TEACHERS do not only required to be knowledgeable, but also has the ability to guide or lead students towards progress in an ever more challenging global environment, said Deputy Minister of Education yesterday.
Speaking during the launching of a book titled: Hebatnya Guru (or teacher's greatness) at the State Mufti Department, Dato Seri Setia Hj Yusoff Hj Ismail said that just last year, there was only 10,654 teachers at various levels in comparison to the total of 113, 872 students found in the country.
Because of this, teachers have to be acknowledged, respected and appreciated for their contributions and service, he added.
He elaborated that Brunei has been celebrating both teachers and educators during Teachers' Day since 1991, whereby selected teachers were honoured with three different awards: the Guru Berbakti (Dedicated Teacher), Guru Tua (Senior Teacher) and Guru Cemerlang (Excellent Teacher) awards.
"A new award, the Sultan Hj Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Education Award, was later introduced in 2011," he said. "It is the highest award given to individuals, who have given significant contributions to the development and progress of education and brought on visible changes to the education landscape in this country."
Thus, with the great roles that teachers play, they also receive their rewards in the afterlife, for as long as the knowledge they have taught continues to be benefited by their students, he said.
He added that the book launched was expected to motivate teachers in their roles as qudwah (example to be followed), uswah (noble character), scholar and light of the society.
Meanwhile, the Director of Administration at the State Mufti Department, Dato Paduka Ahmad Bukhari Pehin Siraja Khatib Hj Abu Hanifah, said that the public perception towards teachers has diminished.
"Before, teachers were held in high regard. Now the perception has changed so much that a career as a teacher is no longer the top choice of the people," Dato Ahmad Bukhari said.
He added that to shift back to the former perception, the great responsibilities held by teachers have to be promoted from the grassroots of the community, particularly among students, in order to have an long-lasting change.
The Hebatnya Guru was written by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz Juned, the State Mufti.
It is a rearranged version of the motivational talk YB Pehin Dato Dr Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz had delivered at the Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (KUPU SB) in August 20, 2008.
This book is not merely full of motivational speeches, it also serves as a recognition towards the excellence, authority, honour and grandeur of teachers.
It is available at $2.00 per copy.
During the book launching ceremony, waqaf (endowments) in the form of various religious books were donated to 10 educational institutions such as the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Library, Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University (UNISSA) Library and also, the Language and Literature Bureau.
DIYANA IBRAHIM AND ASHYIQ MASRI
The Brunei Times
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