HM: We need a teaching standard
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzadin Waddaulah and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday called for a teaching standard that can be used as a benchmark for quality, similar to that of other developed countries.
His Majesty called for the standard in his titah at the 19th Teachers' Day celebration at the International Convention Centre in Berakas. The call comes in light of developed and developing nations today constantly striving to improve their education systems.Speaking on Brunei's situation, His Majesty expressed his gratitude that the Sultanate is on the same track with these nations, with the recent paradigm shift in the education system.
"As a (small) nation, we cannot isolate ourselves from engaging the waves of change towards progress," His Majesty said. "Instead, we should continue to focus our attention and efforts in reaping better results as well as prepare ways to make it a reality because time will not wait for us," he added.
His Majesty, however, reminded those present that in the urgency and passion in pursuing development, Brunei must not slide from our pillars of strength that form the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) philosophy."The elements contained in MIB are important to preserve as our pillar for preparing a generation that is knowledgeable, faithful and pious," the monarch said.
In addition to having a high-quality education system, he highlighted the importance of the teachers' role. "If this is neglected, it would be hard for us to optimally achieve our targets. That is why efforts towards preparing quality teachers are a right and justified move," His Majesty said.The monarch touched on the overall quality of the country's education system, saying that he "had witnessed our country achieve a very good position in the international arena".
The success in the international arena included Brunei's successful implementation of its Education For All (EFA) programme.Under the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2009, published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisations (Unesco), Brunei is ranked among countries that achieved a high EFA Development Index (EDI).
"Brunei is at the top position among Asean countries and is placed 36th out of 129 countries," said His Majesty."Our success in implementing EFA in this country has ensured that its residents are educated. This puts Brunei in the same group of countries with Very High Human Development Index, such as Japan and the USA.
"According to the Human Development Report 2009 by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Brunei is ranked 30th position out of 182 countries.These are the result of a collective effort from all, His Majesty said, adding that "a part of it come from teachers".This year's Teachers' Day is themed Guru Berkualiti Teras Kecemerlangan Pendidikan, roughly translated as "Quality teachers are the core to the success of education".
In his titah, His Majesty echoed the theme, saying that quality teachers are needed to educate and enrich students with knowledge and skills through the use of interesting and effective teaching methods.
"Teachers are agents in creating innovative individuals with a high level of thinking and multi-skills. This is the kind of teachers we hope bring changes in achieving the National Vision 2035," His Majesty added. He also acknowledged the challenge teachers face from technological change. Teachers today are the "digital immigrants", while the students are the "digital natives", he said, noting that teachers have to work harder in facing all forms of progress. " These are the teachers we need in facing the continuously ever-changing world," he said. (The Brunei Times)