New books for religious education get positive response

National 3 minutes, 14 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

NEW textbooks used in religious schools are effective in improving students’ knowledge of Islamic education, said the acting director of the Islamic Studies Department (JPI) yesterday. 

In an interview, Hjh Rosita Hj Yahya said from their research and observations about new textbooks used in religious schools since 2007, the department found that students have a better understanding of the content than the previous batch of textbooks. 

The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) through JPI had published more than 45 new textbooks for religious school education, aiming to improve and update its curriculum in line with the needs of the current education system. 

Most of the former publications have been replaced with new textbooks, such as Zainultalib in which every subject textbooks under it have been replaced with new ones.

“JPI had successfully published new textbooks for all educational stages for all levels of education to replace the former textbooks that have been used for a long time,” said the acting director, adding that the updating and publishing of textbooks for religious schools have been implemented in stages.

She said even though the contents of new textbooks are short and precise, they still retain the original curriculum and provide students with easier guidelines for understanding.

She said the modifications of these textbooks include the content, language, sentence structure, the type and size of the font.

Some additional graphics, illustrations and colours that are attractive and appropriate in accordance with the ages of the students are also included in the transformation of these books, she added.

“The publication of new books can enhance the effectiveness of the quality of teaching and learning in schools and it attracts students to participate in class,” she said.

Prior to the initiative of improving the religious educational curriculum, religious schools students used textbooks that were heavy in text, with outmoded fonts and graphics and without specific workbooks.

Meanwhile, in 2012, JPI had begun publishing workbook in stages for religious schools starting from preschool level until primary 3.

The publication of the workbooks for religious education, said Hjh Rosita is aimed to facilitate students’ understanding of the subject matter as well as assist and help teachers in implementing the learning process.

Besides religious schools, JPI also distributed latest edition of textbooks and workbooks for Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) for primary and secondary schools recently.

The department said that for primary school, JPI has been distributing four textbooks and workbooks for Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 since last year.

Meanwhile, four IRK textbooks for students Years 7, 8, 10 and 11 had been distributed to students in 2008, 2009, 2015 and 2016 respectively.

When asked about the importance of preserving the textbooks, she urged students to always be responsible in handling and taking care of the new textbooks.

“Parents and teachers are responsible for advising and reminding the children to appreciate and take good care of these books and not damage them,” said Hjh Rosita.

In an interview with some of the parents, most of them agreed that the new textbooks provided by JPI helped students to improve their understanding of religious knowledge.

Masdianawaty Mohd Irwandi, a mother of six, said that she was impressed by the new textbooks as they are quite effective in creating the students' interest in reading the contents.

“The structure and organisation of the content in these new books are also good as they are so much easier to follow and understand than the old ones.”

Meanwhile, another parent, Norshaminan Shamsul Rijal, said that other than the attractive graphics, the new books also have simple diagrams (almost similar to mind-mapping) which made it easier for readers or students to understand.

Moreover, most of the topics in the books are followed by detailed but clear explanations, he said.

“This further enables students to have a better understanding of the subjects, rather than the previous ones where the books were so heavy in text and quite complicated to comprehend,” he added.

The Brunei Times