Promoting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is one of the seven priority actions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), as technical education produces the human resources that are required by the country’s economy sectors, said Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman.
Speaking as the guest of honour at the 27th Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Convocation Ceremony, the minister also noted that “the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan; and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has also placed emphasis on technical education, with TVET being viewed as important as other academic fields.
“Therefore, as the main provider of TVET in Brunei Darussalam, IBTE has a huge task in the formulation of quality technical education to contribute towards the nation’s socio-economic development, in line with the objectives of Brunei Vision 2035.
“For an educational institution, I believe that a quality management system should be taken into account, as it provides a crucial base to move and plan towards betterment. On this note, I acknowledge the efforts by IBTE to further strengthen the quality of the TVET system in the country with the recent accreditation of the ISO 21001:2018 Educational Organisation Management System (EOMS).”
The minister cited industry-recognised programmes as the sign of a quality TVET system and a step towards ensuring that the programmes on offer meet the industry standards.
“Such efforts not only raise the industry’s confidence in the quality of graduates being produced, but also contribute towards employer satisfaction rates.
“An employers’ satisfaction survey conducted this year found that the rate increased from 82 per cent in 2017 to 87 per cent this year,” he said.
“I hope that IBTE will continue to be committed and responsive towards feedback from stakeholders. In this regard, I call on other government and private learning institutions to improve further on the quality of programmes that they offer. I am confident that the support and cooperation of all parties will further empower the quality of the TVET system in the country, on par with developed countries.
“In producing quality graduates with skills, knowledge and character, the role and responsibility of educators are vital, particularly in the current digital era, where the extent of their duties grows wider and more challenging.
“Not only do educators teach and provide skills training to students, they are also responsible in moulding students’ character through teaching and learning activities, particularly in moulding the students’ character with noble values based on the Malay Islamic Monarchy; (MIB) concept.
“As stated by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Darussalam in a titah at the recent 9th Convocation Ceremony for the Religious Teachers’ University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB): ‘Teaching is a noble career that produces professional human capital in various fields. Teachers are conduits of learning, while education is the most crucial asset in nation-building. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of teachers to pass down knowledge to the people of this country.’
“Towards this, IBTE must always be proactive in the strengthening and upgrading of capacity-building and professionalism of its teaching staff. I welcome IBTE’s initiative in establishing a training academy for technical education teachers, aside from employing the Brunei TVET Teachers Standard, which aims to ensure that they are truly qualified and excellent.”
The minister also indicated that the methods and strategies as outlined by the Brunei TVET Teachers Standard would be more effective if the teachers focussed on instilling moral values, as well as teaching technical skills.
“I believe that if these two elements are practised by the teachers and ingrained within the students, then Insya Allah, our nation will have a future generation capable of upholding the sovereignty of religion, race and nation,” he said.