KUALA KANGSAR, May 20 ― The agenda of human development must precede other development agenda because studies show that the civilisation of a nation can be destroyed with the destruction of the family institution, education and exemplary leaders and scholars, said the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah.
He said the family institution would be destroyed when parents opt to surrender the responsibility of educating their children totally to domestic maids and teachers.
He also said that education could be destroyed if the role of teachers was not accorded the proper recognition and they were burdened with tasks that forced them to neglect their fundamental duty of teaching and educating.
“Leaders and scholars can be destroyed when their integrity as leaders raises doubts and the credibility of their words is disputed,” he said at a luncheon in honour of educators in conjunction with the Perak-level 2017 Teachers’ Day celebration, at the Istana Iskandariah here today.
The sultan said the education agenda could not be compromised at all and the quality of education could not be sacrificed because the development of a nation depended on its citizens shaped by teachers.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said it had been proven that countries which gave priority to the education agenda and defined education expenditure as an investment that paid huge dividends were nations with a wise vision.
“The world of tomorrow is born in today’s school environment and teachers take on the role of architects of a nation state; teachers are the most generous of benefactors and the trustees of the welfare of the masses,” he said.
The sultan said teachers were the soldiers at the front lines responsible for shaping the minds of the citizens of a nation, while schools were an important battleground to win over young minds.
He said the input from teachers could not be neglected when formulating education policies because ‘the war of knowledge’ acknowledged the input from the soldiers on the battleground as more valuable than the assumption of thinkers.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said Putrajaya would be able to formulate more sound policies if the laments from the foot soldiers in the interior schools, such as in the resettlement programmes in Banun and Pos Kemar in Gerik and Pos Piah and Pos Legap in Sungai Siput were given proper attention.
He said that if there was too much of a gap between the reality on the battlefield and the assumption at the control centre, it was feared that the policies and instructions would be feeble.
The sultan drew attention to the fact that the effective role of schools and teachers in the success of a nation was given little recognition at the moment.
“Today, Malaysia is recognised as one of the most advanced nations among developing countries that achieved independence after World War II, and this was possible because of the role of schools and teachers of yesteryear,” he said. — Bernama