New academic year, new hopes

Syazwani Hj Rosli & Wani Roslan

Thousands of students returned to school yesterday for the beginning of the new academic year, after a month-long holiday.

Parents were seen driving to schools in the early hours, trying to avoid the morning rush, but roads were still smooth with slight traffic congestion. Many students were seen arriving as early as 6.30am, an hour before school starts.

One father, Sajideen bin Haji Yahya, said that he had been expecting busy roads on the first day of school, but apart from encountering other work commuters, it was a trouble-free journey.

“I did not expect to have less traffic; this is better than the previous years,” he said.

Most students were excited at being reunited with their classmates, as they streamed through school corridors trying to find their new classrooms.

Nur Sofia Arisya, a student at Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (YSHHB) Primary School, said, “I’m thrilled to be back at school with my friends and meet with our new subject teachers.”

Students at work during their first day of school yesterday. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI
ABOVE & BELOW: Students listen to a teacher during their first day of school; and students gather during a break on the first day of school.

Parents and guardians register their children at a school

Teachers were also seen busily preparing lesson plans and welcoming students into their new classrooms.

Farizan binti Haji Rosli, a teacher at Katok ‘A’ Primary School, said that her goal for the next few weeks is to build a relationship with her students and create a warm environment, so that they would feel more comfortable about sharing, talking, discussing and making mistakes.

“I made my preparations a week ago, to make sure that my classroom, lesson plans and teaching materials were ready,” she said, adding, “Teaching is my passion, and I look forward to working with the students to make this school year the best one for them.”

Deputy Principal of Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School (SMPAPHM) Siti Salmiah binti Abas said that they have implemented various initiatives and programmes to enhance the school’s performance.

“We have a programme called ‘Yes I Can’, for Year 10 Express and Year 11 students every February, which assists them in terms of giving advice, food intake, Islamic values and others. We have even invited subject teachers to be involved in this programme,” she said.

“We want to instil values for our students because our mission is to shape them to become great leaders in the future.”

SMPAPHM currently accommodates about 815 students, including new ones in Year 7, who will begin their classes on January 6.