Thirty thousand, seven hundred and forty eight (30,748) pupils are attending Religious School and five thousand, two hundred and fifty four (5,254) more are entering Religious Pre-School nationwide this academic year. The total is a significant development since the Compulsory Religious Education System was enforced in 2012. The matter was highlighted by the Minister of Religious Affairs in an interview with RTB during a working visit to Pengiran Anak Puteri Majeedah Nurul Bolqiah Religious School in Kampong Kilanas yesterday afternoon.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman also explained it is an offence if parents do not send their children who are above 7 years old or not yet 15 years old to Religious School. This is the case unless the parents or guardians have specific reasons which are acceptable to the relevant authorities. The Minister added the number of pupils entering religious schools before the law was enforced was already large and five years after the enforcement of compulsory religious education, the number is even greater. This indicates an awareness on the related law among parents and guardians. The Minister also highlighted that formal systematic religious education was introduced in the country in 1956. Informal religious education existed in Brunei Darussalam even much earlier.
The visit was meant to witness and monitor the enrolment of new pupils to the religious schools. During the visit, Yang Berhormat Pehin toured Pre-school and Primary 1 classes. 21 pre-school pupils are in the morning session while 45 others attend the afternoon session at the school. The Minister's delegation included Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang, the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Source: Radio Television Brunei