Hundreds of students lined up on the capital’s sidewalks yesterday for the 76th birthday of 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 at Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, waving the national flag to welcome the monarch’s arrival in an event that teachers said instilled patriotism.
The Weekend spoke with school representatives regarding their preparations for the event.
Lambak Kiri Secondary School Principal Rosmawati binti Mohammad said she was grateful their school took part in the celebration, allowing their Year 9 students to experience the occasion.
“The students are excited to be here – they love to participate in these events. We also encourage their involvement in national events to instil the spirit of patriotism,” she said.
She noted that parents also displayed their patriotic spirit, with some sending their children to school as early as 5am.
Part of their preparations involved ensuring the adherence to the health guidelines.
Rosmawati said students were reminded to screen for COVID-19 with the antigen rapid test kit the night before and to report their results online.
At school, teachers confirmed the students’ health, and those showing even slight symptoms were asked to not participate.
“We also reminded students to bring along their own hand sanitisers and extra face masks,” the principal added.
Such emphasis on health was also shared by Sayyidina Hasan Secondary School teachers Hajah Nesreen binti Dato Paduka Haji Ishaaq and Hajah Normardhiah, who said that the day prior to the event, students were briefed on the standard operating procedures.
“These include wearing a face mask in crowded areas and maintaining appropriate distance between themselves,” said Hajah Normardhiah.
Around 200 Year 7 students from Sayyidina Hasan Secondary School participating yesterday were visibly excited, Hajah Nesreen said.
Their enthusiasm was evident, with some coming to school as early as 5.30am, and their parents expressing support.
“This event can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the children. It’s also one way to instil patriotism in them and a sense of love towards our monarch,” said Hajah Nesreen.
“When they see His Majesty passes by, they get excited, which is a way for us to develop our love for the monarch outside of the classroom.”