‘TEACH­ERS CRU­CIAL IN NA­TION-BUILD­ING’

They are agents of change who shape so­ci­ety, says Sul­tan Nazrin

New Straits Times - - News -

NURADZIMMAH DAIM

AND BALQIS JAZIMAH ZAHARI KUALA KANGSAR news@nst.com.my

THE role of teach­ers goes be­yond class­room lessons and is in­stru­men­tal in na­tion-build­ing, said Sul­tan of Perak Sul­tan Nazrin Muiz­zud­din Shah.

He said the gov­ern­ment had, since 1957, placed ut­most pri­or­ity on ed­u­ca­tion and the role of teach­ers as agents of change to shape the minds of so­ci­ety.

He said while the coun­try was fac­ing threats from the com­mu­nists and racial con­fronta­tions, which led to the May 13, 1969 in­ci­dent, the gov­ern­ment with Tun Ab­dul Razak Hussein at the helm per­se­vered and chose to ed­u­cate the peo­ple in­stead of ex­pand­ing mil­i­tary strength.

“Dur­ing the emer­gency, the coun­try was un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Na­tional Op­er­a­tions Coun­cil with Razak as the di­rec­tor. He chose a formula that pro­vided ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties for the peo­ple by build­ing more uni­ver­si­ties, col­leges and in­sti­tutes that came with schol­ar­ships for poor fam­i­lies.

“Teach­ers con­tin­ued to play a vi­tal role in lead­er­ship that, un­til the 1980s, 40 per cent of the del­e­gates at the Umno gen­eral as­sem­blies con­sisted of teach­ers.

“The po­si­tion of ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter was seen as a step­ping stone for politi­cians and teach­ers were king­mak­ers,” he said at a lun­cheon to mark the state-level Teach­ers Day cel­e­bra­tion at Is­tana Iskan­dariah here.

He re­minded par­ents not to rely solely on teach­ers in ed­u­cat­ing their chil­dren and stressed the im­por­tance of up­hold­ing the fam­ily in­sti­tu­tion.

Ed­u­ca­tion and re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tions played an im­por­tant role in the de­vel­op­ment of a na­tion.

Rahimah Mohd Sura, 63, former prin­ci­pal of SM Sains Raja Tun Azlan Shah was named Tokoh Guru, while 10 other teach­ers were hon­oured for their con­tri­bu­tions.

PIC BY MUHAIZAN YAHYA

Sul­tan of Perak Sul­tan Nazrin Muiz­zud­din Shah pre­sent­ing the Tokoh Guru award to Rahimah Mohd Sura in Kuala Kangsar yes­ter­day.

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