Lyna Mohamad |
MINISTER of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar bin Hj Apong, yesterday announced that several HND courses in the engineering field initially offered by Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) would be taken over by Politeknik Brunei beginning this year.
The new intake for these courses this July will be conducted at the School of Science and Engineering Campus.
However, ITB will continue to work together with Politeknik Brunei to conduct practical training sessions for courses at ITB laboratories, said the minister at the first convocation ceremony of Politeknik Brunei.
The establishment of Politeknik Brunei in 2012 served as the nation’s education milestone as it gives another education pathway for students in the country, which is in line with one of the SPN21 objectives, the minister said.
Politeknik Brunei is thus vital to establish ties with core, technical and vocational education as well as higher learning institutions to ensure alignment and cooperation in the nation’s education system, he added.
“As with other education institutions, Politeknik Brunei needs to always involve stakeholders in planning and assessing the relevance of courses offered and to inculcate apprenticeship aspects in the courses offered.
“It is important to ensure every graduate is marketable and job-ready like the collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Department of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office in the planning of Energy Industry Competency Framework,” he said.
Through this collaboration, the minister pointed out that courses offered were based on demand-driven, hands-on and apprenticeship that will equip the graduates with required skills.
“Such efforts need to be implemented to avoid mismatch between the job market needs and qualifications acquired by the graduates, which not only are a loss to the government’s investment in education but also one of the contributors to the jobless rate in the country,” Pehin Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awg Abu Bakar said.
On course updates, the minister called on Politeknik Brunei to work towards producing innovative, skilled and highly employable graduates and offer top class courses.
“As tomorrow’s world is dynamic, but uncertain and unpredictable, the younger generation will face a new socio-economic landscape,” said the minister, adding that technology also played a role in influencing our lives.
On this note, he highlighted the need for the younger generation to be equipped with values and the capability to face the ever-changing challenges such as learning methods that could cultivate an entrepreneurship mindset.
Every higher learning institution needs to provide lifelong learning that will help individuals to upgrade their knowledge, values and skills.
Towards this, the minister expressed his hope that every higher learning institution would come up with more innovative methods in providing courses such as online methods, part-time or blended modes.
The minister also called on Politeknik Brunei and technical institutions graduates to be more ambitious.
“They must not have the perception that the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications and skills end once they venture into the career world, but explore opportunities needed in the current job market.”