By Azlan Othman
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam lauded the country's outstanding educational achievements internationally, but reminded that the country's national philosophy, MIB, should not be overlooked in every educational plan and implementation.
In delivering his titah at the 19th Teacher's Day celebration, which was observed yesterday, at the International Convention Centre in Berakas, His Majesty, touching on the educational quality on the whole, said, "I have witnessed our nation achieving a very good ranking internationally, for instance, the success of our nation in implementing the responsibility towards Education For All (EFA).
"In the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2009 issued by UNESCO, it indicates that Brunei Darussalam stands in the group of High EFA Development Index and in pole position among the Asean countries and 36th out of 129 countries worldwide.
"Our success in implementing EFA ascertains our population to become an educational society and brings Brunei into a group of countries with very high human development along with developed nations such as Japan and the United States," said the ruler.
The fact is highlighted in the Human Development Report 2009 provided by UNDP. The country is in 30th position among 182 countries worldwide.
"The success cannot be solely attributed to any one entity but due to dedicated efforts from all parties. Without doubt, part of the efforts are teachers," the Sultan said.
But the monarch reminded that amidst our efforts to go after development, whatever educational plan and implementation that we carry out should not overlook our strength, which is our national philosophy - Malay Islam Monarchy (MIB).
"Elements outlined in such philosophy should be upheld as our axis to prepare our generation to be knowledgeable, faithful and pious," the ruler added.
"Besides the right educational system, teachers' role is also crucial, which if neglected, would make it difficult to achieve the country's targets in an optimum way. In this regard, the effort towards producing quality teachers is appropriate."
Speaking on the theme for this year that reads "Quality Teachers, the Basis for Excellence in Education", His Majesty said quality teachers are needed to educate and enrich students with knowledge and expertise through attractive and effective methodology.
Teachers are the agents that produce innovative, outstanding, bright ideas and capable students.
Such type of teachers is what we want to bring about changes to achieve the country's 2035 vision and to face the ever-changing world.
"Today's teachers are digital immigrants while students are digital natives. It means that teachers should work extra hard and be capable to face any developments and should reach the required standard. It is high time for us to have a teachers standard which could become a benchmark for quality teachers as in other developed countries," the monarch said.
"Today, developed and developing countries worldwide are thinking about the best practices for their educational system and majority of the countries have made their respective educational reformation. Praise to Allah, we are also in the same pathway where we have made a paradigm shift in our educational system.
"As a small nation, we should not isolate ourselves from making such changes that drives towards development. We should focus our effort and attention to acquire better products and frame out steps to make it a reality as time waits for no man," said His Majesty.
In concluding his titah, His Majesty congratulated the recipients of the awards and hoped it would motivate and inspire all teachers to enhance education excellence. The ruler also hoped that the teachers would receive blessings from Allah.
Also present at the ceremony were His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Hj Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince 'Abdul 'Azim, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.
The ceremony was highlighted with the presentation of awards to 29 meritorious teachers, retired teachers, excellent teachers in their respective subjects and fields as well as recipients of special appreciation.
- Borneo Bulletin
(6th November 2009)