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).
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)…(1.11.1.Borneo Bulletin.3.1.17)