RECOGNISED as the engine for growth and social development, technical education is by no means a last resort for students.
It is in fact a rewarding pathway because apart from equipping them with skills and knowledge of the trade, it also allows the students to meet professional expectations. This not only makes the students skilful but also helps them adapt to the dynamics demands of their chosen career.
Earlier this month, 2,318 graduates were feted at the 21st National Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Convocation which was held at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s (UBD) Chancellor Hall. The growing number of graduates shows that technical education is still a prime choice to pursue post-secondary education.
Several graduates and instructors shared their views on technical education as a rewarding pathway.
Muhammad Akmal Rawi bin Abdul Razak graduated with a Diploma in Plant Engineering and believes that education is important to secure a successful future, crediting his parents as pillars in enduring two years of study in an area that he previously knew nothing about.
Upon graduation, he opted to continue his studies to further improve his knowledge and skills in the field of plant engineering.
Siti Khatijah binti Awg Abdul Rahim chose technical education as she dreams of being a successful engineer. Her course, SC3 in Electrical Engineering, gave her the opportunity to experience working in an authentic setting where she has to obey the safety precautions and she believes that this is a good practice as it helps her prepare for employment.
Now a student in Diploma in Building Services Engineering, Siti Khatijah is one step closer to realising her dream.
To say Fuad bin Hj Ahmad is proud of his achievement would be an understatement. Not only did he pass with flying colours, the holder of the Diploma in Pharmacy Technician has also already been offered a post as a daily paid trained dispenser at the Ministry of Health (MoH) even before graduation.
Fuad is very grateful to his instructors both from the Sekolah Vokasional Wasan and MoH’s Department of Pharmaceutical Services. He also believes that support from his course mates, especially the in-service students, was one of the keys to his success.
Meanwhile, Siti Norhayati binti Hj Anapi is a shining example that regardless of age, success can always be achieved. The proud holder of a Diploma in Business (Accountancy), Siti faced a lot of challenges during her two-year study.
Apart from having to adapt to an environment that she had to leave for two decades, she also had to juggle family commitments, especially when her husband was hospitalised and during her revision week.
But her tenacity paid off; her group won third place in the Business Awards 2013 Livewire Brunei for Category A3 “Tertiary (Vocational & Technical)”.
She believes that through the programme, her ability to manage and lead vastly improved, as well as her communication skills, which are essential for her work as a finance clerk at a business school.
Dk Nurulain Hazirah binti Pg Damit was motivated to succeed in her Diploma in Pharmacy Technician programme by her wanting a better future for her son. Previously a medicine inspector at the MoH’s Department of Pharmaceutical Services, she says that the course helped her improve her work performance as it deepened her understanding in the pharmaceutical field.
Rifdini bin Gani wanted to try something new and chose to enrol in Diploma in Business (Marketing), through which he not only outgrew his shyness but also had the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and learnt how the local market works.
Passionate about fishing, he aims to use the knowledge and skills gained from the programme to help improve the local fishing market.
Hjh Siti Hairaney binti Hj Awg Shahri, a senior technical instructor at Nakhoda Ragam Vocational School (SVNR), believes that technical education is an important driving force in moulding the nation’s youths by providing them with the skills needed to fuel the country’s economy rather than depending solely on foreign workers.
With 15 years of teaching experience, she is also proud that her students are holding good posts both in the public and private sectors.
Muhammad Firdaus bin Hj Zailani dreams of putting Brunei on the world map by developing the country’s technology industry. A member of the Google Developers Group (GDG) Brunei and an instructor for the Jefri Bolkiah College of Engineering’s (MKJB) Teaching Network Administration, he firmly believes that in order to sustain the country’s economic development there must be room for both administrative and technical vocations.
A senior technical instructor teaching at Wasan Vocational School (SVW) and trained as a pharmacist, Md Zulhimi bin Md Salleh decided to take technical education because he wanted to contribute to the Brunei’s development by grooming the nation’s youths.
His opinion of technical education is that it is a rewarding pathway because it equips the students with skills and competency to make them job-ready, thus producing skilled workforce that the country demands.
Masfarizawati binti Hj Aminuddin, an education officer at Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College (MTSSR), can attest to technical education as a pathway worth choosing. The knowledge and skills she gained while being a student of tourism at MTSSR helped her tremendously in her job as head of the college’s public relations unit, especially in terms of communication with clients.
She added that the hands-on experience and the chance to work directly under the tutelage of industry experts also enable the students to familiarise themselves with the working environment and make them more ready to join the workforce at any time.
Md Naqib bin Hj Ibrahim believes that the courses offered in technical education are based on local needs and demands. They are designed to equip students with skills and competencies that can be utilised immediately for employment.
A senior technical instructor at SVW, he chose to teach technical education because he wants to empower students who choose this pathway and equip them not only with skills but also the confidence to change their livelihood and become a success in their chosen trade.
An experienced chemistry instructor who has been teaching for over two decades, Singgah binti Sipun has witnessed the success of her students through the years. Also an advocate for science and technical education, she believes that these areas are crucial for the nation’s development and should not be seen as a last resort. – TEXT & PHOTOS: COURTESY OF IBTE