The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) is researching and evaluating the current school times for religious schools in the country to better suit current developments and maintain relevance, said Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman.
He made the comments during a celebratory event for 328 students who achieved excellence in their public examinations at BRIDEX Conference Hall in Jerudong yesterday.
Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin said the role of education is increasingly challenging, including in religious education. The minister stressed the need to ensure it remains relevant in fulfilling the country’s desire towards an educated, pious and charitable generation.
The religious education system also needs to be constantly dynamic and progressive in going through transformation, in tandem with current development and challenges, the minister said, adding that fine-tuning of the school time of religious schools is one of the challenges.
The adjustment, he said, will be part of their future plan, which will be a significant value added initiative that will strengthen religious education, as well as fulfil the needs of concerned parties.
The adjustment of religious school times will involve concerned parties, especially in the government, to evaluate its implication in providing or improving infrastructures such as classrooms and teaching workforce.
Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin also lauded the country’s Arabic and religious schools for recording excellence in public examinations (in primary and secondary levels), despite challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Primary School Assesment last year, 97.37 per cent in Arabic schools achieved at least grade ‘C’ in all subjects, and 39.77 per cent achieved five ‘A’ grades, which is a 9.74 per cent improvement from 2019.
Arabic school students who took two public examinations in the secondary level – Brunei Religious Education Certificate (SPUB) and BC GCE ‘O’ Level – have also shown improvement in the results, with those achieving five Jayyid in SPUB improved by 0.42 per cent while those who achieved at least five ‘O’ levels also improved by 19.75 per cent, he added.
The minister also shared that in the Religious Primary Schools Education Certificate (SSSRU), those who passed have improved by 2.75 per cent compared to results three years ago.