BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – If the teaching profession is to remain a top career choice in the sultanate, the welfare of teachers must remain an imperative, His Majesty the Sultan said on Monday as Brunei celebrated Teachers Day.

In a titah delivered before hundreds of teachers at the International Convention Centre, the monarch stressed that a highly-educated and skilled population is central to a nation’s development and competitiveness.

“The main way to produce successful human resources is through a quality education system… It is through teachers, and the influence that they hold, that the personalities of our nation are shaped,” he said.

“The teaching ecosystem — from recruitment to professional development — needs improvement, so that teachers are able to provide their best.”

HM the Sultan tours an exhibition staged at the ICC in conjunction with Teachers Day 2018. Photo: Infofoto

The sultan also called on the Ministry of Education to improve the curriculum for the Master of Teaching programme at Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education (SHBIE).

“We need well-trained, qualified teachers who are capable of shaping good character [in students],” he said.

As Brunei navigates the impact the digital revolution, the profound effect of technology on daily life necessitates changes in the education curriculum and teacher training.

“The progress of the digital industry focuses on the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and the development of intelligent robots. These are the leading causes of change, especially in terms of employment, industrial structure, social interaction and systems of governance,” His Majesty said.

Today’s teachers must be equipped with “21st century skills” to be effective in an environment shaped by globalisation, he added.

His Majesty presents the Meritorious Teacher Award to Dato Hj Kasim Hj Lamat on September 24, 2018. Photo: Infofoto

As part of annual celebrations for Teachers Day, the sultan presented awards to 19 teachers in recognition of their contribution to Brunei’s education system.

Retired educators, Dato Seri Setia Ustaz Hj  Kasim Hj Lamat and Pg Datin Paduka Hjh Hairani Pg Maharaja Lela Pengiran Muda Abdul Kahar, received the Meritorious Teacher Awards.

Another four teachers were given the Excellent Teachers Award, while 13 teachers received a special mention award. The recipients came from various educational institutions ranging from primary schools to tertiary institutions.