Bandar Seri Begawan - The Student Entrepreneurship Development Expo (SEDEx) which was organised by the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the 22nd Teacher's Day celebrations and held in every district recently highlighted various talents of the students in Brunei Darussalam.
Some of their talents could be developed into businesses and careers in the future. I had the opportunity to visit the SEDEx held in the Tutong, Temburong and Belait Districts just before the final term school holidays.
Firstly, I visited the SEDEx in the Tutong District. Here the students of secondary and primary schools gathered to showcase their talents in producing handicrafts, paintings, and in other hobbies and activities. I met 11-year-old Nazri Yong from Penapar Primary School who displayed two paintings. The first painting depicts blocks of flats in a town area.
Nazri said he enjoys drawing buildings over sceneries as he admires the architectural shapes. The painting, he said, took him an entire day to complete.
"Flats and high-rise buildings symbolise our country's development and modernisation," he said. His other painting shows a lighthouse that helps to guide ships at sea, which according to him represents the importance of education as a guide in life.
Nazri said his father and teachers were among those who encouraged him to pursue his talent in art. He had previously participated in various art competitions and even won a few prizes.
Another student, Muhd Nur Alif bin Awg Ash, 17, a Lower Sixth student of Tutong Sixth Form Centre (PTE Tutong) who displayed a few portraits, said he started drawing portraits about a year ago. He uses pencils of various grades to create his masterpieces. He likes to draw faces of people with different expressions in his portraits. He plans to take an art course at UBD after passing his GCE 'A' Level examinations in the future.
A group of students from Sayyidina Othman Secondary School, meanwhile, showcased their talent in photography. They set up a mini-studio to demonstrate the techniques of taking photos of a model.
The young photographers also showed how they edited the photos using various kinds of computer software. Among the photographers was Najiha, who demonstrated her skills in taking photos with a digital camera.
One week later I went to the Temburong District to observe more closely the talents of the students there. The SEDEx was held at the Bumiputera Shopping Complex in Pekan Bangar. Although Temburong is geographically separated from the rest of the districts of Brunei, the students there had a lot of amazing talent.
Firstly, I met 10-year-old Nuraziera binti Hj Mohd Mosley, a Year 5 student of Kenua Primary School, Temburong. During the SEDEx, Nuraziera showcased her talent in storytelling.
Everyone was amazed when Nuraziera stood on stage in front of the audience and began to tell a story called "The Ungrateful Farmer".
According to Nuraziera, the story was about a farmer and his wife who left his baby under the care of their cat. One day a snake came to the house and tried to bite the baby. But the cat struggled to fight against the snake before finally killing the snake. When the farmer returned home, they were surprised to see blood on their cat's mouth.
They thought the cat must have bitten their baby, and this led the farmer to kill the cat instantly. However, in the end they realised that the cat was actually the one that protected their baby and killed the snake.
Nuraziera said the moral of the story was: "Think twice before making any decision". She took about four to five days to memorise the story.
When asked her how she felt standing in front of the guests and the audiences, Nuraziera said, "Actually I felt a little bit nervous but I kept saying to myself the word 'relax'. I also imagined those who present were only teachers and students. And I also expected to receive applause from my teacher who always said 'very good' every time I finished my storytelling. These have helped me to overcome my nervous feeling."
Storytelling is not new to Nuraziera as she always took part in storytelling competitions especially in the Temburong District. Her parents and teachers were those who encourage her to pursue her talent in storytelling.
With the courage to speak in front of hundreds of people, Nuraziera hopes to develop her talent by joining debate competitions, to be a chairperson in a forum and, if possible, to become a news reader for television and radio in the future.
Meanwhile, Dk Nurul Intan Mas Edayu, a Year 10 student of Sultan Hasan Secondary School displayed a few paintings at the expo. One of her paintings titled "Bunga" (flower) has attracted the visitors. According to her, the artwork was produced with colourful papers which were glued on a black paper.
"The painting took one whole day to complete. This painting is an abstract concept painting. I also like to draw other concepts of art including sceneries, still life, a little bit (of) portrait and others," said Dk Nurul Intan Mas Edayu.
She never missed any art competition among schools in the Temburong District, and so far she had managed to get a consolation prize. As she usually gets good results in art, she plans to pursue her study in art to the higher level in the future and to become an art teacher or an art designer. She gets encouragement from her family and teachers.
The following day I went to the Belait District. Here SEDEx was held at the Tamu Tudong Saji in Pekan Belait.
I saw primary and secondary school students competing against each other to demonstrate and sell their products. The students even approached the visitors to offer their products such as handicrafts, paintings, calligraphies and others.
The batik paintings produced by the pre-vocational students of Perdana Wazir Secondary School really attracted my attention. In terms of quality, their products were not far different from the batik paintings produced by other Asean countries such Malaysia and Indonesia.
Meanwhile, students of Sayyidina Al! Secondary School had come up with artworks produced on tiles. To me this was really creative and had its own artistic value.
Other schools also showcased their students' talents in cooking, face painting and even making toys for children.
In conclusion, I must admit that the SEDEx has successfully highlighted the real talents of Brunei's students. Without SEDEx, I would not know that we have many young creative people here in Brunei.
I hope in the future I could see many hidden talents in SEDEx that could be developed into businesses and careers.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin