| Izah Azahari |
MUSLIM children between the age of seven and 15 years must go attend a religious school to obtain pre-school and primary religious education, according to the Compulsory Religious Education Order 2012.
This was stated yesterday by Minister of Religious Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman during the annual certificate presentation ceremony for 65 Primary 6 students of Jerudong International School (JIS) Religious School who obtained excellent results in the Religious Education Primary Schools Certificate (SSSRU) Examination 1437H/2016.
“JIS has covered religious education needs for children who are required to receive religious education in religious schools,” the minister noted, adding that “JIS’ initiative to support the Order has helped more than 200 Muslim students to obtain religious education.”
So far, the minister said, there are only three private educational institutions that provide religious school education to its Muslim students, which are JIS, Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah School and International School Brunei (ISB). “The Ministry of Religious Affairs welcomes other private schools to follow the example set by these three private schools.” The minister also emphasised the importance of understanding and cooperation between parents and teachers, while highlighting that SSSRU is part of the initiatives in carrying out the Fardhu ‘Ain requirements.
“Religious education is a part of the national education system. It is something that is compulsory as set forth by law in the Compulsory Education Order, 2012.”
The minister explained that in 2017, according to statistics of the Islamic Studies Department, 5,497 Muslim citizens and residents registered for pre-school education in their religious schools.
Currently, there are 36,701 students in 159 religious schools across the country – from Primary 1 to Primary 6. Some 90 schools share school buildings with the Ministry of Education and five with the Ministry of Defence.
The Minister of Religious Affairs emphasised that with the conscious approach of Muslims in the country coupled with a strong support base and monarchy practices which recognise the importance of Islam, especially through Islamic education and the Syiar Islam, there is good hope that Brunei will remain to be a Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) country blessed by Allah the Almighty with peace and security for all its people.