. You are automatically
      registered for the next level.

17.58 When is the re-sit exam?
      It is usually after the second lesson of the following term. Please contact the School for date
      and time.

17.59 If I fail the re-sit will I have a second re-sit?
      You have only one chance to re-sit an exam.

17.60 If I am away from the study for some time and I completed some levels, can I re-join?
      If you have been away for 6 months or less, you can attend the next level provided you passed
      the previous level exam. Otherwise, you will sit the exam during your present level.

17.61 In this case, can I take the two levels exams together?
      No, you have to pass the previous level exam in order to be eligible to sit the higher level exam.

17.62 I am a sister; can I sit the exam somewhere else, not the place specified by The School?
      Yes, if you live 50 or more miles away from the exam centre.

17.63 Can I sit in my own residence?
      No, The School will assign an exam setting for you.


                                                     19                                      Student Handbook
17.64 In case of the monthly excuse for sisters; what will they have to do with oral exam if it includes
      reciting Surats?
      As they have 10 days to post their tapes i.e. enough time; they should not let this excuse to stop
      them or delay their exam. However, if the excuse continues all of these days; they need to
      contact the School attn: Exam Board. They will be allowed up to 5 days extra i.e. total of 15
      days from the date of exam.

17.65 If, due to circumstances beyond my control I cannot leave the house to attend the exam, e.g.
      family member needs 24 hour care, etc., how can I take the exam?
      In certain cases, upon prior written request to the School, individuals may be granted exception
      to sit the exam at home. You need to fill a contract of trust form and post it a week before the
      exam date. Please contact the School to request the form.

17.66 What is this form about?
      It is a statement of trust; that you have not been made aware by any means and will not accept
      any attempt to make you aware of something related to the exam contents. Two witnesses have
      to sign this form as it is a Sharee’at agreement, i.e. a contract of trust.

Online Learning

17.67 Can I attend a class online?
      Not all classes are offered through the on-line medium. Certainly all new students who enrol
      with the School would invariably be studying Foundation Level ‘Ilm Al-Tajweed, which is not
      taught on-line. Students wishing to study over the internet those additional on-line mediated
      courses need specific approval by the School. To be granted permission and necessary log-in
      details for the Schools Paltalk® room, the student would have to satisfy certain conditions. For
      example, the student would have to be living more than 45 miles away from where the course
      was being taught (Manchester), or in the case of a female student, an inability to be
      accompanied to the class by a Mahram.

17.68 Are all courses taught online?
      No. All courses are taught via class-base. However, an alternative online session may be
      available under certain circumstances:

17.69 Who can apply?
      Adult seekers of knowledge, brothers and sisters (rules of Hijaab strictly applied) who meet the
      following criteria:
            Brothers who live at least 70 miles, or 1 hour’s journey away from the main teaching
             centre in Manchester.
            Any sister who cannot be accompanied by a Mahram, and there is a sisters-only class in
             her area (see below).


                                                  20                                        Student Handbook
17.70 Can I go on-line for OL courses on my own?
      No, as it is strictly for distant classroom based learning where not only minimum student
      numbers apply, but also the Open Schools code of conduct. Successful registration for OL
      courses will be subject to these terms. Full rules and regulations are available on request.

17.71 How does it work?
          Your area will have a senior student who will be your local contact.
          On his recommendation to the Open School, you will be invited to submit an
           application; fees will be applicable. The schools policy on admissions can be made
           available on request.
          The necessary course material will be emailed to your specified address along with a
           final timetable, including exam dates.

17.72 What will the classroom be like?
           In discussion with your Local Senior Student (LSS), a mutually convenient location,
            with facilities for the necessary audio-visual link with the main teaching centre, should
            be agreed.
           The class will resemble that in the main teaching centre.

17.73 What will the lesson be like?
           On the specified date and at the distant classroom, you will meet no earlier than 10
            minutes before the lesson is due to start.
           You will need your Student Number ready as it will be required by your LSS to help
            with logging-on.
           The lesson will commence using the live audio link using ‘Paltalk’ to the main teaching
            centre.
           As there will be other distant classrooms from around the UK also logged-on, dedicated
            times will be given for each centre to ask and be asked questions.




                                                21                                        Student Handbook

				
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