His Majesty visits religious school and University College
By Fadhil Yunus & Azlan Othman

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday made a working visit to the Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College and strictly underlined the importance of strengthening religious education in the country.

Also present were Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Awang Hj Mohd Zain bin Haji Serudin, Minister of Religious Affairs; Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Awg Haji Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs and other religious officials.

Accompanying His Majesty during the tour was the Ra'es of the University College, Dr Ustazah Hajah Masnon binti Haji Ibrahim. His Majesty inspected the classes and spoke with the teachers and students.

His Majesty also visited the surau where a demonstration of the Friday sermon was being simulated. His Majesty also checked on the library.

The working visit proceeded with a meeting at the college's auditorium with religious officials. His Majesty delivered a titah at the meeting. Dr Ustazah Hajah Masnon made the opening remarks and briefed on the college as well as college-oriented activities since its establishment.

The institution was given the university status in early 2007 and educational programmes were made readily available in August the same year.

The university shows students the necessity of not only having an educational setting through an academic base but also through Islamic values and principles.

With its numerous activities that also refer to the teachings of Islam, students are challenged physically and mentally. Around 456 students attend the school with 48 teachers comprising locals and from overseas.

The visit ended with a group photo with His Majesty along with religious officials and college staff. Earlier, His Majesty also made a working visit to the Al-Falaah School at Manggis yesterday.

During the visit to Al-Falaah School, His Majesty inspected the classes of KG One to Primary Six. His Majesty also listened to a surah recital by one of the students. Al-Falaah School was opened in April 1995 and is administered by the Private Education Division, Ministry of Education.

Along with the religious teachings that are meant to guide and nurture the schoolchildren, basic academic subjects are also taught such as Maths and English. In one of the classes visited by His Majesty, schoolchildren were taught multiplication through a projector repeatedly so any mistakes could be corrected. Around 474 students attend the school, which has 29 teachers. - Borneo Bulletin (27th January 2010)