Creating a knowledgeable skilled and successful workforce towards realising Vision 2035
Bandar Seri Begawan - The development of the nation is crucially dependant on its literacy rate and hence, the Ministry of Education has incorporated tools within the education system to aid in such ambitions to develop literate individuals.
As the Minister of Education, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong delivered the main paper yesterday as part of the National Conference to Empower the Reading Culture, he explained that the school curriculum represents the essence instilled in the minds of students. Therefore, the curriculum can be the foundation to inculcate any form of national aspiration and shaping future generations in pursuant to our needs including the promotion of a reading culture.
"The Ministry of Education's commitment towards producing Bruneians who enjoy reading can be found in the curriculum as one of the basic skills that must to be mastered by students including skills in reading Jawi," he explained to a hall filled with educators, librarians and other relevant personnel from across the board.
Based on a recent general analysis on PSR results, the minister reiterated a correlation between achievements in language, mathematics and science, which further emphasised the need to strengthen reading within SPN21 that was introduced in 2009.
The SPN21 also recognises a student's continuous development progress from kindergarten, primary school and secondary school. This has since provided them with the ability to master reading, writing and calculations.
"Reading is an important aspect in the Malay and English Language. In the early stages of schooling, children are introduced to reading methods based on their abilities and interests to prepare them for the skills of reading.
"This must be mastered by students as a stepping stone to the continuance process of teaching and learning in the classroom and towards fostering reading."
As part of the ministry's efforts, the minister shared that the curriculum proposes reading be done through interesting activities via a more holistic approach that focuses on a 'more meaningful' learning experience.
To ensure that such objectives are achieved while answering a call made by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan to accomplish a 100 per cent literacy rate for Brunei, the Ministry of Education through its Curriculum Development Department has been supplying basic reading materials to government schools and equipping stall with teaching utilities to make the students' learning experience more enjoyable.
"Prioritising reading skills in the SPN21 curriculum is the ministry's step in empowering the development of human capital thus creating a generation that is hungry for knowledge and a community that is educated and informed to realise Vision 2035, which calls for a skilled and knowledgeable population to run an economy that is dynamic and resilient.
"The work conducted by the ministry and other relevant agencies in the field of literacy should be supported with initiatives that are outside school hours as more time is spent outside the school," the minister said while reminding that parents play a vital role in ensuring the success of their school programmes.
Though Brunei Darussalam's literacy rate has vastly improved over the last few decades, the minister acknowledged that it does have its fair share of challenges.
Research conducted by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) in 2007 involving 15,000 Year Four, Six and Eight students have indicated that 44 per cent of the then Year Six students were equipped with only basic literacy in the English Language and had inadequate independent reading skills, the minister said, has come to the serious attention of the ministry.
The SPN21 curriculum, he expressed, will provide students with the much-needed knowledge and life value's within the Malay Islamic Monarchy philosophy and other relevant characteristics that is needed fora mOre forward-looking nation and the encouragement of life-long learning that has been considered a must for developed countries including Brunei Darussalam.
"The creation of a readlng community through the education system is a genuine effort that can only be achieved in the long run. The Vision 2035 along with the Education Strategy Plan through the implementation of SPN21 is hoped to realised a nation that is highly educated."
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin