| Aziz Idris |
THE issue of academic pathways and career opportunities for Sports School graduates came under scrutiny yesterday when YB Iswandy bin Ahmad highlighted the lack of follow-up courses and programmes related to sports.
He proposed academic courses related to sports for students in opportunity- related fields such as sports management, sports physiology, physiotherapy, physical education, coaching, sports publicity and others.
“(The graduates) are of high-calibre and have the potential to continue their pathway in related fields with basic knowledge gained from Sports School,” he explained before adding that the courses “should also be extended to young athletes not necessarily from the school”.
In response, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, Minister of Education, acknowledged that this issue is a “challenge” for the ministry and admitted that the graduates are still left behind from becoming professional athletes.
The minister said if managed properly, the Sports School will be as beneficial to students in the classroom as they are on the field of play.
“It is in the ministry’s interest to meet the aspiration of Brunei Vision 2035 and through the national education system, we must provide every student the opportunity to acquire the right skills and competencies to seek gainful employment that would build the foundation for a more inclusive and harmonious society,” he explained.
In view of this, the ministry has introduced a sports management programme under the revised Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
This also underpins the rationale for the transformation of technical education in Brunei. The new TVET system is expected to stay relevant and responsive to the changing demands from the industry and the community as well as bring about a change in mindset about technical and vocational training in the society.
YB Iswandy also proposed an extra-curriculum at schools not only focussed on uniform groups such as Police Cadet or Military Cadets but also extended to non-governmental organisations.
He highlighted that NGOs have very strong core values that can help develop the socio-economy of the country and give exposure to students. NGOs have specific focus where students can get involved in community work, volunteering, leadership and health activities.
This suggestion received a positive feedback from the minister. He said the matter will be brought up with the Department of Curriculum Development, Ministry of Education in order to make it official.