Teachers' role vital in achieving educational excellence
By Danial Norjidi

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday graced the 19th National Teacher's Day Celebration which carried the theme 'Guru Berkualiti Teras Kecemerlangan Pendidikan' (Teachers of Quality are the Core of Educational Excellence) at the Plenary Hall of the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

His Majesty was accompanied by HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah; HRH Prince Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince 'Abdul 'Azim, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik, HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen and other members of the royal family.

Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by the Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib and the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Haji Awang Mohd Zain bin Haji Serudin.

Also present were top government officials, foreign dignitaries, teachers and other invited guests.

The event began with the recital of surah al-fatihah and a doa selamat by State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Hj Awg Abdul Aziz followed by the reading of holy verses from al-Quran.

The Minister of Education then delivered his opening address, in which he expressed his gratitude to His Majesty for consenting to attend and deliver a titah.

Speaking of the theme for this year's National Teacher's Day celebration, the minister said that it stressed on how "educational excellence requires teachers of quality to educate, teach and lead the country's children, because teachers play an important role in determining the quality and effectiveness of education".

"The Ministry of Education is continuously carrying out numerous plans and strategies accordingly, specially for increasing the quality of teachers," he said. "These efforts will involve every level of education more actively."

In his speech, on behalf of the Ministry of Education and all the country's teachers, the minister pledged to provide excellent educational services towards achieving the country's aspiration towards prosperity, peace and continuous national development.

The minister then wished a Happy Teacher's Day to teachers, both working and retired, with a prayer that Allah the Almighty would always bless their honest deeds.

After the minister's speech, His Majesty delivered a titah. The programme then saw the announcement of the recipients of this year's Teacher's Day Awards, which His Majesty then presented. This was then followed with a Nasyid performance by students from Maktab Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien (SOAS).

There was also a collaborative musical band performance by students from Maktab SOAS and Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan, as well as a performance by Kiarong Primary School, Dato Basir Primary School and Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School. - Borneo Bulletin (6th November 2009)