Bandar Seri Begawan - In the efforts to monitor the current developments of a construction of the new educational infrastructures, the Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, carried out working visits to three different educational institutions in the Kampong Mulaut and Kg Masin areas yesterday, which include Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre, Mulaut Primary School and Masin Secondary School.
Also in the tour group were the Deputy Minister of Education, Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Yusoff bin Hj Ismail; and the Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education, Dr Hj Junaidi bin Hj Abd Rahman; as well as Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the ministry, the Director-General of Education, directors, and senior officers from the Ministry of Education.
First stop was the Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre building site. The visit was aimed in taking a closer look at the progress of the construction works. During the visit, the minister was given a briefing regarding the developments and progress of the construction project by the Acting Director of Planning and Estate Management, Ministry of Education, Hj Omarali Hj Muhammad Jaafar and the main consultant of the project from Arikitek Opfis, Awg Masri Hj Taha. The minister also viewed the infrastructures which had not been completed until now.
The Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre construction project is in accordance with long-term plans and aspirations of the Ministry of Education to provide new educational institutions that can accommodate the proliferation of the number of sixth form students through the National Development Plan 2007-2012.
The project, which costs B$28,327,685.78, began on May 2, 2011 and will take about 20 months to complete. Among the facilities provided include the academic buildings, administrative building, Art Studio and Design Technology building, science laboratories, lecture halls, a library and a multi-purpose hall.
The minister and the delegation then proceeded to Mulaut Primary School, where he was welcomed by the Acting Headmistress, Dyg Naniratena Teo Abdullah.
At the school, the minister paid greater attention to the condition of school buildings, including a provision of educational infrastructures in providing facilities that can accommodate students in the future.
This is important in order to ensure the comfort of the learning environments for the students, so that the quality of education will continuously increase and develop.
The school is included in the planning of the Ministry of Education to build a new building in the near future, at the same site through the 10th National Development Plan. The new building, which to be fully equipped with facilities, will be able to accommodate the needs of the National Education System of the 21" Century. At this time, the school has a total of 171 students and 21 teachers.
The minister and the delegation later went to Masin Secondary School where the entourage were welcomed by the school principal, Hj Jafri bin Haji Suhaili.
In the briefing session, Haji Jafri, among others said that the school will continue to improve the school performances and develop interest as well as skills of their students, whilst providing a better learning environment. These aspects are in line with the National Education System to build the foundations of learning skills towards lifetime education preparation, as well as develop the attitudes and interests of each individual.
Although many secondary schools are aware of the importance to foster and develop 21" Century skills (generic skills), the minister stressed the need for high schools to emphasise and focus entirely on students' mastery of subjects in Bahasa Melayu , English, Mathematics and Science.
The minister was also impressed with signs shown by the school in their efforts with the early intervention and remedial (recovery) to students from Year 7 and Year 8 by adapting methods or low level approaches that have demonstrated the effectiveness of using TIARA which uses phonics, and Kaedah Gabung Bunyi Kata (KGBK) for Bahasa Melayu.
In regards to this, according to the minister, there is a need to increase closer articulation between primary and secondary education in order for students with lower ability and higher ability to be able to continuously be guided effectively.
Earlier, the Minister of Education had the opportunity to interact with the students and take a closer look at their business activities that to be implemented at the school. Activities under the Department of Business and Arts Technology (BAT) are annual activities of the school which aim to provide exposure to the students in relation to the actual nature of entrepreneurship in the context of business.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin