His Majesty awards 219 KUPU SB graduates
Rokiah Mahmud

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Chancellor of Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB), consented to present degrees and diplomas to a total of 219 graduates of KUPU SB at the 4th Convocation Ceremony yesterday.

The convocation took place at International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

Upon arrival, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam were greeted by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Rahman and the Ra’es of KUPU SB, Ustazah Dr Hajah Masnon binti Haji Ibrahim.

The ceremony proceeded with the Chancellor procession, led by the bearer of the KUPU SB Mushaf Al-Quran, which is symbolically used as the ceremonial mace for the graduation ceremony.

It was then followed with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah read by the State Mufti, Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned to mark the commencement of the 4th Convocation Ceremony.

This was followed by the recitation of verses of Al-Quran namely Surah An-Nur verses 54-56 and Surah Al-‘Alaq verses 1 to 5 which was read by Haji Ibrahim bin Haji Sa’ad, a graduate in Bachelor of Religious Teaching (Usuluddin) and Best Student for 2010/2011 session.

Meanwhile, the translation of the verses was delivered by Haji Mohammad bin Haji Basir, also a graduate in Bachelor of Religious Education (Syariah).

In her welcoming address, the Ra’es of KUPU SB, Ustazah Dr Hajah Masnon, said as the leading Islamic education institution which is very unique, KUPU SB is very committed in strengthening its role in accordance with the responsibilities and mandates that are entrusted on it, especially in enforcing and empowering the use of Jawi writing as a symbol of the nation’s identity and the study of ‘Kitab Turath’ (books or scripture) which is used as reference materials by the students.

“The study of Kitab Turath is part of the traditional way in learning Islamic knowledge in which it defines the history and spread of Islamic teachings while Jawi scripts were used to write the book,”

Therefore, she added, beginning the academic session 2015/2016 KUPU SB will be offering full-time one year course programme in Diploma Studies in Kitab Turath and hoped that the course would be used as a medium for KUPU SB in producing religious teachers and intelligentsia especially in religious fields so that they would be able to defend the authenticity of the Islamic knowledge and at the same time able to encounter unverified sources and thus can preserves the authenticity of the teachings contained in Kitab Turath.

“In addition to academics, KUPU SB has also actively played its role in producing publications that was written by its research academicians. To date, KUPU SB has produced 81 books including 41 books that were launched during their first, second and third graduation ceremonies. While another 16 publications will be launched later in conjunction with the 4th Convocation Ceremony.

Meanwhile, in further elevating the role of Centre of Research and Understanding Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, Ustazah Dr Hajah Masnon explained, that the centre plays an important role as a source of reference for understanding of the Islamic teachings and actively contribute academic writings for publication such as books, journals, and literature in sharing the ‘ulama’ opinion on deviant teachings.

In terms of community service, she continued, KUPU SB encourages not only its students but also the staff to actively participate in it and as member of the Asia-Pacific University Community Engagement Network (APUCEN), the university college emphasises organising various projects and activities that could contribute back to the community, religion and country.

“On November 25, KUPU SB will play host to the 4th Consortium of Asia-Pacific Education Universities which will be attended by some 18 board of directors and representatives from 25 universities including three partners.

Under this consortium, KUPU SB will also coordinate International Seminar on Teacher’s Education (I-COTE 2014) with the theme Teachers Education from Islamic Perspective from November 24 to 25,” she said.

The Ra’es of KUPU SB further thanked the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and particularly the Ministry of Religious Affairs for granting the scholarship award scheme for excellent students who have passed their Brunei Religious Studies Higher Certificate (STPUB).

The award includes Tasyji’ie (incentive) scheme for excellent and talented students to be placed in local university in hopes to further elevate the university’s status at the international level.

The 4th Convocation Ceremony for KUPU SB also saw His Majesty delivering a titah and was followed by conferment of degrees and diplomas to KUPU SB graduates who have completed their studies in their respective fields and courses.

Of those that graduated yesterday, 15 students received their Masters Degree in Religious Education, 27 received Postgraduate Diploma of Religious Education, 84 received their Bachelor of Religious Education, 69 received their Higher National Diploma while 24 received their Diploma of Religious Education.

At the ceremony, the Ra’es of KUPU SB also announced that two graduates received the Ra’es awards in the field of Usuluddin and Syariah for Religious Education Degrees and those who received the Dean’s Prize in various disciplines.

The ceremony ended with recitation of Doa Selamat read by the State Mufti.

With the 4th Convocation Ceremony, KUPU SB has produced more than one thousand graduates in various fields and disciplines from 2011-2014. - Borneo Bulletin (21 November 2014)