Awards of appreciation on Teachers' Day
By Malek Hashim & Syafiq Affendy

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to grace the 18th National Teachers' Day Celebration 2008, themed 'Guru Pembentuk Tunas Bangsa' or 'Teachers' Shape the Nation's Youth' held at Plenary Hall, International Convention Centre yesterday.

Accompanying His Majesty were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Abdul Malik as well and other members of the Royal family.

The event started with a recital of Surah Al-Fatihah led by the State Mufti, Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz Juned for Al'mahrum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien and teachers who have passed away. A Doa Selamat was also recited after that.

The Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman delivered his opening address, by expressing his gratitude to His Majesty for consenting to attend and deliver a Titah.

The Minister made special note that His Majesty's presence at the event showed serious concern and care for the nation's education while the royal presence also added significant meaning and inspiration to teachers to offer a conscientious service. All this would promote the high quality of the nation's education, said Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman.

The theme of this year's National Teacher's Day Celebration clearly showed the important role teachers have to play in shaping the nation's youth with education, integrity and skills to get them ready to face any changes of the 21st century, said Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman.

On behalf of the Ministry of Education and teachers, Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman expressed his gratitude to His Majesty for consenting to the 'Sistem Pendidikan Abad 21' (SPN 21) or the 21st Century Education System. The implementation of the system is no doubt a challenge especially for the teachers who are in the front line of the nation's education system.

The minister also conveyed a Happy Teachers Day greeting to teachers who are still working as well as those who have retired with a prayer that Allah the Almighty would always bless their sincere deeds.

The programme had a Titah by His Majesty, followed by announcement of this year's Teachers Day Award recipients. The awards were presented by His Majesty.

The Meritorious Teacher Award is recognition to teachers who have made numerous contributions in education at every level and ensure its improvement. The three recipients of this year's Meritorious Teacher Award were Professor Madya Dr Hajah Zaitun binti Haji Taha, Pengiran Haji Mohd Yassin bin Pengiran Damit and Awang Haji Moksin bin Haji Abd Kadir. Each of them received certificates of honour, $12,000 worth of cash, a gold medal, free medical services including first class ward at the government hospital and home medical treatment by a government nurse.

The Teacher Day Award for Retired Teacher was presented to Dato Paduka Roderick Yong Yin Fatt who received a certificate of honour, $4,000 worth of cash, a gold medal, free medical services at a first class ward at the government hospital and home medical treatment by government nurse.

The event also saw the Teachers Day Special Award given to three recipients. Awang Haji Kamis bin Haji Lamat, Awang Haji Umar bin Haji Yahya and Awang Haji Abdul Wahid Pehin Datu Panglima Haji Abu Bakar each received a plaque and certificate of honour, $4,000 worth of cash, free medical services at a first class ward at the government hospital (at least 30 days in one year) and home medical treatment by government nurse.

Another award acknowledging teachers who excel in their teaching subjects and respective field was bestowed on Dayang Bungsu binti Dollah, Pengiran Maspuspa binti Pengiran Mashor and Hajah Dayang Rostinah binti Haji Abdul Rashid. Each of them received a certificate of honour, $4,000 worth of cash and a gold medal. They would be given priority and support if they were to continue their studies depending on the in-service training conditions.

Some 14 other teachers also received Special Appreciations during the event. The recipients were acknowledged based on their achievement in generating best student in the subject they taught. The recipients are Hajah Rokiah binti Haji Morni, Tan Chue Yin, Binoy Sebastian, Chow Yuen Wah, Bethsaida S. Ruiz, Hartini binti Haji Mohd Yusof, Pengiran Hajah Mashayu binti Pengiran Haji Yussof, Peter Boyce, Raymond John George, Joan Lorraine Cherian, Ivan Fitt, Yohan Christopher Hendricks, Gareth Charles Griffiths and Hajah Masni binti Haji Yusof. Each of them received a plaque and a certificate of honour and $1,000 worth of cash.

Also present during the event were top government officials as well as foreign dignitaries. - Borneo Bulletin (19th Oct 2008)