The Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Advocating Life-Long Learning for an Aspiring Future (BIBD ALAF) programme is a manifestation of BIBD’s belief in the value of life-long learning, which meets the objective of Brunei Vision 2035; to develop a nation widely recognised for the accomplishments of its well-educated and highly skilled people.
This was highlighted by BIBD Deputy Managing Director Hajah Noraini binti Haji Sulaiman, in her capacity as the Chairperson of the BIBD ALAF Programme Board of Trustees, during the awarding of BIBD ALAF scholarships to 19 students yesterday.
“This programme also shows BIBD’s commitment as a ‘Partner in Progress’, taking a whole-of-nation approach to capacity-building by partnering with the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) and the Ministry of Education (MoE), along with support from local corporates and members of the public,” she said.
Hajah Noraini also expressed appreciation for the support and contributions to BIBD ALAF, which she described as “a positive impact to all students in the programme”.
The event marks a continuation of the bank’s commitment as a Partner in Progress, through their holistic and comprehensive educational support programme. Presenting the BIBD ALAF scholarships to the new recipients was Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, in his capacity as Chairman of BIBD and its Group of Companies.
Held at the BIBD ALAF Centre of Excellence and Empowerment (CEE) in the capital, the event also saw the presence of Assistant Mufti (Buhuth) Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mazanan bin Haji Yusof, in his capacity as Chairman of BIBD’s Shariah Advisory Body.
Other invited guests included deputy permanent secretaries, senior officials and personnel from the MoE and MoRA, and management and representatives from BIBD.
The BIBD ALAF programme currently supports 243 students comprising 43 currently in primary school, 162 in secondary school, 11 in pre-university studies, four studying for GCE A’ Level examinations, 10 enrolled in universities and polytechnics both locally and abroad, and 13 awaiting their GCE ‘O’ Level examination results.
As a programme that aims to produce students that are educated, well-rounded and equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to be industry-ready, throughout 2020, BIBD ALAF students were exposed to soft skills training such as public speaking.
This culminated in the BIBD ALAF Convention, where students were required to debate issues and ideas on topics such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and Internet of things.
BIBD ALAF students sitting for public examinations, such as the GCE ‘A’ Level examinations and the Primary School Assessment (PSR) examinations, recorded excellent results with a 100-per-cent passing rate, despite the disruptions brought on by COVID-19.
The achievement rate at the highest levels, for example, the percentage of students who achieved 5As in the PSR exam and three ‘A’ Levels in the GCE ‘A’ Level exam, was either better or on par with the national rate, which is evidence of both the individual capabilities of the BIBD ALAF students, as well as the collective impact of BIBD ALAF’s support and capacity-building efforts.
Following the presentation, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew and several invited guests were given a tour of the CEE, where they viewed an exhibition showcasing the BIBD ALAF students.
The CEE, which began operations in 2020, acts as a hub for the BIBD ALAF students and is equipped with a reading centre, computer labs, tuition rooms, discussions areas, and an IT incubator, along with a range of other facilities aimed at enriching the ALAF students’ educational experience.