HM Sultan Brunei Laments Students' Low Proficiency in Quran Reading

Sultan laments students’ low proficiency in Quran reading
on: March 10, 2017

| Hakim Hayat |

THE level of Al-Quran reading proficiency and precision in carrying out prayers among students in the country is indicating a worrying trend, 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 said.

In light of this, constant review and monitoring of religious education at religious and public schools are needed to ensure its effectiveness, His Majesty said in a titah delivered on the occasion of the finals of National Al-Quran Reading Competition for Adults 1438 Hijrah/2017 held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas last evening.

Citing a study initiated by His Majesty himself and carried out by the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) and Ministry of Education (MoE) last year for students at all levels of education, the monarch highlighted that about 81 per cent of students are not carrying out prayers consistently while four per cent have not carried out any form of prayers.

His Majesty went on to note that in Al-Quran reading section of the study, it was found that only 41 per cent reads the Al-Quran consistently, while 65 per cent of the respondents felt that they are inept at reading Al-Quran with the right form of Tajwid (the correct pronounciation).

“These statistics demonstrate that the subject matter of prayers and Al-Quran must be given attention,” added His Majesty, while noting that the prevailing weakness in the areas must have stemmed from ineffective teaching and supervision methods.

“This is inevitable, if teachers are weak and the system is disparate, of course, students will also follow heed,” the monarch said, urging that the matter, especially regarding teachers and the system, should be looked into, instead of blaming the students.

With the government’s compulsory Religious Education Order in force, His Majesty said this policy has been welcomed by parents, and now the public, especially parents, are very passionate about religious education; apart from enrolling their children in religious school, some parents are utilising private tutors to supplement their children’s Al-Quran and prayer proficiencies.

His Majesty, however, cautioned the public and relevant authorities that they must ensure that the private tutors, whether they are religious teachers or those holding any other special positions, must have credentials to teach Al-Quran from the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB). “This is in line with the stipulated laws. It is not just to guarantee the quality of teaching, but also to monitor the authenticity of religious teaching, in line with the country’s understanding and practices,” His Majesty added.

On the matter of the lack of praying habit among students, His Majesty said this must not be taken lightly but must be collectively handled by the relevant agencies including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

In the titah, His Majesty also highlighted the lack of appreciation shown by certain people in the community on religious obligations like prayers, citing that some parties, whether in the government or private sector, would organise programmes or events without taking into account the need for their participants to perform the prayer. His Majesty said that these participants are usually students, the youth and also others.

The monarch warned that this practice must not continue. “Appreciate the fact that performing the prayer is ‘Fardu Ain’ or compulsory to be carried out when it is time. Any programme or event should not be an excuse to neglect the prayer,” he added.

Earlier, His Majesty praised the increasing number of the youth taking part in such competitions at all levels and said their enthusiasm in learning Al-Quran and taking it to the next level is commendable.

The monarch also advised that to enable improvements in Al-Quran reading, the country must have a facility to enable people to learn Al-Quran reading with the “Tarannum” (melody intonation).

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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