THE announcement of a mega campus for Vocational and Technical education by 2018 in the Bulletin dated Thursday, December 16, 2015 was timely as it coincided with our first convocation at Politeknik Brunei.
I have graduated with an advanced diploma in Information Systems and Technology and I am looking forward to getting a job soon.
Not long ago, there were no takers for Vocational and Technical education and students with less ‘O’ and ‘A’ level marks took up such courses.
What a turnaround it has been and rightly so. Vocational and Technical education is in no way lesser than a university degree and the number of students who graduated in Politeknik Brunei’s first convocation stands testimony to the popularity of Vocational and Technical education.
While university graduates sometimes find it hard to land jobs of their choice, graduates with Vocational and Technical education base get easily absorbed. The latter’s skills are one of the reasons they are in demand in the job market.
Most of the graduates of Politeknik Brunei will, I am sure, head to the job fair to possibly seal their future.
Some of the vocational colleges in the region offer specialised courses in line with their industry needs and Brunei should take a leaf out of their book to create such courses to make Vocational and Technical education second to none.
The path to diversification in Brunei also needs to be hastened. The next challenge for Brunei will be to offer jobs for Vocational and Technical education graduates in the future who come out in droves after their graduation.
Mind you, close to 600 students graduated at the first convocation of Politeknik Brunei.
The proposed mega campus, according to your article, will have the capacity to accommodate 4,000 students.
When thousands graduate every year, does Brunei have the kind of industry to absorb them?
Our diversification speed is somehow not proportional to the number of students who graduate every year. When that gap is bridged, Brunei could become a strong industrial nation on par with some of our neighbours.
The Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, especially the Ministry of Education, should be lauded for their sustained focus in making Vocational and Technical education what it is today.
The ministry is doing its best to diversify the courses to make Vocational and Technical education graduates job-ready and marketable by making their education relevant to market needs.