| Danial Norjidi |
SIXTY-SEVEN participants from nine Asean member states, including Brunei, left the Sultanate for Hawaii yesterday to continue with the second part of an English language programme.
The participants make up the third cohort of the 11-week programme, of which seven weeks have been spent on training at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, and the next phase is to take place at the East-West Center in Hawaii.
Throughout the programme, participants undertake a series of modules geared towards enhancing professional communication skills and advancing career opportunities.
The participants themselves are divided into two groups – English of Officers and Diplomats (EOD) and English for Teachers and Teacher-Trainers (ETT) – and are comprised of ministerial officials, English teachers and university academics.
While in Brunei, the Asean delegates were taken on several educational and cultural excursions in and around Brunei. They were exposed to the cultural diversity in the country through their homestays at Kampong Amo in Temburong, Kampong Sungai Matan in Brunei-Muara as well as Kampong Kiudang in Tutong.
Additionally, the participants were introduced to the biodiversity in Brunei through their visit to UBD’s Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre. They were also taken to the Ulu Temburong National Park and Wasai Bedanu in Kampong Kiudang.
As a statement from the organisers at UBD reads, “The experience climbing up the Canopy Walk and the jungle trekking were exhilarating and the participants lauded the efforts Brunei has invested in preserving the rainforest and its denizens.”
The management team also sought to expose the participants to Brunei’s working culture, and did so by organising a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT) for 36 officers and diplomats.
“Officials from the Ministry shared with the participants the history of MoFAT and imparted information on Brunei’s role in Asean and shared the experience and achievements that Brunei attained throughout its chairmanship of the Asean Summit in 2013.”