| James Kon |
EIGHTEEN graduates – from various disciplines and universities – were chosen for the English Teaching Apprenticeship (ETA) programme as the first intake, which was officially launched by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, the Minister of Education, at The Core Lecture Theatre, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
The programme is the eighth and latest initiative under the Brunei-US English Language Enrichment Project for Asean.
With the main objective of promoting the sustainability of the Brunei-US project, the programme also seeks to widen employment opportunities of local graduates through enhancement of their employability attributes and attitudes.
Organised for the first time by UBD and the East-West Center in Hawaii, the programme focuses on applied learning where the apprentices get to integrate classroom learning with real life applications on the job.
Speaking about the ETA programme, Dr Salbrina Hj Sharbawi, the Project Executive from UBD said, “The ETA is a 14-month programme that sees the apprentices spending six weeks in Brunei Darussalam and another six weeks in Hawaii. The focus of the ETA is more on applied learning where the apprentices will not only participate in seminars, workshops and lectures but also undergo classroom-embedded training in schools in both Brunei and Hawaii.”
In addition to the modules that serve to develop the apprentices’ teaching portfolio, “the ETA curriculum also includes a module on entrepreneurship that aims to instill an entrepreneurial mindset as well as to develop and strengthen the apprentices’ business acumen,” she continued.
A spin-off company would then be established as a by-product of the entrepreneurship module, which will be run, managed and maintained by the apprentices under the guidance and supervision of an experienced business mentor.
The company will not only serve as a training hub for future apprentices but also as an employment agency producing highly skilled, talented employees who can perform effectively at a global level.
Following the 12-weeks intensive training in Brunei and Hawaii, the apprentices will then be sent for their 10-month teaching assignment at primary schools in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Vientiane, Laos. Apart from teaching, apprentices will also be expected to partake in supervised community outreach work.
Also present at the ceremony were Associate Professor Dr Azman Bin Ahmad, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Brunei Darussalam and Dr Kiran Sagoo, personal representative of Dr Terance Bigalke, the Project Executive from East-West Center in Hawaii.