A Review of Fajr Centre

Having personally not studied in Fajr but know brothers who do, I didnt really want to write a review of it. Obviously. So heres a review from a sister who is currently studying there, its pretty comprehensive tabarakAllah wa jazahaAllahu khayr to her. Oh yea, this is obviously from a sisters point of view which I guess is a good thing for the sisters but a brothers review will also be posted bi’ithnillah.

Taken from: http://aliainegypt.muslimpad.com/2008/02/09/my-review-of-fajr-center/

Here’s what I’ve thought of the Medinat Nasr (Nasr City) branch:

Prices: This is the main Fajr Branch and also the cheapest in terms of course costs and book costs. For pricing check out the website www.fajrcenter.com

Administration: The women’s side tends not to know many answers to questions and rely heavily on calling the men’s side to find out. I was told one thing from the administration in Maadi and then suddenly learned of completely new policies when I arrived at the Nasr City branch, this made it very clear to me that they operate very differently from branch to branch.

Teachers: So far I’ve studied with only one teacher from this branch. She is very friendly, cheerful and patient with us. However, possibly because of her age (late twenties) she doesn’t compare to the teachers that were in Maadi, in terms of her depth of knowledge and experience. I’ve found she sticks to the book and teaches our grammar lessons only when the book introduces it to us. Whereas in Maadi, our teachers were much more grammar focused and wouldn’t hesitate to familiarize with a new grammar lesson even if it was something that wouldn’t be introduced until a higher level. Fajr Center’s method, unlike other centers around here, is to introduce grammar very slowly. When taking group classes you are forced to follow this method. If you’ve signed up for private classes however, you have more freedom to request more challenging grammar lessons from your teacher.

Class curriculum: To my knowledge you have no choice of books at this branch. You must study levels ~ 1-9 from Al-Arabiyya Bayna Yadayk. There are midterm and final exams. The content of the exams here is completely different than the exams at say, the Maadi branch. They have quite a few teachers on their staff in both the men and women’s sides. So far we have had no problem getting 6 hours a day 5 days a week with a private teacher, something almost impossible to schedule at Maadi branch.

Environment: Majority of the students at this branch happen to be Muslim. I’ve met non-Muslim students as well but it’s quite apparent on the women’s side that the bulk of attendees are Muslim women, majority who wear the hijab or niqab (which they remove obviously once inside the center). Unlike the Maadi branch, you’re bound to interact with people at Nasr City and make friends. This branch has a prayer room and a small canteen that has snacks, drinks, coffee, and tea for sale. The Maadi branch did not.

Facility: Nice location near the main road Mustafa an-Nahhas. It is behind a few buildings so it is not directly on the main road which is nice. The men and women’s classes are in entirely different buildings within 1 minute walking distance from each other. Neither building is marked clearly with any type of sign. It’s a nice quiet area but the roads back there are unpaved for the most part. There’s a nice little snack stand nearby and if you’re daring, an omelet stand on the corner of the street where you can pick up some breakfast on the go! Pizza hut and a couple other restaurants are also within 2 minutes walking distance from the school.

Classrooms: The classrooms are varied in size. Most of them have whiteboards. The desks on the women’s side seem to be remnants of what the men’s side has replaced. They are small, with the attached desk. The rooms are carpeted. Most rooms do not have air-conditioning, and have a small heater in the winter time. It gets very cold, wear big fluffy socks. The walls tend to be undecorated, maybe one poster here or there.

Tests: Oral examinations are required at the end of each level. These are usually conducted by Mr. Mohamad on the men’s side. All sisters are required to take their oral examination with him as well.

Academics: You spend a good amount of time speaking in class and making sentences, doing Q and A with classmates and the teacher. This time is valuable to correct your mistakes and pick up on new vocabulary and sentence structure.

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