Pehin Abu Bakar in talks with his counterpart in Qatar
Qatar - The Ministry of Education is considering the establishment of an autonomous institute of vocational and technical education (VTE) as part of a rebranding effort of vocational and technical education that will be industry-led to ensure that the dynamic changing needs of the various skills sectors in Brunei Darussalam can be swiftly met.
Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, said this as he called on Saad bin Ibrahim Al-Mahmoud, the Minister of Education and Higher Education of Qatar, as part of his bur-day working visit to Qatar.
It was the first official meeting between the two ministers following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of education in January. The meeting provided an opportunity to further strengthen and set into motion key aspects of the MoU.
During the meeting, Pehin Dato Haji Awang Abu Bakar also highlighted the need for the reviewing of the vocational and technical education by Brunei's Ministry of Education based on the changing landscape of workforce requirements in the Brunei setting.
The Qatari minister had earlier expressed his interest on the VTE system in Brunei.
Pehin Dato Haji Awang Abu Bakar commended on Qatar's initiatives in developing its human capital through improving the quality of education, a move he stated as being similarly undertaken by Brunei's Ministry of Education in its preparation for a knowledge-based economy and demands for a globally competitive workforce.
In response, Saad bin Ibrahim Al-Mahmoud provided an overview of the current progress being undertaken and challenges faced by his ministry, highlighting several standards that have been identified as integral to the success of the initiative, such as reforming the education system which provides schools with a degree of autonomy The challenge, as with all reforms, is in translating these standards to the mindsets of teachers in the schools.
The two ministers discussed further on developing bilateral cooperation in accordance with the MoU in which both sides have identified several key areas that will be addressed immediately, particularly on the networking of schools from both countries, creating global classrooms where students can work on projects and learn from each other's culture virtually.
Moreover, Pehin Dato Haji Awang Abu Bakar also shared several projects and initiatives being carried out by the Ministry of Education in Brunei, notably the multiple-pathway approach provided by the SPN21 curriculum, the Model Schools project and the School Leadership Programme.
In addition to the meeting, both sides have expressed interests in continuing discussions on refining other matters of mutual interests between Brunei and Qatar through the formation of a joint working group.
While in Qatar, the minister will be attendingthe4thWorldInnovationSummit for Education (WISE) on invitation by the Qatar Foundation. The three-day summit is a platform for collaboration in building the future of education and will witness the participation of more than 1,000 education and corporate leaders from over 100 countries attending more than 70 sessions ranging from early childhood education to designing education futures.
Accompanying Pehin Dato Haji Awang Abu Bakar is Dato Paduka Dr Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi, Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education, as well as senior officers from various departments under the Ministry of Education.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin