| Abdul Hakiim Yakof |
MINISTER of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman continued his working visit to the Temburong District with a visit to the Temburong Arabic School and Kampong Batu Apoi Mosque.
At the Temburong Arabic School, the minister was welcomed by Acting Director of Islamic Studies Ustazah Hajijah binti Haji Moktal and, Principal Ustaz Morsidi bin Haji Tuah, teachers and school staff.
The minister toured the classes and mingled with the students before hearing a briefing delivered by the principal. The school has 18 teachers and 97 students in Years 5,6,7 and 8.
The school has notched several milestones over the years. In terms of curriculum, it has achieved a 100 per cent pass rate in the Primary School Assessment (PSR) examination, with 97 per cent obtaining A to C grades. In terms of co-curriculum, the school has been crowned champion of the National Masrahiah Arabiah contest for three consecutive years, champion and second place holder in the Musabaqah Al-Quran contest, and third place holder in the Arabic Speech contest.
Among the programmes introduced to strengthen the use of Arabic Language among students is the Al-Arabiah Bayna Shafahatayn, where students familiarise themselves with 90 new Arabic words over a span of 30 days.
The minister then visited the Kampong Batu Apoi Mosque, where he was received by Haji Abdul Rajid bin Haji Mohd Salleh, Director of Mosque Affairs. The construction of the mosque on a 1.965-acre land located six kilometres from Pekan Bangar was completed in 1987.
In an interview, the minister explained that the Ministry of Religious Affairs is planning to expand the mosque.
“What’s left is for us to wait for specific assessments. The mosque at present can only accommodate over 200 congregants. During Friday prayers, the rest of the worshippers have to pray outside under tents, therefore swift action is required for the ease of worship and to cater to trainees of the National Service Programme (PKBN) training centre nearby.”
He added, the visit to the Arabic school was to monitor the ministry’s empowering the Arabic Language programme.
“Alhamdulillah the Temburong Arabic School is progressing forward. Perhaps the small number of students has eased management of the empowering the Arabic Language programme. The importance of this programme is to create an environment for the Arabic Language.
“From my observation in all four districts, all Arabic schools have designed their Arabic Language environment and have been able to implement it in their schools.
“Insya Allah we will monitor their progress this year and the next to see their effectiveness in ensuring that they are really capable of preparing good education for their students in mastering the Arabic, English and Malay languages,” he said.
Also present were senior officials from the ministry as well as Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB).