| Wani Roslan |
EDUCATION can be seen as a crucial part of a country’s progress, and as Brunei Darussalam marks 100 Years of Formal Education, its positive impact on the economy and development in various fields can be strongly felt by every Bruneian.
During the 24th Teacher’s Day Celebration yesterday, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to present awards to nine recipients for their contribution to the development of the country’s education system, as well as their roles in educating the country’s younger generation.
The event was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.
The Teacher’s Day Awards recipients in turn expressed their gratitude for the recognition given to them for their contribution towards the country’s education system.
Among them was Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Ahmad bin Haji Jumat, who was awarded with the Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Education Award for his significant contribution to Brunei’s education development.
Pehin Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Ahmad jointly led the initial efforts of drawing, expanding, and further developing the education system in this country, such as the establishment of several projects in the 1970s, including Malay Language subject, English Language subject, Science subject and Mathematics subject.
These subjects later formed the foundation for the establishment of the Curriculum Development Department in the 1980s.
Pehin Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Ahmad did BA in History from Universiti Malaya in 1967, MEd in Education Administration from University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada in 1970, and a Doctorate of Education (PhD) from California Coast State University, Santa Ana, United States of America in 1990.
As a recipient of the Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Education Award, Pehin Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Ahmad received an honorary certificate, $20,000 cash, souvenir and free medical facilities such as first class ward treatment at all government hospitals in the country.
Meanwhile, Haji Kassim bin Haji Adis, 75, was one of the four recipients of the Meritorious Teacher Award.
Haji Kassim began his long career as an English Preparatory Teacher in Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) College in May 1963. He was among the first English Preparatory Teachers in the country, and after his retirement, he was appointed as the Principal of St George’s School in May 15, 1995.
In an interview with the Bulletin, he shared that education in Brunei Darussalam is changing significantly, in which students’ performance and results are better than before and that teachers must be well-prepared to face the challenges of education development.
“Methods of teaching in the past and now are totally different. Now, teachers encourage the students to think for themselves and know how to apply the knowledge they have gained, unlike in the past where teachers only delivered their knowledge to the students.”
The recipients of the Meritorious Teacher Award received an honorary certificate, $12,000 cash, souvenir and free medical facilities such as first class ward treatment at all government hospitals in the country.
Another outstanding educator feted at yesterday’s event was Ustazah Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Sawal, 48, who was one of the four recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award.
Ustazah Hajah Norhayati, who currently works at the Islamic Studies Department in Tutong, is an educator and school leader who has contributed a lot to enhance her students’ performance to obtain good results in their examinations.
She started working with the government as a trainee religious teacher on July 1, 1988, after completing a teaching course at Maktab Perguruan Ugama Seri Begawan for three years.
In an interview, she said that throughout her experience as an educator, she found out that education is a dynamic process and changes according to the current requirements.
“As a leader, we should have high morale and spirit in facing challenges, such as facing academic and discipline problems from the students, as well as challenges faced by parents and the community. All of these must be handled with trust, commitment and honesty,” she said.
Ustazah Hajah Norhayati taught in different schools in the Tutong District, including Tutong Camp Religious School from 1988 to 1990, Sinaut Religious School from 1991 to 1996, and Sayyidina Othman Secondary School in Bukit Beruang. Other than that, she also teaches extra classes and tutors students who are weak in certain subjects.
The recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award received a honorary certificate, $4,000 cash, souvenir as well as support to continue their education through the In-Service Training (LDP) scheme.