The establishment of the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) is regarded as landmark to glorify religious teachings in the country. It is hoped that this religious teaching institution will also open its door to other countries, said His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah.
His Majesty delivered the titah during an unscheduled visit to KUPU SB in Bandar Seri Begawan yesterday.
The monarch believed that the future of KUPU SB is bright as the demand for religious teachers is high.
At one time, the monarch said, Brunei Darussalam was lacking in religious teaching work force and the country was forced to acquire religious teachers from neighbouring countries. “Today, Alhamdulillah Brunei Darussalam is able to stand by itself and having its own religious teaching centre that it able to produce knowledgeable and well-trained religious teachers,” His Majesty said in the titah.
The monarch added that KUPU SB should focus on its establishment missions to produce human resources capable of religious teaching.
His Majesty hoped that the centre will continue its operation without any disruption.
“Keep it on track until we produce a knowledgeable and pious nation according to the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah,” the monarch said.
Speaking on the challenges faced in this era, His Majesty reminded that the country should not be influenced with theories and opinions that are inconsistent with Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah teachings.
The monarch advised to focus on improving the country with knowledge such as Arabic Language as the institution offers such programmes and it needs to be maintained and upheld.
His Majesty also advised KUPU SB to contribute to Arabic schools to empower the Arabic Language.
The monarch suggested that the Faculty of Usuluddin can be a medium to empower dakwah by setting up a specially designated curriculum.
“This is important as dakwah needs to be more impactful,” said His Majesty.
The monarch also hoped that KUPU SB will work together with Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) to empower the teaching of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jama’ah in the country.
His Majesty also commended KUPU SB for its initiatives including workshops, seminars and lectures and urged the institution to further contribute and empower Arabic Language and Islamic dakwah. His Majesty added that the contributions from the institution specialists could bring about desired changes.
The monarch toured the facilities and educational infrastructures including its libraries that house nearly 120,000 books and journals in English, Malay, Arabic and Indonesian languages published by KUPU SB and Islamic Da’wah Centre and from overseas.
The students’ welfare and well-being especially those living in hostels was one of the main concerns showed by the monarch yesterday.
The female hostel provides facilities such as surau, dining hall and laundry area. There are 93 female students including four students from Thailand staying at the female hostel.
His Majesty also toured the male hostels which housed 84 students including one student from Thailand.
The monarch proceeded to tour the Student Council’s Association (MPP); Tadris Hall; lecturers rooms and classes; faculty offices; dining hall and canteen.
The visit provided an opportunity for students of KUPU SB to interact and greet with His Majesty.
KUPU SB is the only university college that offers training programme in religious teaching in the country.
Initially called Religious Teachers College of Seri Begawan (MPUSB), the institution changed its name to KUPU SB after the declaration of His Majesty as the Chancellor of KUPU SB in the titah during the celebration of Islamic New Year 1428 Hijrah corresponding to January 20, 2007.
There are 775 students (310 males and 465 females) undergoing programmes and courses at KUPU SB with 48 academicians.
Accompanying His Majesty was Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman and Ra’es of KUPU SB Dr Haji Adanan bin Haji Basar.