| Azlan Othman |
SAHIBUS Samahah Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, Mufti of the Federal Territories (Malaysia), one of the panellists in the premier forum at the Knowledge Convention 2017, said yesterday that youths should spend their time acquiring as much knowledge as possible.
“Opportunities only come once in a lifetime, and youths must seize them,” he said. “Sometimes, people wish that they could turn back the clock and correct their mistakes, and that’s why we should be filling our precious time with knowledge.”
When asked about the issue of child-rearing in an increasingly complicated world, Sahibus Samahah Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said that parents play a crucial part in educating their children at home, so that they would be undaunted by the challenges of the outside world.
“This is particularly so in this age of advanced technology, where they can be easily led astray, due to lack of support and contact with their parents,” he said.
The Deputy Rector of the Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), Dr Haji Mohammed Hussain bin Pehin Penyurat Haji Ahmad, meanwhile said that several youths have already been appointed as members of the Legislative Council, while others are actively engaged as preachers or involved with non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“The government is also setting up efforts to develop them as the nation’s future investment, and has outlined policies to support them for the sake of our future,” he added.
He also stressed on the need for a comprehensive character education, where both moral and physical attributes are given equal emphasis.
“Youths must also possess a sense of national identity, religious faith and a strong stance, not easily influenced by negative elements,” he said. “They should be self-supporting and not rely on help from others.”
Pengiran Dr Hajah Nur-Ashikin binti Pengiran Haji Petra, a lecturer at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education (SHBIE), said that the National Education System for the 21st Century (SPN 21) has been established with the main goal of realising Brunei Vision 2035, by equipping students with skills in subjects such as science and technology.
“Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) and Islamic Religious Knowledge have become the core subjects in our educational system, to offset the more conventional subjects, and prepare the students for the challenges of the future,” she said. Another panellist, Hilman bin Haji Salim, who is an assistant lecturer at the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), the co-founder of the Al-Minhaaj Centre and a preacher, underlined the three important characteristics that all youths should possess, namely faith, knowledge and a decent character.
“Regardless of whether one is creative or innovative, if these characteristics are absent, then it is futile. Faith and moral values should never fade away,” he said, adding that youths could assist in lessening the burdens of the government by practising a healthy lifestyle amid the rising costs of healthcare, and to avoid the dangers of drug addiction.