MONTREAL – A Canadian Muslim school made history after topping Fraser’s school ranking for Quebec’s secondary schools on Saturday, October 29, with its students achieving the perfect score.
“I think our curriculum fits the need of the students to say their religion, and learn their religion and at the same time be part of the community,” Layla Sawaf, director of École Jeunes Musulmans Canadiens, told CBC News on Saturday.
École Jeunes Musulmans Canadiens, located in Montreal’s Saint-Laurent borough, tied Cartierville’s École Pasteur for first place this year.
The Institute’s report ranked 459 public, private Francophone and Anglophone schools based largely on results from province-wide tests.
Achieving a perfect score, École Jeunes Musulmans Canadiens also became the first Muslim school to enter the top 50 ranking.
For Sawaf, the success came after a long journey.
Moving to Canada, Sawaf, a doctor by trade, noticed something was missing.
So in 2000, she rented a space in a largely industrial part of Saint-Laurent and today her school has nearly 400 students from kindergarten to grade 11.
The graduation rate is 100 per cent.
As a religious institution, faith is part of the school day that she had to find a way to make it fit in with the education ministry’s curriculum.
“I think our curriculum fits the need of the students to say their religion, and learn their religion and at the same time be part of the community,” she said.
Offering students a friendly environment, the school achieved high ranking.
“I really like the environment, which is like, the connection between the teachers and the students,” said student Sadia Waraich.
“I really like how we try to reach our goals, each student has a goal so we try to succeed.”