Education can prevent ‘destructive’ culture
Hakim Hayat

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah yesterday reminded the people not to live a life that promotes a “laid-back culture”, saying that if the issue was left unconstrained, it could be destructive for our society.

In the titah delivered at the 23rd Teacher’s Day celebration yesterday, His Majesty also urged students, teachers and academics to embrace a culture of reading apart from attaining formal education.

Also present with His Majesty at the annual gathering with teachers nationwide held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel.

With an inherent habit of reading, His Majesty said only then can we expect the emergence of excellent and high-calibre figures and scholars. “Without reading, the mind can become weak and be destitute.”

Thus, His Majesty said we must identify matters that could sidetrack us from knowledge and the culture of reading.

“Knowledge can be eroded and the culture of reading may disappear if other cultures take its place such as the culture of being too absorbed in television programmes, movies and others.”

His Majesty also said he lays his trust in teachers and parents to pay more attention to children in all academic aspects and their activities to prevent them from being absorbed in a “laid-back culture” that the monarch said is destructive for society.

Earlier in the titah, His Majesty said it is unquestionable that teachers play a major role in generating knowledgeable and skilful people. In this respect, His Majesty’s Government is committed to investing heavily in the professional development of teachers. “I am happy to keep track of the progress of education that goes along in identifying efforts in realising the Ministry of Education’s vision.”

The monarch said he was also made to understand that the establishment of the Brunei Darussalam Teacher Academy (BDTA) is very helpful in aiding the expansion of teachers’ fundamental skills. “It will enable us to evaluate the extent to which Brunei teachers’ standards are professional and systematic.”

His Majesty said that there is no obstruction to any form of transformation or innovation in learning provided that it derives from and is in sync with the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy. “This is vital to enable teachers to achieve a true ‘Pure Bruneian Quality’.”

His Majesty expressed his satisfaction with a significant transformation, “Progression Opportunities” which gives an opportunity for continuous training of teachers without compromising quality and standards. “This programme encourages lifelong learning as a step in triggering a culture that is fond of knowledge.”

Thus, the monarch said it is one of the responsibilities of a teacher to instil a fondness for knowledge among the students. - Borneo Bulletin (26 September 2013)