THE growth and development of Brunei Darussalam is a source of pride for its citizens and over the last 50 years, International School Brunei (ISB) has become inextricably intertwined in this growth, encompassing Brunei’s high regard for the power of education. ISB is proud to have been a big part of the 100-year educational journey in Brunei.
When Datin Glass started a tutorial group for her daughter and two friends in 1964, little would she have realised that 50 years later the school would have grown to be one of the most reputable international schools in Asia, teaching almost 1,300 students from all around the world. Not only in Belait, bandar and the wider community, but throughout the Asia region, ISB’s name is synonymous with high quality education which places the child at the centre of all it does. Not only does it have world-beating examination results but also a highly deserved reputation for high levels of student care.
The school is an integral provider of international education in the country, joining the spectrum of other Bruneian institutions, both state and private, which provide the educational variety so needed in all countries today. In an increasingly globalised world, ISB works with government ministries and larger businesses such as BSP to ensure that it responds to the demands placed upon it.
Skilled and academically -astute students graduate from ISB with the world-renowned International Baccalaureate Diploma, a qualification facilitating direct and easy entry into universities all around the world. Many return to Brunei to add human investment to the domestic economy. The school will shortly be expanding into a new 200 place boarding facility, catering for both domestic and overseas students, bringing an added incentive to study in the capital.
What is clear is that ISB continues to add value to the country and has committed to continue its investment in the education of the young. To cater for increased numbers, the school is investing in a move to a purpose-built site at Sungai Hanching in August 2015.
Dr Steve Geraghty, the Executive Principal, summarised ISB’s place in Brunei, “We feel honoured and proud that the community as a whole values our role in Brunei and our approach in placing the child at the centre of all we do. Vital in this are the government ministries who are always there to support us. In our expansion plans in Bandar and Seria, if have been able to show a need for our services, then help has always been forthcoming. This has never been as obvious as in our new build at Sungai Hanching, where the government helped us acquire a much needed land lease.”
The new school site will certainly help to respond to increased demand, both from inside and outside Brunei; student capacity will increase to 1,400 school places, with a boarding complement of 200, representing at least forty different nationalities in a truly multi-cultural environment. To integrate itself even further into the Bruneian education system, the school has just launched a road tour to publicise its new academic, sports and arts scholarships, available to 16 year olds who have the academic potential to excel in the IB Diploma programme.
Furthermore, a new site will serve to strengthen the eco credentials of ISB as it will be one of the few Greenmark buildings in Brunei. It will also contain a recycling centre and an energy conservation centre, as well as jungle trails and outdoor auditorium. The developments in Sungai Hanching can only make a great school even better.