Brunei sets up body to help Arabic schools

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (The Brunei Times/ANN) - Established in June this year, the committee looks to ensure that Arabic studies are implemented on the right track and to ensure secondary religious studies do not deviate from the Arabic medium.

A committee was recently established to help Arabic schools keep track of their future directions, said the Minister of Religious affairs Awg Badaruddin Awg Othman said this during the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Damit Girls Arabic Religious Secondary School (SUAMPRIPAD) 50th golden jubilee celebration at the school in Batu Satu.

He said Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah recently approved the establishment of the committee to ensure that Arabic schools operate in line with the late Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien’s vision.

Established in June this year, the committee looks to ensure that Arabic studies are implemented on the right track and to ensure secondary religious studies do not deviate from the Arabic medium.

Awg Badaruddin said the Arabic school review committee was implemented in accordance to the titah from the late Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien when the former monarch laid the foundation for both Arab schools in 1964 and 1966.

He said the foundation has continued to be strengthened with titah from His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah on July 14, 1979, on Novem-ber 23, 1991 and on July 15, 1992.

The religious affairs minister said SUAMPRIPAD’s 50 years of age is a landmark that signifies the importance of religious education and Arabic language to women in Brunei, as stated by the late Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien.

The late sultan previously said SUAMPRIPAD would result in hundreds or even thousands of Bruneian women to be knowledgeable in religious affairs and in the development of the country.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Awg Badaruddin said efforts to ensure the continuity of Arabic schools in Brunei must be maintained to boost human capital development in the sultanate.

The religious minister said, “Our job is to look forward and ensure the continuity of the Arabic school. We must maintain its relevance and its positive impact on the development of human capital that is much needed by the country.”

He said there are currently seven religious Arabic schools with 4642 students enrolled in Brunei.

“There is no doubt that this shows confidence among members of the public on the relevance of the Arabic schools as part of the schools system,” said the minister, adding that this gives even more reason to develop the foundation of secondary religious schools.

The seven Arabic secondary schools in the sultanate are — SUAMPRIPAD, Hassanal Bolkiah Arabic Secondary School, Mahad Islam Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan Arabic Preparatory School, Temburong Arabic Preparatory School, Belait Arabic School and Sungai Akar Arabic School.

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