‘Completion of religious education is important’

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds

HAVING religious education is important to prevent social ills, said Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah Hj Sulaiman.

Speaking during the 12th Legislative Council Meeting yesterday, she said religious education is an important component to ensuring a strong family unit.

“During a discussion session with the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) earlier this year, it was disclosed that many family institutions in the country are facing social challenges,” she said.

The LegCo member stood byMoRA’s views that religious education should be instilled from a young age and become an intergral part of a family unit in order to ward off unwanted social ills.

YB Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah said media reports in 2013 show that every year, around 1,000 students fail to complete their religious education.

“Other than monitoring problems that occur within a household and focusing on the performance of students during examinations, it is also crucial for us to focus on efforts to reduce the number of students failing to finish religious school.”

She urged for the matter to be one of the main focuses for the ministry’s key performance indicator (KPI).

YB Datin Paduka Hjh Salbiah also enquired on whether the ministry observes the attendance of students since the enforcement of the Compulsory Religious Education Order 2012.

Minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman responded that he did not have complete information regarding the matter.

The Compulsory Religious Education Order 2012 affects children born on or after January 1, 2006.

A previous article states that children are required to attend the entire duration of religious education, which can be between seven and eight years.

Parents are responsible for their children’s attendance. In the order, responsibility also comes under either a guardian or any persons that has legal or actual control of the child.

A fine of $5,000 or the possibility of imprisonment not exceeding a year will be imposed for failing to follow the order.

Regarding matters in the household, the minister said it can be caused by several factors.

According to the minister, statistics from the past few years show consistent rate of divorce at 600 cases a year. The main cause for divorce has been cited to be as ‘irreconcilable differences’.

“A random survey has shown that most delinquents found to have committed crimes or abusing drugs did not attend or finish religious school.”

The minister said however that this was before the enforcement of the Compulsory Religious Education Order 2012.

“Religious education was not required then. Now that it is and we hope the future generation will become the best Muslims who perform Fardhu Ain (basic obligatory responsibilities of a Muslim in daily life).”

The Brunei Times