KUPU SB must stay 'genuine'
By Siti Hajar

Yesterday was marked by a celebration that saw one of the country's historical moments in the context of education, with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam describing the year 1432 Hijrah (2011) as being "special" due to the year's significance in producing the first graduates from a teaching centre that specialises in the field of religious teaching.

His Majesty, the Chancellor of Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB), in a titah voiced hope that KUPU SB will continue to move within its set pathway, and reminded the university college to not stray and to remain consistent as a religious teaching centre that is "genuine".

His Majesty delivered the titah at the university college's first-ever convocation yesterday, at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

"Never ignore the aim of this (institution) because it is here where it connotes that there is a specific goal that has to be achieved," His Majesty said in the titah.

Teaching, His Majesty asserted, is dissimilar to learning within a field that has no relation to teaching, given that "the aim of teaching is education and education means shaping". And "shaping" is developing a person's character, thoughts and physical being.

The monarch further said that the profession of teaching can be considered as a mould in that "if the mould is of superior quality, then what we get will also be superior". The role of KUPU SB, His Majesty added, is the provider for what can be described as the "mould for religious education" for the country's people.

"KUPU SB will produce candidates that are knowledgeable in religious education, who should be pursuant of the authentic mould of education, because this is important," His Majesty said in the titah.

These candidates, apart from being figures of knowledge, should also be figures of education who are truly educated, the monarch said.

As those who are to be guided are human beings, His Majesty said, such individuals are not only made of flesh but are also inclusive of spirituality, psychology, emotions and so on. And education has always been associated with subjects that are considered important such as psychology and knowledge that are related to spiritual enlightenment including Tauhid, Tasawwuf and subjects that are of similar values, His Majesty added.

His Majesty further noted: "Wouldn't it be ideal for an educated person to be able to live a fulfilling life in the midst of a corroded society? Wouldn't it create a desirable person if such a person is in possession of morals in tandem with a physique that is healthy?

"These aspects are crucial to education."

The university college, His Majesty pointed, is not just unique to Brunei but also on an international scale, and because of this exclusivity, "We must complete it with as much perfection until we achieve all its vision and mission." - Borneo Bulletin (19th Octopber 2011)